Sunday, December 21, 2008

Earning high grades in Reform Math, III

Consider Boy A and Boy B--two 2nd-graders with the same teacher at our local public school, neither of whom is related to me, though I'm friendly with both of their moms, who have shared with me their report card grades.

Both boys try out for Continental Math League, undergoing our 6-page, Singapore Math-derived assessment. Boy A doesn't get past the first half of page 1, answering half the questions wrong. Boy B does about 5 times better, getting one of the top scores among 2nd graders, and subsequently doing extremely well on the Continental Math team, including the many 3rd grade Singapore Math problems we include. He's bright, fast, accurate, and really into the challenge.

On their report cards, which use a 1-4 scale, one of them earns a 4 in math, the highest possible grade, and the other earns a 3. Guess which boy earns which grade?

Hint: the school uses the Investigations (TERC) curriculum.

Yes, indeed: the same teacher gives a 2nd grader who is thriving in 3rd grade Singapore Math a lower grade than a 2nd grader who was stumped by the 2nd grade Singapore Math in our math assessment.

Is some sort of hidden agenda at work here?

1 comment:

Paul B said...

No fair! Need more info :>}

Last year I observed a grade 2 Investigations class over the whole year (about once each week). There was this little guy in there who was a pattern Prodigy. He saw patterns in everything and often rearranged the work to suit his pattern fetish. He was something else.

The teacher was always redirecting him, trying to get him to stay on the Investigation's reservation. He'd get all dejected and go away after having his (excellent) observations shot down.

I'm betting he'd be someone that could thrive in another program and get marginal grades in his classroom.I wanted so much to get my hands on him and get him out of there.......