This message is from Kathy Nolan <[log in to unmask]> in response to a
question by Joanne Kraft
The junior high school in which I used to teach used the Orleans Hanna
Prognostic Test and a Stanford Achievement Test as indicators of
readiness for Algebra. In the classroom, I would assemble some data on
students who I anticipated would be interested in an Algebra I course in
grade 8 (scores, attendance, grades, portfolio work) and have a
"conference" with the student. I tried to emphasize that my
recommendation was what I thought was best for the student in the long
run and that I thought it was important to learn math through high
school and college and that it wasn't urgent to begin Algebra I next
year. I always left the door open for further discussion with them or
their parents. I tried to be clear that my recommendation was just
that, a recommendation. The decision was about their future and they
needed to discuss it with their parents.
I am very impressed with the new standards-based middle level programs
and the challenge that they provide for our students. I am using Math
Thematics in my grade 8 class and find it engaging for all students. I
think that Connected Math is also challenging for all. I am not
familiar with any of the newer Algebra series so I can't compare what
they offer. I do know that learning math in context is good for all.
[log in to unmask]
> Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 19:59:36 -0500
> To: Middle Level Mathematics Network <[log in to unmask]>
> From: [log in to unmask] (Joanne Kraft (RIV))
> Subject: Re: Alg. 1 & 8th grade correction & thanks
> Thank you to everyone who replied to my previous posting concerning
> 1 & 8th grade. After our math dept. meeting today, it was decided to
> add a
> second section of 8th grade Alg. if the student numbers warrant this.
> Please note there is a typing error in my previous posting:
> >"Currently, we have one large section of Alg. 1 for the top math
> >This year the class has 28 STUDENTS (not 18 students). Presently, we
> >in the process of revising "the entrance" requirements for this class
> >are wondering how other middle schools select these students."
> The students in this section are definitely motivated and
> However, I still find myself frustrated with the lack of time for the
> personal attention that some students need. My classes are usually 50
> minutes long and meet every day.
> We are still in the process of revising our entrance criteria for
> Algebra program and still would appreciate any "tests" or other
> criteria used in placing students into this program. I am also
> in the number of students in other 8th grade algebra classes. What do
> teachers consider the best class size for this type of class? As
> before Riverside has 28 students in Alg. 1 out of an estimated 150
> Currently, we use the 1997 ed. of Glencoe: Alg 1 Integration,
> Applications & Connections. So far I have been pleased with this text.
> texts and/or supplemental material do other teachers recommend?
> >Thank you again for any and all suggestions or comments.
> >Joanne Kraft
> >Riverside Middle School
> >13 Fairground Rd.
> >Springfield VT 05156 802-885-8490