Number of students directly affected: 300
Partners: Culver City Middle School; Culver City
High School; California State University, Dominguez Hills;
and Hughes Aircraft, Space & Communication
Director: Eunice Krinsky, Professor, Dept. of Mathematics,
CSU Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA
With the assistance of faculty from California state University,
Dominguez Hills, teachers at Culver City Middle School and
High School are working together to help all students learn
college preparatory mathematics.
"Tracking" - the practice of assigning students to classes
of different levels and content on the basis of achievement
or ability tests - is being progressively eliminated starting
this year with the sixth an ninth grades.
This year the teachers found that teaching "untracked"
classes provided a richer mix of students.
A week-long institute in August brought middle school and
high school teachers together to learn the latest techniques
in cooperative learning and problem solving.
Classwork moved from traditional drill-and-practice to
more dynamic, student-centered, hands-on projects. With
this new approach, instead of reading about mathematical
concepts, the students actually use those concepts to invent
design tournaments, build geometric cites, and create other
This year teachers began the "Problem of the Week" program.
Integrating this take-home project into the regular math
program, teachers gave students a problem on Monday that
they had to solve by Friday. They were required to write
a paper on the problem explaining the strategy they used
in solving it, and their solution. This new program taught
problem solving, strategy development, and writing, as well
as mathematical concepts and skills.
A drop-in tutoring program was instituted this year. Culver
City High School students were trained to help sixth graders
with mathematics. A teacher was on hand to encourage and
assist. The program took place after school for an hour
Monday through Thursday.
In October, Culver City Middle school held a Parent Education
Night to explain the nontraditional program and share examples
of what and how the students were learning mathematics.
the parents expressed appreciation for "Problem of the Week"
because they enjoyed working with their children toward
At the ninth grade level, incorporated into the algebra
program were problem-solving techniques, geometry problems,
and other higher math concepts. The students work in groups
of four with the teacher guiding and assisting.