Bridge the Chasm

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring"               - Martin Luther King, Jr.

THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY OF THE OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS TO BE:
EVERY 2nd Grader Fluently adds and subtracts within 20 and Reads grade 1 text with purpose and understanding.
BRIDGE THE CHASM THE ART OF 'SEEING' MATHEMATICS LIFE SKILLS MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH DONATE
Frick Middle School

MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH

Starting March 17, we are implementing our middle school math program as an after school program at Frick Middle School in East Oakland. The after school program has only 19 students, almost all of whom are eigth graders. We expect to offer this same program this summer to the other 100 eigth graders from Frick. Our near-term goal is to integrate our curriculum into the regular curriculum. Our ultimate goal is to integrate programs like "the Art of 'Seeing'" into the elementary schools, so students come into midde schools ready for sixth grade math.

LET STUDENTS LEARN AT THEIR LEVEL

There is much discussion in education about when to hold students back, intervention, after school programs, and the like to deal with students who have fallen behind grade level. We have designed a program for students in the inner city at risk of dropping out of school at schools with a high percentage of such students.

In our Life Skills program, we have assessed every student sent to us in math. We have found that 70 - 80% of those students can't do fractions and 30 - 40% can't reliably add and subtract. Our math program addresses those issues by focussing on Algebra readiness.

THE CURRICULUM

The curriculum has three components which will be taught in parallel:

Core math operations that support Algebra success:
• FRACTIONS. Operations with fractions are the most critical skills needed to succeed in Algebra. Any child who cannot do fractions cannot do Algebra. Every equation, even if it doesn’t start with a fraction, needs fraction operations to be solved.
• NEGATIVE NUMBERS. The concept of negative numbers replaces the concept of subtraction in Algebra, all higher mathematics, the sciences and business.
• EQUATIONS IN ONE VARIABLE. This is the starting equation type in Algebra and introduces the concepts used throughout Algebra for solving problems.

Accounting concepts and application
We believe teaching Accounting is valuable for the following reasons:
• By its nature it is Algebraic, every transaction has two sides just like an Algebraic equation.
• It teaches a skill for which there are many jobs.
• It lets the student see they can master a very marketable skill, which often pays a good salary.

Fluency in basic math operations and number sense
Most students learned finger counting in elementary school. For middle and high school, it is prone to mistakes and takes too much time. Throughout the above lessons they will learn a method which not only increases accuracy and speed, but is based on and teaches relationships between numbers.

A sophomore we work with was put into Algebra II after flunking Algebra and Geometry. He could not do fractions. Starting with fractions, we taught him continually higher topics. One day he showed what he learned in class:  factoring quadratic equations. Having mastered the preceding material, he could now learn in class.

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