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.Part of what is going on in my district, and I imagine in Julie's district, is that administrators here are focused first and foremost on "infusing technology into the curriculum." This is the prime directive.
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 assignments...my son has no interest in using Twitter.
Just how to infuse technology into the curriculum remains a mystery, however, so the district has elected to buy a bunch of stuff and have teachers "innovate."
Which reminds me of a funny conversation. (Not funny ha-ha, I'm afraid.)
A fellow dissident here in the district invited me to a meeting she had scheduled with the high school principal re: flipped classrooms. As we sat down, the principal, who is new to the district, told us he "believes in" flipped classrooms.
"I encourage teachers to take risks," he said.
Having spent years of my life chewing over this and related issues, I had a response at the ready: "You're taking risks with other people's children," I said.
"Teachers have tenure and a union, they're not the ones taking the risk. The kids are taking the risk, and they haven't been asked whether they want to take the risk you're forcing them to take."
(I actually said these sentences, out loud. I didn't just think of saying them later on and wish I had. Very satisfying!)
The principal, who seems like a very nice guy, looked horrified. Clearly, it had never crossed his mind that "teachers taking risks" could be construed as anything other than an unalloyed good--let alone a borderline abuse of his authority as head of school, which is pretty much what I was suggesting.
Since then the administration has gotten a bit of an earful on the subject of experimenting with other peoples' children.
But the experiments continue apace.
"Station math" is, I gather, another effort to infuse technology into the curriculum, I guess because one of the stations has movies, and movies are technology.
So....time flies. I'm old enough to remember when SMART Boards were technology.
My district has beaucoup SMART Boards. We had to buy one for every classroom because we had a SMART Board equity gap.