CSU California Academic Partnership Program

Culver City Minority Mathematics Achievement Plan

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 enjoyable projects.

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 solving it.

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.

 


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Last Updated: January 10, 2005