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A Common-Sense Approach to Common Core Math, Part IV: Making Connections, One Concept at a Time

During a course in math teaching methods I took in ed school, I watched a video of a teacher leading his students to do a variety of tasks, ostensibly to teach them about factoring trinomials, such as x2 + 5x + 6. But rather than teaching factoring techniques, as is done in traditionally taught classes, the session was a mélange of algebra tiles (plastic squares and rectangles used to represent algebraic expressions) and a graph of the equation being factored (a parabola). The teacher “...

The Numbers Say Philadelphia Is In No Danger of 40-Student Classes

Philadelphia school and city officials say the district will be forced to lay off teachers and possibly grow class sizes as large as 40 when students return in September, unless the state and city gives it more money. But the district’s numbers don’t seem to add up. With 8,390 teachers and 142,000 students, the Philadelphia School District has a teacher-to-student ratio that is almost identical to the national average. But the district’s superintendent has suggested class sizes...

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