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Remediation Curricula (Help!)

So.

I’m supposed to come up with a curriculum to address in school remediation1 for our low performing students.

I’m not even sure where to start with this.

These kids have already been through the classes once. I don’t think throwing the same stuff at them, with the same teachers, is going to improve them. Something needs to be different. At the same time, the curriculum also needs to focus on what they need to progress. A lot of that is going to be automaticity with simple math facts. I’m not even sure that the kids at this level will be ready for simple concepts like fractions or negative numbers. But, I believe there’s validity to both sides of the math wars – the constructivist aspects should probably also be addressed.

Then, along with this fog of being able to exactly nail down what I think should be addressed, any attempt to research this feels less like doing research, and more like subjecting myself to million dollar ad campaigns by people who’ve learned a bunch of buzzwords, but couldn’t teach their way out of paper bag. I can’t find decent advice on how to define their needs, much less on where to find a curriculum that will address them.

Finally, it needs to be something that’s idiot proof enough that any teacher with a rudimentary understanding of math can teach it, but that a skilled teacher won’t feel trapped into some cookbook hell.

I’m sure someone’s been through this before.

Does anyone have any advice?

1 “In school” as opposed to after school or weekend remediation, which we have difficulty getting the lowest performing kids to show up for.

{ 9 } Comments

  1. Kate | February 1, 2009 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    At first blush, I’m thinking, why are you doing this alone, and also, “any teacher with a rudimentary understanding of math” shouldn’t be the one expected to remediate these kids.

  2. N.D. | February 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Is this time that has to be taken out of the curriculum or in addition to their standard class?
    Some ideas – website like study island where they do a lesson then problems on the lesson, skill drills on the topics they need help on, Quia (website) where they can do quizzes and you can easily track their progress. Sounds like a daunting task for one person, I agree.

  3. H. | February 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Talk to Dan Greene and ask him about their Numeracy program.

  4. Sarah | February 4, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Hmm…My Google Reader keeps stalling out on your feeds, so I missed this earlier. I’ll check into that

    I’m seconding H’s rec to talk with Dan Greene. You can see the overview of the program here.

    One of the things that makes sense to me, but is not implemented at my school is to have students take Numeracy and another math class (for Dan that’s Algebra) concurrently. I think it would bring up the overall hope of use for the basics done on worksheets for years while strengthening the skills needed for the ever-advancing Algebra lessons.

  5. Cassy | February 4, 2009 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    There is a district in Manhattan using the U.S. Edition of 6th grade Singapore Math to remediate 8th graders – after school. They want these students ready for Algebra in 9th grade and have been quite successful with this program.

  6. CC | February 7, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I’m a Math tutor for high school kids, most of which are usually struggling in the subject (Algebra, Geometry). I don’t think there’s a formula to help them. I do different things with each kid, depending on what their wear areas are. Some of them can’t even multiply correctly, so we have to go back to the beginning. Some can’t grasp negative numbers very well, so we do that. I have noticed that when they make numerous mistakes on their exams, they are usually errors of calculations rather than errors of logic. If they’re in a normal classroom they have the capacity to grasp the concepts, but if they can’t understand what a negative number is and how to add it/substract it/etc then they will make mistakes on their exams, even if they have an idea of how to solve the problems.

  7. Mr. K | February 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Most of our kids can’t multiply correctly.

    But we’re still supposed to teach them Algebra in 8th grade. How do we make up the gap?

  8. Jim S. | February 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    If you are searching for a curriculum for Algebra I/II or Geometry, take a look at The Cognitive Tutor. Among the recommendations for this program, it is listed in the federal What Works web site. This curriculum involves text work and computer work; about 40% computer and 60% interactive classroom activities. It is targeted for students who would seem to have little chance of success in math based on their test scores and/or preparation. The vendor is Carnegie Learning Systems. Here’s a link: http://www.carnegielearning.com/software_features.cfm. Hope this helps.

  9. Terrance Banks | May 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Ms. K,
    Next year I will be teaching Math Support for our Ninth Grade Math Classes for kids who need extra help.

    I am planning on organizing my days as such:

    Monday: Foldables
    Tuesday: Activity Day (Computer lab or Class room)
    Wednesday: Re-teach & Re-load, re-teach alternative ways to learn concepts & Worksheet
    Thursday: Quiz/Test Day with a Partner
    Friday: 20 minutes to correct tests with partner and answer questions about regular math class

    We are 50 minute per class day.

    I will start at solving one-step equations and build to where the current class is.