Wednesday, June 11, 2014

APP and Math in Focus

New thread to talk about the vote authoritizing a new elementary math textbook, Math in Focus, and what it means for APP.


Anonymous said...

When my child entered APP in 1st grade, they compacted the 1st and 2nd grade curriculum and added in teacher created content. It was a good transition to APP and my child enjoyed math (and continues to do well in math).

I hope the transition to MIF is done thoughtfully, with some beginning of the year coverage of missed topics, and have great reservations about APP becoming more of a 2-year grade skip on day one of 1st grade. If this is being done without curriculum oversight from AL, it is even more concerning. When we chose APP, it was stressed that they would still consider developmental appropriateness.

If I had an entering elementary APP student I would do some math over the summer to ease the transition. It would not need to be intense, and there would still be plenty of time to play and enjoy summer. It would be a lot less stressful than starting school and then realizing you need to fill in the gaps on top of just doing school.

You know your child best and what they can handle. Our child liked doing workbooks at that age, so it was more child led than parent forced. It's been a while, but I think we used the Miquon Math Materials series of books (not Singapore). They had a coloring book look with large print that my child liked (good for those still writing in bigger size). Each book had a different name, such as "Orange Book" or "Red Book."

Anonymous said...

On the Open Thread, Ben posted a link to the MiF scope and sequence by grade. Lynn also mentioned that it would be good for a child's current teacher to help prepare them for the transition to APP, rather than having the kid get a summer packet.

There are lots of new kids coming to Lincoln next year at second and third grade. Does anyone know, from speaking with current teachers/Rina, is it advised that an incoming third grader have mastered the MiF scope and sequence through the end of 4th grade so they are ready to start at fifth grade? My child has received no accelerated math instruction; in fact, this is a large part of why we are leaving our school. Our current teacher and school have no intention of doing anything to prepare our child for a transition to fifth grade math.

I can introduce this material over the summer but I don't know if we can get to true mastery without really going the disciplined workbook route, which some say isn't necessary. What might be helpful, for new third graders for example, in lieu of a packet, would be a list of concepts that current Lincoln students have mastered at second grade.

New family

Anonymous said...

Math question! If I want my middle schooler to take an on line geometry course that is not accredited by OSPI, is there a way to get her credit via an EOC exam or something? Does it even matter, as she's going to be in 7th grade...that is, are a certain number of credits required to get into HS? By the time she's in HS, she should be through Algebra 2. Her middle school is not offering these courses after offering Algebra this year, so she's kind of stranded. They have some approved courses, but AOPS truly rocks and I'd like her to take that one.

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

New family, maybe take a look at the concepts in the 3rd and 4th grade CC standards listed here?

This year, my APP second grader reviewed multi-digit addition & subtraction, learned multi-digit multiplication & long division, spent some time on fractions (equivalencies, adding & subtracting), and studied angles and some other simple geometry. Let's see...there was also a measurement unit. Probably some other units as well.

I have no idea what's expected for 3rd grade, but that's what I remember from this year. I'm sure the new kids catch up quickly.

My kid is just getting into Khan Academy videos -- that could be a fun way to do a little catch up over the summer.

Anonymous said...

Yes, students who do math via homeschooling or independent study can still take the EOC at their middle school. Just be sure to let them know in advance, and determine who is your key contact so you can stay on top of it.

Depending on the student's grade level, however, it might not be anything worth worrying about. It looks like the EOC graduation requirement only applies through the class of 2018. Kids still in middle school this fall will apparently have different graduation requirements and assessments when the time comes.

Then again, who knows what SPS will do... :)


JB said...

HIMS mom,

Thanks for the response. If she takes and passes the EOC, does she get credit for the course? That is, does it go on her transcript?

Thanks once more.

Anonymous said...

You don't need credit for classes taken in middle school, just assurances of proper placement the following year. I don't think high school credit for middle school classes can be requested until 8th grade (7th grade classes wouldn't count), so it really is about placement.

For private school applications (if that's why you'd want a transcript?) they will most likely accept a homemade transcript for the homeschool coursework.

She should take the Geometry EOC, even if it's no longer required as a graduation requirement (I think students need only pass either one or the other, not both), because homeschooling requires a standardized test to show progress. The EOC could serve this purpose and should be sufficient proof for Algebra 2 placement. It also helps with the homeschool transcript.

Even if you go with AOPS, you should be familiar with the CCSS for geometry to make sure you cover any additional topics from CCSS that may not be part of the AOPS curriculum.

As always, confirm with your school...though they may be no wiser than anyone here.

Lynn said...

Here's the Board Policy that covers high school credits for work done in middle school.

JB said...

Thank you very much. Great info.

Anonymous said...

The Board Policy does not seem to place a limit on the grade in which the course is taken, so maybe you could get credit. You should think carefully about requesting high school credit for a middle school course as the credit would count toward a high school GPA, but not be weighted as an honors course. You can't decide to remove the credit later. It may also limit course selection in high school if you reach a maximum credit level and then can't be placed in a desired course. If the intent is to graduate early, then that's a different discussion.

Anonymous said...

Ooh. Your kid can be considered a junior and eligible for running start by scoring a 100 on the Compass test! They don't have to be in their 3rd year of high school. Thanks Lynn.
- running start rocks

Anonymous said...

It appears to be a fait accomplis that Fairmont Park is going to have enVision -- because that's what Julie B. believes in. She is an excellent educator and her expert opinion, based on 2 years of direct experiences matters.

But... FP should be treated like every other school, yes? And, to use enVision, they should follow the Waiver policy, right? And, the waiver policy has 5 criteria. It is important that the community of West Seattle gets the chance to weigh in. They have 2 schools using Singapore, and so many learners who might be transferring to FP may also have direct experience with the Singapore based MIF that all elementaries, except those with waivers or officially piloting, will have now.

While FP is a start-up community, time for authentic community engagement is nonetheless necessary before a waiver is put forth from FP. I may be behind the times. Such community meetings may have already occurred, and the waiver already filed, and a mechanism to pay for enVision already funded. But, I am curious, as it is a unique case (start up school by a principal who is an experienced and pro-enVision educator in a region that has numerous pro-Singapore existing users for whom this school will be their regional APP pathway) . Great, thoughtful people are involved and I am confident the details will be handled well, but I am curious.

Hoping to learn more.

Anonymous said...

A letter from Julie came out on the google group list yesterday - Fairmount Park will be using Math in Focus.

Anonymous said...

Ooh. 100 level class, not score of 100 compadd. Achieveable.

Anonymous said...

Re Math Question: My son and another classmate would like to take Geometry over the summer in order to take Algebra 2 for the fall in 8th grade. Principal Montgomery at the new JAMS says that there will be Algebra 2 at JAMS, but we need to take an OSPI-approved course.
Two online companies we are looking at are K12/Keystone or Accelerate-Ed. Does anybody have experience with either of these?
Mom of 2

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to take an OSPI approved course? If you are not seeking high school credit, the school cannot dictate the curriculum you use when homeschooling. I suggest talking with someone at the Cascade Parent Partnership (formerly homeschool resource center) before signing up for an online course. Some parents have done the Stanford EPGY courses or summer classes through the UW.

Other parents have been down this road before...

Anonymous said...

Ms. Montgomery said that we would need to take an OSPI-approved Geometry course in order to enroll in Algebra 2 next year.

Mom of 2

Anonymous said...

HIMS says the same thing to families who homeschool. I think this is a thing they say to dissuade families from homeschooling. The district has even compiled a list of OPSI approved sources for taking these classes.

It is not true, but it sure would be hard to fight the district on this, especially if you have a short time limit like the poster does. This district also says they don't allow dual enrollment, which costs them funding, and I don't believe they are allowed to do that either.


Anonymous said...

The principal may not be the final word and may be making a request that is not consistent with any written Board or State policy. The approved online courses may or may not meet the needs of an advanced learner, so it would be in your child's best interest to confirm with CPP, who may be more familiar with homeschooling issues, before taking Ms. Montgomery's requirement as final.

As the class would be taken over the summer, as opposed to 180 days over the school year (when you'd also have a Declaration of Intent on file), I'm not sure what policies apply. Maybe someone who's gone the summer acceleration route can chime in.

ben said...

I would generally avoid They don't have a very good reputation.

Anonymous said...

You might have already missed the deadlines for summer math classes at the UW.

Summer Stretch offerings

Anonymous said...

Has anyone here had experience with Art of Problem Solving as an online math course provider? We love their Alcumus, and their videos, but we've never taken a course.

They are certified by a California agency but not by the regional agency that OSPI uses. Not that they were turned down, but apparently course usually apply for certification to their regional agencies. As my kid will be in MS, I'm not worried about her getting credits, but will have her take the ECO for placement purposed. She'll be in 7th next year.

Any problems with this strategy?



Anonymous said...

@new family

you asked about joining lincoln in either 2nd or 3rd grade.

Your child is qualified, so, has the cognition to catch up quickly.

Entering into 2nd, being ready for 4th grade math is helpful. Fact fluency is essential, and, having the multiplication table down would be good.

Entering into third, your child should be ready for 5th grade. So, they should have multidigit multiplication down, long division too, factoring, least/most common denominator, and, basic fractions and geometry. If they don't, I'm sure they will catch up quickly. If catching up quickly doesn't sound like a good fit, then think about it.

Great kids, great teachers, very fast pace (although definitely not fast enough). The building will be jammed, and, no playground, and, construction... but focus on meeting your student's learning needs with the best fit.

Anonymous said...

asdf - If you are part-time homeschooling, the curriculum choice is up to you, so find something that works for both you and your child. I find myself looking at reviews on homeschool forums...

Art of Problem Solving online classes

Anonymous said...

The Hoagie's Gifted site is aimed at GT families and they have a lot of info there. We found AOPS through them.

We ended up doing our own thing and not an online class, but we did use the AOPS videos and alcumus.

We homeschooled Alg 1 and we found it helpful to start with the AOPS pre Alg book to fill in holes. My kid did miss some needed skills for Alg 1 because of the incompleteness of CMP. Surprise, I know.


Anonymous said...

Re homeschool and fighting w/admin (if you want your own course and don't care about the progression):

I've been down this road when, due to a bad teacher issue, I decided to part-time homeschool an elem. student. (PRIOR TO APP by the way).

WA state homeschool law is very parent-centric - we're lucky here. However, most school principals are not familiar AT ALL with the law, and used to being the final word in their kingdom, so they say what they want and sort of believe it's true b/c they're never challenged on it.

Get your legal cite ducks in a row - the WA state homeschool org has helpful links to the law:

The district has no real policy, and they can't contradict the law anyway. Specifically check the interpretation of RCW 28A.200.020 at the bottom of that page I linked. That's all you need to drop in to your argument.

Approach the principal via short email - in writing - with a reference to the RCW provision.

If they still give you flak, go directly to legal downtown (it's what I had to do to part-time homeschool several years ago b/c the principal said "you might think you can do that, but not in my school" ... au contraire, I could, as she found out.)

How I handled it: I called legal on the phone, explained the situation, and suggested they educate the principal about the homeschool law b/c their principal clearly needed training on the law. I didn't threaten - I was very sweet - "a principal needs to understand the law much better, and I"m sure you could help w/that" ... The next day the principal sent an email approving my plan.

Frankly, they may maintain that only "approved" courses can lead the child back into the onsite math program - I don't think the generous RCW upholds that view - but I'm certain you can choose what curriculum you want. Less certain they have to let you back into Alg 2 in school later, but if a kid transfers in from another district w/different curriculum, what do they do? They don't make that kid repeat do they? So I don't think they can a homeschool repeat.

Don't let them beat you up.

The law is in your favor, and they're just operating without understanding. Educate them.

Signed: Been there.

Anonymous said...

The law is in your favor in that homeschooled students need to be treated the same as private-schooled students when making placements. For example, if they suggest passing the Algebra EOC is a requirement for placement in Geometry, then that would need to be a requirement for students coming from private school as well - but they wouldn't have taken the EOC, so...that can't be a stipulation for placement. They also don't require that of SPS students, do they? If a student has passed the pre-requisite course, they get placed in the next course. The EOC is not meant as a placement test. Of course you should have your child take the EOC, and she is very likely to pass it, but scheduling of classes happens before scores are even known.

What they can do is place a student in the requested class and then reassign them if they do not perform well. If your child is already doing well in math, does well with the materials you select, and you make sure standards are covered, your child should do fine in the next class.

The language for "approved" online courses is taken from the requirements around getting high school credit for classes, which doesn't apply if you are taking the class only for placement.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for the info on online classes and especially the district/state requirements (or lack of). Ms. Montgomery has been very helpful so far so I don't think we will have a problem, but it's helpful just in case.

Mom of 2