A really good teacher knows that algebra students improve with teacher connection and group learning.
Freshman students at West Side Leadership Academy took an end of course test in algebra, and found that 56% received a passing grade, up from 4% the previous year. It is all due to teachers and the school community working together to help the students.
Freshman algebra teachers Stanley Keller and Terry Wise have worked with the students continuously, using every strategy they can. And even though the school receives a failing grade from the Indiana Department of Education, the teachers and principal are encouraged. Gary Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt has said when she compares the data from 2013 to 2014, the district has gone from 19 to 50 percent of the schools passing.
The progress that encourages the team is seen in making the school a community, dedicated to teaching students strategies for problem solving. The teachers have utilized online programs, computers, and camaraderie among the students, in order to keep the freshmen engaged and give them successful experiences.
Keller greets students in his class with a smile and a high five. But he is all business when it comes to the problems at hand. He has already written them on the board. Students have three different ways to find the answers. They go to the computer room to work on the problems as a group. Keller tells the students that the Ebook will ask them to use one of the methods he has given them to solve the problem. The Carnegie program is an important piece of their grade.
Students work together at the board, helping each other solve (n + 7)(n-5). Keller watches their strategies and how they help each other, so that he can assist later in guiding them to the right strategy if needed and encourage teamwork.