Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fractions needed = $535,000 grant


How can schools improve middle and high school math performance?
Start in fourth grade with fractions.

That’s part of the thinking of a new $535,000, three-year federal grant that aims to help teachers in several South Sound school districts improve their teaching of fractions, percentages and other math fundamentals.

More than 320 teachers and student teachers could receive training in week-long summer institutes and additional sessions during the school year under a grant that was recently awarded to University Place, Fife and Peninsula school districts and the University of Washington Tacoma.
What math texts are used in grade 4
in University Place, Fife, and Peninsula?

Under the grant, teachers will learn such techniques as how to analyze student thinking in math. Some training will bolster teachers’ own math knowledge. Less than a quarter of surveyed kindergarten through seventh-grade teachers in UP, Fife and Peninsula had “strong confidence in their ability to teach an array of six fraction and decimal skills,” the grant proposal said.

So if the current books were any good at teaching these skills and concepts would not the teachers have learned the material? WOW !!! what chance do the kids have as they use poor to marginal textbooks and are directed often by teachers who do not have a good command of the material?

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