AIS Mathematics Instruction
AIS Mathematics Instruction
New York State does not give curriculum to be covered in an AIS course, therefore AIS programing is left to the discretion of the districts and their teachers. In some districts, an AIS curriculum for math has been developed for teachers. In my own district, this is not the case. Teachers can create their own curriculum and program set up. Also in my district, teachers instruct their own section of AIS, giving teachers access to their own students during this time. Usually our class sizes are no larger than ten students, making it possible for one on one instruction and small group discussion. My district has also established, as their program for AIS, an alternating schedule where those students enrolled in AIS see their math teacher for an additional period every other day. This leads me to the way in which I set up my own AIS program.
Our periods are 40 minutes long. Therefore I have broken up my AIS program into three sections.
- 15 Minutes - Current Class Topic Practice
- 20 Minutes - Individual Topic Practice
- 5 Minutes (Floating) - Teacher/Student Conferencing
Current Class Topic Practice
Students who are enrolled in an AIS program are obviously there because they struggle with math, sometimes in general. Most of my students are those who have struggled with math throughout their education career. Therefore, each AIS period we work on current class topic problems. Meaning, practice problems (as a class) pertaining directly to what the students are currently learning in class. For many students, seeing that material for a second time helps to solidify their understanding. Also, in a smaller setting, some students are more likely to ask additional questions they may not have had time to answer in class or were too embarassed to answer in a large class setting. This 15 minutes spent on current material helps some students to stay afloat, when without the additional practice and instruction, may falter. This practice is kept in the CLASS TOPICS section of their AIS Binder, which will be discussed in the assessment unit.
Individual Topic Practice
For those of us in the math world, we know that math is a subject which builds on itself. The math students learn in elementary school is used in middle school, and the math learned in middle school is used in high school, etc. Our low achieving students often have gaps in this mathematical foundation which has been building over the years. Therefore, during the individual topic practice students will review and practice the basic skills. This can be manipulated to fit the individual student. For some students, they may need to go back as far as multiplication facts, while others may need to work on fractions, integers, or even more complex topics such as order of operations and solving equations. This portion of the student instruction is taxing for the teacher, as they need to keep track of individual progress for each student. However, we know that the more math is praciced the more it sticks with the student in the future. This practice is kept in the INDIVIDUAL TOPICS section of their AIS Binder.
Teacher Student Conferencing
During this time, which occurs at a different point for each student, the student and the teacher can conference about the students individual progress. This can be a time for teacher and student to review former skills, if the student is struggling with a particular topic as an individual or with a topic currently being discussed in class. This allows the students to have a one on one session with the teacher, which is rare in the everyday classroom. Also, this gives the student additional time to ask questions and perhaps be "retaught" a particular topic in which they have difficulty. The needs of each student during this time is different for each student.
Resources for Instruction and Review
There are many resources on the web for teachers to utilize in an AIS program. For many teachers creating individual worksheets for each student in the AIS program can be time consuming and at times a problem. Therefore, utilizing many of the web resources may be the best bet for teachers. Below are some resources not only for worksheets and review material, but for class videos and media that relate to classroom topics.
Worksheets & Review (by topic)
- Home School Math.net
- Khan Academy. org
- Super Teacher Worksheets.com
- Kuta Software.com
- Brain Pop.com
Brain Pop videos are great way to engage AIS Math students. They have classified their videos by topic, and have worksheets to go along with the video. Each video contains the adventures of a boy named Tim and his robot Moby. To find out how Brain Pop works, see the video Brain Pop Presentation - By Tim & Moby
Example Brain Pop Video: Geometry - Angles
Corresponding Activities for Angles Video: Interactive Quiz: Angles Quiz
1) What topics would you deem to be essential basic mathematics skills?
2) List three basic skills every high school freshman should begin the year having mastered.
3) How much technology should be utilized in a remedial math program such as AIS?