Every year, as students and teachers approach the end of the school year, it is easy to get wrapped up in the stress and commotion of final exams, graduation, and the upcoming summer. Sometimes we forget to pause to celebrate all that has been accomplished in our classrooms. I want to take this opportunity to celebrate a couple of the many accomplishments of the math department during the 2015 – 2016 school year.
A major focus in Timothy Moore’s classroom has been on providing students with the confidence and skills they need to try challenging problems on their own. Timothy has worked with students on asking mathematical questions, critiquing their own work and the work of others, and seeing failure as a part of learning. In terms of the Mathematical Practices in Common Core, Timothy worked on MP 1 (I can persevere in problem solving). Timothy’s class demonstrated an almost 35% increase in the percentage of students who believe they always or often use MP 1 in math class over the course of three months, which is data worth celebrating. When asked about how working on MPs (Mathematical Practices) helps him in class, a student stated, “It can help you break down the problem so that you understand what to do.” George Chahrouri has been hard at work preparing his students to take the AB Calculus exam. This will be the first time in many years that Verb students will take an AP Calculus exam. Students have worked on practice tests in class and have even come to school on Saturday mornings to improve their proficiency. During the third quarter, George’s AP Calculus students demonstrated a 300% increase in the number of students achieving high proficiency. We can’t wait to see the results of all of the students’ and George’s hard work after the AP exam.
It has been a wonderful year of mathematical problem solving and growth for our students. Now we are just pushing through for one more month to put them in the best possible place for finals!