Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Requesting Curriculum Advice

Last Wednesday, while I was teaching Algebra II, I was informed that I would be teaching General Math starting this week. Or rather, I was asked to teach it at the same time that I was teaching Geometry. I refused to do that, but was put down for it anyway.

Things have worked out so that I do not have to teach two courses in one period, but I am up to four preps. Only one has a textbook or any curriculum that's worth using.

I am figuring out where to get resources online for the algebra and geometry courses. I've gotten in the hang of pulling material from my shelf of sample Algebra textbooks. They're not outstanding lessons. Not the most interesting notes. They're plagiarized left and right, but it was working for me.

I have no resources for this new course. The principal told me that he thought it would be "easy to teach." The curriculum coordinater directed me to edhelper, but I can't help but feel that students who have been worksheeted on the same material since elementary school are not going to learn it any better this year if I just give them worksheets.

For my diagnostic, I used California's released questions for fourth graders. (South Dakota doesn't release questions.) The students told me that they want to work on fractions, decimals, and percents. They want to learn exponents. Looking at the first part of the diagnostic, they need to learn multiplication and division first. Or alongside. Or....how do I work this?

I've requested sample textbooks from various companies, hoping that I'll find something that will help me with this latest class. (My favorite, based solely on online descriptions, is Fantasy Sports Math via my mother and Only a Game.)

Any resource recommendations from anyone out there? What do you use to help teach high schoolers who are at an elementary level?


Jackie said...

Sarah - I understand what you're going through. I too am teaching a course to high school students that are not "ready" for grade level math. I don't have a text book either. I've been working on skills from the College Readiness Standards up to the 23 level (but mostly the lower strands). I'm not happy with what I'm doing, so I'd love to hear what you find.

Sarah Cannon said...

Jackie-- I love the ideas of groupwork on your blog. It's reassuring to remember that you're in the same type of boat that I am.

Once I figure out what I'm using, I'll be sure to post it here.

H. said...

Sarah, I posted a response over on my blog because it became to long. Hope you post about how this goes.

Dan Greene said...

Hi Sarah,

It sounds like your General Math course is similar to the Numeracy class I teach. You can check out my blog for more info. But, maybe more usefully, I can send you files - my tests, old unit and lesson plans, etc. I can also recommend good resources for teaching elementary math to high schoolers. You can email me at dgreene@dcp.org, and let me know what you need.