Hello and welcome. We will be talking to you about our school’s Extreme math makeover. We hope to give you some ideas that you can use to help improve your math scores. We have been able to make a make a thorough change in how we teach. It has turned our assessment scores to an upward trend. And if we can do it, you can to. May want to mention: (BTW this makeover happened at our high school so some of the changes may be applicable to HS level only
Here’s the outline of our presentation.
Before we get into our math department’s transformation, we would like to give you an idea where we were, and why we, the administration and staff, decided to make such a drastic change. The 2008-09 school year was the first year that our state, Indiana, made it a requirement for students to pass the Algebra 1 end-of-course assessment to graduate. Our students took this test the previous two school years with virtually no success (6% passed in 2007 and 4% passed in 2008). During the 2008-09 school year when the test was required, our students did better. We jumped from 4% passing to 27% passing. Even though we made a big jump, 27% passing is nothing to brag about, especially when our students need to pass this test to graduate. After the 2008-09 school year, we (teachers and administrators) realized that we had to do something different for our students to be successful.
Discuss the upward trend. As you can see, our freshman scores have increased each year. We have gone from 27% passing in 2009 to 69% passing in 2011 for our first time test takers. We credit those scores with changes we have made in the classroom. We have become more student centered. We lecture less and use more hands-on activities. We have also incorporated some new technologies in the classroom to make the lesson more interactive. We will discuss these changes with you all later on. Furthermore, we have made it our goal to get the majority of our students to pass the test by the end of their sophomore year (by their third time taking it). We developed a remediation program to ensure that most of our students passed the test by that time. As you can see, with 91% passing in 2011 and 85% passing in 2012, we have seen some success in our remediation program.
Because of our scores being as low as they were prior to the 2009-10 school year, our administration decided that we needed to make a change. They hired a representative from SREB to help us get on the right track. This representative came to our school several times to meet with us over the course of 18 months. Many of the initial meetings were filled with tension and bad feelings. Finally it got to a point where, as a math department, we realized that this pressure from our administrators was not going away. We were going to have to make a change whether we liked it or not. We saw that we had the support from our superintendent, from our principal, and from the SREB representative and decided that we have nothing to lose. As a math department we came together, we began to trust ourselves as well as our department members. We became a team. We built trust in ourselves and in each other by trying new ideas, learning from each other, changing the way we worked with each other and with the students and this trust spilled over to our students. Once we trusted and believed in what we were doing and we had some structure behind that, our students began to respond and trust us to lead them in the right direction.
After we came to the realization that we needed to make a change and we worked through the hardships of becoming a team (discuss and talk openly about what we were doing; about changes that we didn’t want to do but knew we had to, technology fears, etc. all of which took lots of additional time and is detailed in the next slides), we began making the most important, key change that we could have. As a group, we decided to stop teaching to the textbooks and let the standards dictate our curriculum. In fact, we did not even have textbooks in the classroom for two years. We have since adopted textbooks and have been using its online resources to enhance our lessons. This philosophy of following the standards has dictated our curriculum since the 2009-2010 school year (refer back to the statistics). We had several meetings and devoted several hours to tearing apart the standards. We had Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 standards in front of us. We cut each set up into its sub-standards and reorganized the standards in a way that would benefit the students the most. This way we knew that we would cover every single standard that students would be tested on and that we would present the material in a way that was most beneficial to the students. We believed in our strategy so much that during the first semester of the 2009-2010 school year, we restarted the algebra classes halfway through the year to follow the standards. Although that was a risk, and we did not see as much immediate growth in the statistics as we wanted, it paved the way for improvement during future school years.
Reorganizing the standards and teaching to the standards rather than the textbooks was the main reason that we have been so successful. Teaching by the standards and not the textbook is great, but it offers many challenges. We are going to talk now about the resources we use to supplement our lessons. The first resource that we use is something called an Interactive Math Notebook (or IMN). The IMN is a textbook that students create. We give each student a notebook (we have been using composition notebooks of graph paper). This notebook includes important paperwork like our expectations, formula sheets, the state exam breakdown. The students create a table of contents, documenting everything in their notebook. They write their notes in the notebook as well as include homework assignments, tests, and quizzes. We encourage them to use color and to make it “their own.” I have noticed that the more I check the notebooks, the better they are. I try to do a notebook check once a week or once every two weeks. Sometimes the checks are very brief like during a warm-up and during a test/quiz. The IMN has evolved some during this time. If a student wants to use a three ring binder or a lined notebook instead of the free gridded page notebook they can, they just have to follow the same structure rules: TOC, expectations, numbered pages, etc.
Another resource that we use is TI-Nspire calculators. These calculators allow us to send documents to students and receive immediate feedback. For example, each student has his own account that he logs into everyday. We can send them a quick quiz and they can send their answers in. We can immediately look at the results on the board and they can see how many people answered a certain question correct or incorrect (it is anonymous)and we can have discussions about that. We are able to save the data in a portfolio to use as a grade or to just see progress. These calculators also allow for the teacher to display her calculator screen for the students. The teacher can display a particular students screen and can view all students screens at the same time to monitor student work. We are going to give you a brief look at what we can do with our Nspire calculators.
We also use Promethean boards during our lessons. This allows for more student interaction. Most importantly, I am able to save notes and lessons for students who are absent. I also try to post these notes on my school website. If you have used a Promethian board or smart board you know that it adds a lot of flexibility to getting work done in the classroom as well as performing your own tasks. While the students are viewing a warmup I can put in attendance, for example. Students also find it more engaging as they can do more than just write on the board in any color. Shapes are available, jump to internet to find a definition, jump to the textbook which is online to view examples done yesterday. Other students watching that student (or teacher) begin to learn study techniques, how to use aides to solve problems. In continuing our changes the school board put Promethian Boards in every classroom in the every school at every level. Additionally we had weekly training from one of our own staff. This teacher/trainer was taken out of the classroom for the year, trained and was dedicated full time to assisting and training the rest of the staff on the use of the Promethian.INSERT SAMPLE LESSONGo through lesson. Show that we have “dressed up” an ordinary lesson to make it more interactive by having students come to the board and answer via the calculators (or some other device).
Those are the resources that we use in class. However, there are students who do not pass the test the first time. In Indiana, it is imperative that our students pass that Algebra 1 test by their sophomore year for school evaluations and it is necessary for them to pass by their senior year in order to graduate. Because it is necessary for them to pass the test, we offer an extensive remediation program. We offer after school remediation session 4 days per week for an hour each day that we require students to go to. We use their test data to individualize their remediation experience. We look at each student’s score breakdown and assign them to topic specific sessions. For example, if a student passed the equations section and linear equations section of the test, but did not pass linear systems, polynomials, and quadratics, the student would only be required to attend the sessions that he did not pass (view schedule). Last fall we had 8 weeks of topic specific help. Again, students only attended help sessions that they did not pass (they could attend more if they wanted to). After that, we had 4 weeks of general help that all students had to attend (at least twice per week) leading up to the test. We believe that making the remediation specific to each student has been a big success.
Through teamwork, reorganizing the standards, allowing the standards to dictate the curriculum, various in class resources (like the IMN’s, Ti-Nspire calculators, and Promethean boards), and specific individualized remediation, our math department has been able to team up and conquer our state mathematics tests. These method changes have already started to make our students better problem solvers which is a critical higher level thinking process demanded by Common Core. That’s our next challenge and we know we can meet that challenge and do it. We hope that you can take this information and turn your scores around too.
Extreme math makeover
Extreme Math Makeover Teaching and Learning for SuccessDeanne GonzalezAlexa KutchNew Prairie High School MathematicsDepartment
Extreme Math Makeover Data Realizing the need for change The turning point Classroom Resources Sample Lesson Remediation Helpful Websites and Phone Numbers
The Need for Change 2008-09 27% Pass 73% Did Not Pass
The Need for 100 Change 91 90 85 80 69 70 62 62 60Percentageof Students 50 Passing Freshman 39 Total Sophomores 40 30 27 20 10 0 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 School Year
Realizing the Need forChange School corporation hires an SREB consultant Negative feelings from the math department initially Realization that there were no other options and we had nothing to lose Math department became a team and began to work together and accept the change
The Turning Point As a result of working with the SREB representative, we began to change Most significant change – leave the textbooks “behind” and let the standards dictate the curriculum Math department met often to reorganize the standards Looked at every standard and put them in an order that would benefit the students the most
Classroom ResourcesInteractive Math Notebooks Student generated textbook Includes ◦ Important paperwork ◦ Table of Contents ◦ Notes ◦ Homework
Classroom ResourcesTi-Nspire Calculators Send and receive documents Immediate feedback Allows for class discussions Can display teacher calculator screen or any/all student screens for entire class to view
Classroom ResourcesPromethean/SMART Boards Student interaction Save notes and lessons for absent students Post notes and lessons to teacher websiteSample LessonSampleLesson.flipchart
Remediation Extensive mandatory after school remediation program 4 days per week/1 hour per day Student test data dictates amount of remediation
Helpful Websites and PhoneNumbers Ask Rose Homework Hotline1-877-ASK-ROSEwww.askrose.orgRose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN) students are waiting to help students with homework questions http://www.khanacademy.org/ http://www.mathtv.comThese two websites contain videos of thousands of worked out examples for an assortment of math classes.
Helpful Websites and PhoneNumbers Wolfram AlphaWolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine that will solve many math problems; often providing the steps necessary to solve.http://www.wolframalpha.com/ InterAct MathInterAct Math offers tutorial exercises to accompany the end-of-section exercises in Addison-Wesley and Prentice Hall textbooks.
Poll EverywhereUse this to gather responses from students electronically IN PLACE OF purchasing response hardware. Students only need a cell phone to answer! It is spam free.http://www.polleverywhere.com