Whitney Young Teacher wonders if IMP
is math for dummies. Students want real algebra and fear they
will get stomped by traditional algebra students.
http://www.math.uic.edu/~cpmp/archive9701.html
The Interactive Mathematics Program Listserver
January 1997 Archived Messages
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Date: Thu, 2 Jan 1997 08:43:01 -0800
Reply-To: Interactive Mathematics Program
Sender: Interactive Mathematics Program
From: "Janice A. Bussey"
Subject: Re: My next question
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I wanted to give a quick response to some of Carol Berland's comments.
I've noticed that others have given very lengthy responses but I shall be
brief.
I have found (and I visit lots of IMP schools) that no matter how long you
and your school have been teaching IMP, it still seems like a "new" program
to your students and they will always have these emotional questions. I
believe that it's part of an IMP teacher's responsibility to encourage
these questions and discussion. An IMP teacher has to believe in the
program and its philosophy well enough to defend it and support it when
students and parents feel insecure. Yes, in IMP 1 when they are starting
out, they are concerned when things in the classroom seem so different and
the work they are being asked to do seems different. In IMP 2 when
students are faced with "Solve It", they need a lot of encouragement again
because this unit presents symbolic algebra differently from what their
friends in Algebra 1 got (and they are concerned because they are getting
it a year later). I find students in IMP 3 and IMP 4 especially concerned
about IMP and their math experience because they are headed towards SATs
and college and competing with others from more traditional math programs.
Seniors get especially agitated when they anticipate going into a
university with who-knows-what kind of program. They aren't sure they will
survive. These are all valid concerns and the teacher needs to keep
channels of communication open with her students so that the students are
aware of their own mathematical power and capabilities. To avoid these
discussions in the classroom is to do a diservice to these students.
There. I guess it wasn't as brief as I thought it was going to be.
Janice Bussey
>I'm still cleaning up loose ends on the Null Hyp. and Need for Stats. questions
>. Thank you for your responses. Surely you must have questions of your own, o
>r have you all got it figured out? Anyway, I always have lots of urgent questi
>ons. My next:
> Teaching Imp 1 is a year long hassle reassuring kids that yes you are lear
>ning math, yes this is algebra, Euclidian geometry,college entrance math, advan
>ced calculus, etc. - you must know what I mean. No this is not math for dummi
>es, remedial math, non-college track math, etc. Now I see a great change in my
> sophomores in their maturity and acceptance. Some are still bothered by
> the same conflicts, but they are not at all vocal to me while last year someti
>mes they even get insulting (I'm so sensitive). All kidding aside, in our 3 ye
>ar use of Imp, we usually experience one full class of freshman dropping imp
>at the year's end while very few year 2 or 3 drop and now we have a strong dema
>nd for imp 4 (which is why I was requesting stats on imp success).
> Also, being among the very top high schools in the Chicago area, drawing on
>ly from the city, but from the city's top test scorers, our incoming students a
>re well-prepared and looking for a challenge. Not that Imp doesn't give them a
>nd me a challenge - but they come in with these fantasies of hard algebraic
>equations to solve, hard math problems to quickly and mysteriously put down the
> answers for, hard multiple choice tests to come out on top of, etc.
> So my question to you veterans and authors of imp is: Do you experience th
>is emotional struggle with new imp students verses older ones? I do believe it
> is emotional, because many of them come in to our prize high school with wishe
>s and dreams for themselves which imp kind of busts up a bit. It's tough. Do
>we just struggle all year with it trying to keep it just a dull rumble? Or do
>things get better as people's perceptions of what math education should be
>changes? Is the Imp curricullum changing to meet the better preparation in mid
>dle schools?
> Background on my school Whitney Young. Something like 60-50% African-Amer
>ican, 20-25% Hispanic, 15% Caucasian, 15-% Asian or something like that. Only
>25-30% poverty level - the main factor really. Kids travel 1 hour or more by p
>ublic transportation to get here in all kinds of Chicago weather and we have
>excellant attendance. Most kids do homework and most do POW's. Of course what
> is "most"? But does it matter that our kids have these conflicts about whethe
>r Imp is real math or dummy math? I think all teachers even in the so-called u
>nderachieving high schools have this same conflict.
> This year (only my second try at Imp 1), I've adjusted the challenge level
>a bit by fiddling with the pow's or pace, but I don't want to lose vision of ho
>w I should be in the classroom and what the curricullum could be. I'm kind of
>flying blind except for whatever chance comments Margaret Small gives me.
> I'd appreciate any thoughts you have on this. Thanks.
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Date: Sat, 4 Jan 1997 22:40:25 -0500
Reply-To: Interactive Mathematics Program
Sender: Interactive Mathematics Program
From: ChichaL@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Imp 4 final
Comments: To: djohnson1@telis.org
Thanks Dan, I'll hold off till the inservice.
Chicha
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Date: Sun, 5 Jan 1997 20:30:27 -0800
Reply-To: Interactive Mathematics Program
Sender: Interactive Mathematics Program
From: Dan Fendel
Subject: Los Angeles Times article (fwd)
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There was a big article on math ed in today's LA Times (Sunday). I just
got back from vacation and haven't read it, but was asked to forward it,
so here it is. It's poorly formatted, and I may have it later as an
attachment.
As far as I know, the statement about IMP in Japan is false, but we heard
that mentioned initially several weeks ago, so we're trying to track down
the source.
I'm asked to relay the infor that the actual press clip ( with photo)
will be sent to all the regions soon.
Dan Fendel
Director Professor of Mathematics
Interactive Mathematics Program San Francisco State University
Los Angeles Times