kitchen table math, the sequel: Onward and upward: Station math

Monday, January 19, 2015

Onward and upward: Station math

I learned this week that our 6th-grade math teachers have adopted a new way of teaching math.

One day a week, they teach the whole class.

On the other four days of the week, students are given a menu of options, each one of which corresponds to a station in the classroom. Some stations have videos.

Children select a station and spend the class doing whatever it is they do at math stations while the teacher circulates the room "working one on one." 

In the beginning, students were told they couldn't ask the teacher questions because she would be too busy to answer. That's: no questions at all. Not even three before me

That rule has now been rescinded, it seems.

So parents are hiring tutors, and some parents have asked that their children be switched to "Academic Intervention Services" so they can have a teacher who actually teaches. 

The board wasn't alerted to the change, and it's not clear how much parents even know that their children are now receiving only one day of direct instruction per week. The parent I spoke to knew about it because she picked up on a line in a Back to School Night handout and put two and two together.

None of the administrators admits to having anything to do with it. 

Somehow, the entire 6th grade math program turned into a writers workshop for math without anyone's being the wiser. 

Another wrinkle: accelerated math placements aren't made until January of grade 6. Since mine is a nominally high-performing district, the goal in placement decisions is to keep as many kids out of accelerated classes as possible -- which, according to my source, has meant that parents of the mathematically talented kids have had to suck it up, hire tutors, and keep their opinions to themselves. 

A child who is having trouble learning math at stations is a child who's not getting the nod.


julie said...

My 7th grader, who was in an accelerated math class this year (in GA) experienced these same math stations. He said it was like being in elementary school all over again.

This same teacher "flipped" her classroom by making videos of her reading the textbook and examples aloud. He was expected to watch the videos each night before doing homework problems...but he couldn't stand it. He wanted to just read the book to himself and get the homework done.

Same teacher wanted parents and students to follow her on Twitter to keep up with daily son has no interest in using Twitter.

froggiemama said...

Oh! We did that in math when I was in elementary school! In m We got to choose our own work by selecting a color coded packet, which usually contained a hand on project and some problems to solve based on it. Being totally lazy, I did one and ignored the rest. After a couple of months, the teacher noticed I hadn't done any packets and called my parents in for a conference. This was around 1879.

froggiemama said...

What happened? I wrote 1970 and somehow it turned into 1879. I'm not THAT old!