Monday, July 23, 2012

Senior Math -- Those not ready for Pre-Calculus...

So what to do with students who took Algebra 1 as Freshmen, Geometry as Sophomores and Algebra 2 as Juniors and just did not do well....

The Seniors who are not ready for Pre-Calculus, the ones that cannot afford to not take math.  The options in a small school are limited - either don't have them take a 4th year of math (mistake) or reduce the rigor of the Pre-Calculus course (mistake).

So standing on the edge of the abyss with two horrible choices I selected secret answer "c."  I set up a "guided" study course for these Seniors.  Basically it is a complete review of Alg 1/2 and Geometry.  I call it guided study because it is scheduled the same time as my AP Calculus course, meaning I do not teach to the Senior Math group.  They use each other, internet resources, etc to work towards mastery of topics so they will be ready for credit-bearing math in college.  I had 1 student two years ago -- success, 2 students last year -- success.  Success is the students getting into credit bearing college math (one student actually tested out of math at a vo tech school!)  [I always start the year by telling the Senior Math group of their independent status]

So I expanded the course and it will be 6 students this year.  But last year the course required a lot of Sunday time to prep worksheets and other items for the week!  So I decided to do guided study - each day in class the students must complete 15-20? problems in a section of the texts; this class work is their requirement to projects, quizzes and tests (mostly projects and pure mastery of topics for quizzes and combo for tests).  Also it should be noted a student that works during the period would have little homework.

Quizzes I make from a worksheet generator and will just use from Geometry and or Alg 2 course.  The tests will be book tests, no time for anything else.  And to make the course "different" I just grabbed an old textbook series no longer used and use it for this course!

Hopefully it will work, it has worked well the past 2 years -- This is best way to offer an option without a clear "mistake."

Look at sequence and draft of projects on google docs: Juda Senior Math