From an Overwhelmed Teacher to Creating a Math Toolbox
Years ago, I wan an overwhelmed SPED inclusion teacher in a high needs bilingual High School in an urban school district. Even though most of my students barely speak English and haven’t mastered long division, I have to help them with Algebra, Geometry and Statistics plus other subjects like Chemistry, French and World History in Spanish.
I was so overwhelmed, I was not able to cope up
How can I help the students when I don’t have time to review HS Math content? I barely know the French words and do not speak Spanish. Some of them know more than me just because they are present the whole period. Meanwhile, I have to jump from one class to another to fulfill IEP hours. How can I help them bridge learning gaps when I do not have time to study all the subjects. Plus, I have to do a ton of paperwork that only Special Ed teachers and parents will understand.
Remembering a Ready-Made Tool
Then I remembered something. There is a tool out there called the Core Content Connectors or CCC. You see, a bunch of educational experts created ready-made materials for severely disabled students. This came when everyone wanted (make that demanded) that all students should study grade level lessons no matter their level. That means even though a HS student barely know basic multiplication, he should be taught Algebra. Of course this is difficult especially for the severely disabled. So the experts painstakingly identified the essential grade level content in the Common Core and the Learning Progression Framework. In other words, they did the intervention program for teachers. They even added lesson plans and assessments.
The problem was, only a few people know about this excellent resource. I remembered because I was a teacher-leader in alternative assessment.
AHA Moment: I can use it for ALL students!
Then I had an AHA moment. Why not use it for ALL students with learning gaps? So I did. I used the Connectors for Equations for my next lesson. It worked! I also used them for my lesson plans and objectives and I got high teaching evaluation scores. From then on, I used it for ALL my students.
Why It Matters Now
Today, a lot of teachers are overwhelmed with pandemic-related issues. They deal with behavior and emotional problems, not to mention health issues. Intervention tools like the CCC will give them a breather. Yet few know about it. And even fewer know how to use it. See the Math CCC Toolbox to know how to use this ready-made shortcut.
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