Problem Analysis

Problems Math & More is Trying to Address

Salmon River schools eighth grade math learners are not meeting APY or minimum Idaho State requirements for proficiency in standards-based testing (Idaho State Department of Education, 2011). Small class size skews reporting figures. Teachers are unable to address the needs of all learners including those with special needs and gifted learners.

Symptoms of the Problems

Funding is based on meeting AYP. In 2011, the state minimum increased, but only 65% of eighth grade learners were proficient or advanced. The district hires highly qualified teachers who are "teaching to the test" with poor results.

Root Cause

learners come from different socio-economic households, and have a wide range of ability, creating need for differentiated instruction. Approximately 33% of learners currently have an IEP for learning disabilities, versus 15% who are gifted.

Is WBI a Good Solution?

The current course is taught using Prentice-Hall Mathematics Pre-Algebra text books with the publisher's electronic materials used sporadically to enhance the course. Course is lecture based and assignments are rote drill and can only be completed in the classroom or independently. Because Web-Based Instrucion (WBI) is not constrained to a single class period, learners of all abilities can access homework assignments in the classroom, at home, or in a public "hot spot" at their convenience.

ease of use

Develop online content to offering virtual classroom instruction (Apangea) and concept/skills practice. Use multimedia software to facilitate low level readers and stimulate interest in high performing learners.

Course Description and Objectives

This course is designed to encourage the development of mathematical problem-solving skills individually, within a group, and as a class. This course will also further develop students’ basic math skills in decimals and integers, algebraic equations and inequalities, exponents, factors, and fractions, ratios, rates, and proportions, percentages, and geometry.

The prescriptive nature of the course is to facilitate remediation or enrichment based on the diverse academic needs of the learners. The lessons will be presented in a sequential manner once the teacher opens up the lesson to the individual learners.

Contextual Analysis

Organizational infrastructure

Located in Riggins, Idaho (the lower Idaho pan handle), the Salmon River School District 243 has a K-12 enrollment of approximately 125 learners, a full time principal and 16 teachers. The district is committed to improving student learning and achievement at all levels and has put into place three 12-unit laptop carts to facilitate online coursework over the wireless LAN (WLAN).
Online supplementary materials can be accessed at Apangea.com. At this time, there is limited server storage, and even less technical support for this course, but the district's administration has approved designing this supplemental course.
The course design committee is made up of one HQ math teacher, one aide who is hired to proctor online courses, and the high school principal. The math teacher will take on all aspects of the course design and implementation.
Once developed the WBI will be the joint property of the designer and the school district.

Allocation and competencies of personnel

All math teachers are highly qualified (HQ) and endorsed in this subject area. Teachers regularly participate in professional development as outlined in the ISTE NETS-t standards, and one staff member has training in instructional design. The current math teacher is the districts IT coordinator, and her recommendations are generally favorably received by administration.

Learner location & technology

Learners are located within the school district, with geographic location spans of up to 45 miles in our rural community. learners have access to high speed Internet bandwidth at school and at some public hotspots. Most learners are using laptops with Vista professional O/S.

Learner Analysis

General Characteristics

  • The learners are eighth grade girls and boys between age 14-16, approximately 2/3 of whom are on free/reduced lunch program. Most come from homes with no internet access and have limited computer skills.
  • Most learners have some workplace experience using computers but do not have a large knowledge of how to use Excel. Their reading level should be at a post-secondary level along with their education level.

Motivations

Learners will be motivated by having the abilility to work online at an independent pace. learners will be self directed to ensure WBI is suitable for the learner and school's needs.

Prior knowledge

  • Learners will have prior knowledge of how to work with a word processor and spreadsheet, as well as basic folder navigation and Internet use.

Communication Skills

Learners are expected to have working knowledge of word processing and spread sheet, web browser and navigation, folder and file management, and email.

Technical Skills

Learners are expected to have working knowledge of word processing and spread sheet, web browser and navigation, folder and file management, and email.

Abilities and disabilities

The Math & More WBI will be designed with assistive technology such as subtitling,screen readers, voice commands in mind to facilitate learning for all students.

 

What You Need to be Successful

Computer - PC or Mac with multimedia capabilitieis

Software - Adobe Web and Graphics Suite, Presentation, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Open Source

Time Management - Deadlines approach quickly - don't wait until the last minute to get the job done!

 

Problem of the Week

In addition to assignments, quizzes and tests, students will develop math skills through the weekly enrichment activity, or Problem of the Week (POW). This problem will be due the last day of each week (normally Thursday). Each POW has four parts - the main problem and three exercises which further develop the strategy introduced in the main problem.

Problem Analysis Links

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About Your Instructor

Mrs. Brimacomb

Stefanie Brimacomb is a multi-endorsed math, business, and computer teacher in a remote Idaho town where online learning is essential to provide students a competitive education.

Contact Information

e-mail:brimstef@citlink.net
cell/text:(208)413-3783

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Copyright ©2011 Brimacomb