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A group to discuss issues and ideas for struggling intermediate students.
Latest Activity: Oct 9, 2014
Started by Ray Myrtle. Last reply by Ray Myrtle Aug 27, 2013.
About 20-30% of students read below grade level. Most of them are not special needs but do need additional help. Reading material at lower grade levels, and special activities can help these…Continue
I am amazed that there is so much stigmatization about classes that are designed to be both practical and designed to meet student need. We had a specific math and english class for students in the apprenticeship classes and they were very relevant and challenging. The fact that students achieved was written off as being evidence that the course was easy, as opposed to the fact that the needs of the students were actually being met.
Absolutely, Ray! What a great idea!
Wouldn't it be great Ann-Marie, if those students were encouraged to present in a 'science fair' dramatic way, the power of compound interest or some other similar math topic in their curriculum. They'd see the practical benefit of what they were studying and as importantly that many (most) don't understand the material that they do.
I have recently spent a week covering for another teacher in his A & W (apprenticeship and workplace) class, one choice for those who do not want or need the regular Math courses in secondary school. What I noticed is that they suffer from a school attitude and climate that labels the course they are taking as 'less important' or 'easy'. It's also seen as something that defines those students' abilities - they kind of feel like they are perceived as less competent because they chose this course. While teaching their class this week, I was blown away by the intensity of the curriculum and the practical nature of its topics! They have to know how to calculate simple and compound interest, choose the best options for a bank plan, balance a personal budget, taking into consideration all the factors that effect a person's financial health, and many other skills. It's definitely not an easy course; yet they seem to suffer from others' negative perceptions about how they're 'not doing the mainstream Math courses'. It's sad to see - and it offers an insight as to how students at all levels may be affected by similar peer pressures. We as teachers are the perfect people to take note and to eradicate such erroneous stereotypical attitudes!
One of the best sources of help is books by Dawn Reithaug. She has a great reading book, she taught in Burnaby and her books are very good. They are expensive because they are self published, but you school should, and your district will have copies somewhere. If you look and are unsuccessful get back to me.
I definitely noticed a few students in my last practicum reading below grade level. Special Education is an area I hope to get my masters in one day. As I felt somewhat helpless trying to teach 30 students and a few of them struggling, and thinking to myself I don't have an experience or tools in my toolbox to help them.
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