Math scores are way up in Nashville thanks to a new teaching method: Teachers now “look at where our students are and pull them up,” says Julie Martin, the district’s math coordinator.
“Before, instruction didn’t take into account where the students were at any given time. â€¦ We just didn’t have a systematic way of being student centered, of addressing students more individually.”
Math teachers underwent professional training to learn the new approach, which incorporated frequent testing to track student progress. Teachers also relied on classroom discussions and presentations to see if their students grasped the material.
At Stratford High, 91 percent of students scored proficient or higher, up from 55 percent. Teachers now test students every three weeks on the same benchmarks, explained math specialist Cynthia Hicks-McCall.
“When we found shortcomings, we went back and taught it again. We pulled kids for tutoring. I just break it down to little pieces of math and show (students) what they mean so they can remember. I’m also big on homework to keep them on their toes.”
Checking to see if students understand, reteaching concepts they missed and making students practice skills . . . This is a new idea?