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  • Alternative High School/Adult Ed for Geometry and Algebra II

    Posted by Michelle DeAlmeida on October 13, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Hello. I am starting my second year as a teacher (teaching is a second career for me) at an alternative high school/adult education. I’ll be teaching Geometry and Algebra II. I will have very small class sizes of around 10 students. While there could be older adults in my classes, I believe most will be 17-19 years old. We only meet for 9 weeks, twice a week, 3 hours a day. So that’s only 54 total hours! Obviously, I cannot teach a normal Algebra II or Geometry curriculum. In addition, they could have taken Algebra I many years ago and most have historically done poorly in math. I have a lot of freedom in what and how I will teach. I would like to make it interesting and keep the rigor high even though we won’t cover as much. Any suggestions on resources/textbooks would be appreciated. Also, any ideas on what topics I should plan to cover and which I can leave out? I fear I will try to “cover” too many and won’t go deep on anything. I want the students to engage in mathematical thinking, I don’t want to just “cover” topics. Thanks in advance!

    Kyle Pearce replied 1 year, 11 months ago 2 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Kyle Pearce

    Administrator
    October 18, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Hi @Michelle-DeAlmeida

    Welcome to the profession!

    Small class sizes = awesome! Time crunch = not so awesome!

    As @jon and I always say, we are most concerned about ‘uncovering’ the curriculum.

    I’m wondering, if you look at your course content from a high level, what are some of the big(gest) ideas you’re hoping your students walk away with? I think starting here is a great place to begin vs. starting with ALL of the individual pieces and trying to “cover” them all.

    Thoughts?

    • Michelle DeAlmeida

      Member
      October 18, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks for the response! I will think about that. It’s just hard since I don’t really know what I want the students to walk away with since I am so new to teaching. But I think that’s a good approach. Thanks!

      • Kyle Pearce

        Administrator
        October 19, 2020 at 8:55 am

        Hard for all educators to think about, but so important. It forces you to take a step back and really think about what is all this “stuff” about anyway? Why are we teaching it? Which concepts are actually building blocks for something later and which others are just helpful for building more resilient problem solvers?
        I’d be curious to see what you come up with. Maybe we can dive deeper with you?

      • Michelle DeAlmeida

        Member
        October 19, 2020 at 9:23 am

        I am curious to see what I can come up with too! lol I just don’t feel like I am in position to be able to figure this out yet. I am new to teaching and currently refreshing my memory of Algebra 2 on Khan Academy’s Mastery Course. I did teach Geometry last year, so feel a bit better on that. But as far as – “what is all this “stuff” about anyway? Why are we teaching it? Which concepts are actually building blocks for something later and which others are just helpful for building more resilient problem solvers?” – those are excellent questions. I just wish someone could tell me the answers. But you’ve given me some really good things to think about. Thanks for trying to help.

      • Kyle Pearce

        Administrator
        October 20, 2020 at 6:27 am

        Unfortunately, there are no “answers”. After year 30, you’ll still be questioning your own thinking and making changes to how you do things.

        For the time being, I’d continue to think about these questions and don’t search for “the” answer, but rather slowly build upon your thinking. It’ll payoff!