Accelerated Learning Interventions for High School Students Significantly Below Grade Level in Mathematics

Monday, May 21, 2012
1:00 pm PST / 3:00 pm EST

This recorded webinar and materials are targeted toward school leaders, teachers from all content areas, guidance counselors and district curriculum and instruction leaders.

With significant numbers of students performing below grade level in mathematics, it is imperative for high schools to employ effective approaches to adolescent math instruction and strategies that provide in-class and intensive supplemental numeracy interventions to get struggling students performing at proficient levels, especially in Algebra 1. Often called the “gatekeeper” math class, Algebra 1 presents a serious obstacle to students who have not been successful in this course: students who fail or do not perform well in this course have limited post-secondary and career options. Research indicates that students struggle for a variety of reasons, including lack of fluency with basic math, limited understanding of fractions and number relationships, and the abstract nature of algebra.

Presenters include:

  • Kathi Cook, Project Director at the Dana Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
  • Deborah Bower, Teacher at Ballard High School, Seattle Public Schools.

Participants walk away from this session being able to:

  • Understand the particular challenges of high school students who are below grade level in mathematics, how these challenges are different from those facing younger students, and why it is important to design and use approaches tailored to the developmental needs of high school students and to the demands of Algebra 1.
  • Recognize and evaluate the variety of interventions in mathematics and in Algebra 1 available to schools for supporting these students and the pros and cons they represent depending upon the context of the school and the needs of the students.
  • Plan a district- and school-wide approach, including a professional development plan for high school mathematics and special education teachers and course options and interventions for students that focus on getting struggling students to perform at proficient levels in Algebra 1 and beyond.
  • Use formative assessment data to keep track of students’ progress and intervene with proven instructional strategies and interventions for students as needed.

Guiding Resources Include:     

  • Effective Programs in Middle and High School Mathematics: A Best Evidence Synthesis by Slavin, Lake, & Groff
  • The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion from High School Through College by Adelman
  • Algebra and Algebraic Thinking in School Mathematics, 70th Yearbook by Greenes & Rubenstein
  • Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making in Algebra by Graham, Cuoco, & Zimmermann

Webinar recording