An Evaluation Of A Sixth Grade Intensive Mathematics Program And Impacts On Student Achievement

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An Evaluation Of A Sixth Grade Intensive Mathematics Program And Impacts On Student Achievement is a well-researched Education Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this evaluation is to analyze an Intensive Math program’s quality and design, as well as, address the impact of the program to determine whether the intensive mathematics class, and the use of computer-based support, impacts student achievement.

The program design incorporates a two-prong model of teacher-directed and computer-based intervention. The relationship of the intensive mathematics curriculum implemented with struggling learners and closing the mathematics achievement gap are evaluated through the analyses of student data, the quality of implementation and program usability and teacher and teacher leader perspectives.

Thefindings indicate that small groups and individualized attention for students is vital to student success and the misalignment of content with the core mathematics course should be addressed.

INTRODUCTION

Struggling students in mathematics in Gilbert School District (pseudonym) a large diverse urban district in Florida are often enrolled in two mathematics courses. In middle school, students are enrolled in a traditional mathematics course for each grade level, grade 6, grade 7 and pre-algebra for grade 8.

Each course contains the standards for the grade level as defined by the Mathematics Florida Standards (MAFS). Near the end of each school year, the students take the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) which evaluates their level of proficiency on the grade level specific MAFS.

Students scoring at a level 3 are considered to be satisfactory, proficient at a level 4 or mastery when scoring a level 5. When a student scores a level 1 on the FSA for mathematics, the students performance is identified as inadequate. A student scoring at a level 1 is described, based on the Florida Standards Assessment achievement level chart, as a student “highly likely to need substantial support for the next grade/course” (FLDOE, 2016, p. 3).

In the school district, when a student scores a level 1, they are scheduled to take an additional mathematics class, Intensive Mathematics, alongside their traditional mathematics grade level class.

This Intensive Mathematics course is designed to address the need for the substantial support for the next grade level. Approximately 3,500 students across the school district are impacted by this dual course process for intensive mathematics.

The Intensive Math course is one method of supporting the students in need. The support is in an effort to help close the gap of student’s continually scoring low in mathematics throughout middle school.

The data statewide shows that 26% of students in 2015 scored a level 1 in mathematics on the FSA which indicates these students will need additional support (FLDOE, 2106). Additionally, the results from the 2016 For FSA administration show the student data remained stagnant with 26% of grade 6 students still scoring a level 1 on the FSA (FLDOE, 2016).

In Gilbert School District, the results mirror the state results in that the results remain the same year to year. Gilbert County had 28% of the students score a level 1 on the Spring 2016 and 2017 FSA. Additionally, in Gilbert County School District from school year 2015 to 2016, out of the 3,143 students who were a level 1 on the FSA, 24.4% of them gained enough points to move to a level 2.

Thus, the results from the FSA is one factor to prompt a need for the Intensive Mathematics class specifically designed to support student gaps in their mathematics learning from prior grades.

Intensive Mathematics is a second mathematics class that the students take in addition to their traditional mathematics class and occurs during the school day, thus impacting the other courses students can take. The issue surrounding this is that the students who take the additional Intensive Mathematics class are removed from either physical education or an elective class.

The concern this brings about is that the students are then prevented from having an opportunity to get the much-needed exercise for an adolescent, or an opportunity to explore electives such as art, band, orchestra or technology.

In addition to students losing much needed elective time for adolescent
development, there is concern over the structure of the schedule, the curriculum, and the impact on student achievement over time in mathematics.

The students in grade 6 take the Intensive Mathematics class for the entire school year while students in grade 7 and grade 8 take a semester course of Intensive Mathematics.

The curriculum for the courses is designed to support the grade level standards currently taught in their traditional mathematics class, but also to help fill any mathematics gaps in their learning from prior standards in previous grade levels. The impact on student achievement over time when a student takes Intensive Math is a focus of my evaluation of the Intensive Math program.

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Additional information

Type

Thesis/Dissertation topic

Category:

Education

No of Chapters

5

Reference

Yes

Format

PDF

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