Posts tagged "math"
April 24, 2013
All’s quiet on the Common Core math test front, for now.
After last week’s state reading tests drew sharp criticism, anxiety ran high as students headed into the first of three days of math testing today. But educators are saying the first day was uneventful — and possibly even easier than they expected.
“There was a little bit of a sigh of relief when they started going through the test,” David Baiz, who teaches at Global Technology Preparatory Middle School, said of his eighth-grade students. “They felt like they were capable of doing it.”
Jose Vilson, who teaches at I.S. 52 in Washington Heights, tweeted just after the exam, ”My kids found the test pretty easy, and this time, I trust it.” (more…)
April 12, 2013
On Tuesday, GothamSchools and New America NYC presented “Adding it Up,” an event that brought together New York City educators to talk about the new Common Core standards in math. The panel, moderated by GothamSchools’ Emma Sokoloff-Rubin, included three New York City math teachers: Joe Negron from KIPP Infinity Middle School, Bushra Makiya from I.S. 303 in the Bronx, and Jose Vilson from I.S. 52 in Washington Heights.
April 10, 2013
That’s what New America NYC tweeted during “Adding It Up,” the panel discussion about the Common Core standards in math that GothamSchools hosted Tuesday evening with New America NYC. About 80 people joined us to hear three city math teachers — Joe Negron from KIPP Infinity Middle School, Bushra Makiya from I.S. 303 in the Bronx, and Jose Vilson from I.S. 52 in Washington Heights — talk about the opportunities, challenges, and unanswered questions in their transition to the new Common Core standards.
We’ll have a complete video of the event and some additional highlights later in the week. For now, we’ve used Storify to collect the many tweets about the discussion posted before, during, and after the event. (more…)
April 9, 2013
Joe Negron, the founding principal of KIPP Infinity Middle School, picked a tricky year to return full-time to the classroom. After heading the charter school since it opened in 2005, Negron became a full-time math teacher in August, just as new standards were reshaping what students are supposed to learn.
Negron taught math at I.S.164 before starting KIPP Infinity and kept one foot in the classroom while serving as principal. But even for a seasoned educator, he said, shifting to the Common Core standards is a challenge.
“This is so much messier than what I’m used to and comfortable with,” said Negron, who will appear this evening on the panel at GothamSchools’ event about the Common Core in math. “It used to be, I’m going to teach you this strategy and you’re going to use it until your eyes pop out.”
This year, responding to the Common Core’s emphasis on solving problems in multiple ways, he is asking students to master three approaches. (more…)
April 8, 2013
In the three years since New York officially adopted the Common Core learning standards, students have tackled tougher assignments, teachers have remade assignments, and schools have rethought when topics should be taught — all in an effort to prepare students to show they have mastered the new standards.
Now, the first test of whether the teachers have been successful is here.
Next week, students in grades three through eight will take their first set of Common Core-aligned state exams, in English. The following week, they’ll sit for three days of Common Core aligned math tests. The scores will help decide everything from whether the students will be promoted to where they will attend middle or high school.
“They’ve been talking about the Common Core for a couple of years now,” said David Baiz, who teaches math at Global Technology Preparatory Middle School. “This year is really the year when we’re staring down the barrel of the gun.” (more…)
April 4, 2013
Teachers and students feel very worried that they do not know what the tests will look like this year. My students read in the news that scores will drop this year and that the test will be harder, but when they ask for reassurance, we don’t have answers to give them.
March 29, 2013
In April, New York City students will sit down to state tests that are tied for the first time to the tougher Common Core learning standards. Last fall, we convened city educators to discuss their transition to the new standards in English language arts. Now, we want to continue that conversation about math. (more…)
February 4, 2013
How much voting power does a New Yorker really wield? How can statistics presented by the media manipulate readers? How do you raise sweatshop wages without sacrificing profit?
These are a few of the questions that math teachers in New York City are asking their students as they try to bring complex and abstract concepts to life. To answer them, students must supplement the equations and formulas found in textbooks by grappling with real-world applications.
The lessons cover a mathematical practice known as modeling that has been around for decades but is now getting a closer look in schools around the city as teachers try to align their math lessons to Common Core standards that require real-world applicability.
Using modeling to present lessons is one of two instructional focuses that the Department of Education has laid out this year for math teachers.
“It’s the practice of solving real-world problems,” said Brooklyn Technical High School’s Patrick Honner, a teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School who in December won a $10,000 award for an innovative math lesson he developed. (more…)
November 13, 2012
The city’s teachers union has been clamoring for more time for teachers to prepare for the elementary and middle school state tests, which will be aligned to new curriculum standards this spring. Not so for the city’s high school teachers, who have another year to prepare for new tests.
The Department of Education is requiring high school teachers to align two units each semester this year to the Common Core. But beyond that, some teachers have said that without assessments to plan backwards from, they are at a loss about how to proceed, while others view the extra year as license to delay making more substantive changes.
But some high school teachers are seeking out help with the Common Core now, reasoning that it’s smart to work with the new standards while there’s still time to troubleshoot before students face tests based on them.
For math teachers at 14 Bronx schools, support is coming from the network hired to support their schools, New Visions for Public Schools. With a $13 million, five-year innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the help of the Silicon Valley Math Initiative, New Visions is piloting a Common Core-aligned ninth-grade algebra curriculum in the hopes that it will challenge students more and build teachers’ skills. (more…)
July 18, 2012
The state released the results of this year’s third through eighth grade tests yesterday, and officials from City Hall to the charter sector lept to celebrate students’ gains.
Some changes were the focal point of the Department of Education’s Tuesday afternoon press conference—like the drop among English Language Learners and the boosts charter schools saw. But they avoided nuances in the results for the city’s new schools, which have been at the center of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education reform policies. Beyond first impressions, here are seven interesting takeaways we parsed from the trove of data:
- Like last year, English Language Learners took a step back. Students who are identified as English Language Learners improved slightly in math, but took another step back from the statistical gains they made on the literacy test (ELA) earlier in the decade, before the state made the exams tougher in 2010. While just under half of the city’s non-ELL students met the state’s ELA standards, just 11.6 percent of ELL students did so. But in math, the percentage of ELL students scoring proficient rose by 2.5 points, to 37 percent.
- But students in other categories that typically struggle showed improvements. The percentage of students with disabilities who are proficient in math and literacy went up again this year, to 30.2 percent in math and 15.8 percent in English. And although Black and Hispanic students are still lagging behind their white peers by close to thirty percentage points in literacy and math, they also saw small bumps in both subjects. Officials said that new initiatives targeting struggling students, particularly students of color, contributed to the gains. (more…)