General Curriculum MathAugust 4, 2020 2021-02-08 0:45
General Curriculum Math
General Curriculum Math
This self-paced video program follows the same basic structure of our Zoom program (and our in-person program which ran for over a decade before COVID sent us online). We have made several augmentations to accommodate self-paced, online learning. Detailed, hand-written solutions of real multiple-choice question problems and open response questions are provided to guide students through what they will experience on the exam. Video solutions are provided for all homework problems, the real multiple-choice question problems, and open response questions to ensure students understand the concepts necessary to pass this exam.
Each session/module starts with a video explaining the skills and strategies required for a particular section of the exam. Practice problems are used to illustrate necessary concepts and for practice. Skills-based and real MTEL-content based homework is assigned following each session for reinforcement of that session’s material before starting the next. As noted above, both step-by-step written directions and/or video explanations for each question are provided.
The course covers all the concepts that will appear on the MTEL as well as essential test-taking strategies. Students learn how to avoid the trap of misleading questions and how to tailor their open responses to meet the standards of MTEL graders. Each of the following six sessions is from 1 to 4 hours long. Believe it or not, the math on this exam is not advanced. The questions are difficult because of the way the test-makers package the questions. They are written to confound and confuse; the test taker is often unable to recognize the concepts embedded in the questions and the skills necessary to employ to solve them. This program is designed to teach you the basic math skills required to pass the exam, teaching you how to understand what questions are really asking, and emphasizing the strategies necessary to attack and solve each question.
- Session 1: The instructor reviews essential mathematics vocabulary and explains how vocabulary can be used to zero in on correct answers and avoid common pitfalls. Students also learn basic test-taking strategies that can be applied to basic and more advanced MTEL math topics. Basic operations and concepts of fractions, decimals, and percentages and their elegant relationship are emphasized. Basic skills and strategies are taught and emphasized by talking through and solving problems together with the instructor. Homework is assigned to review concepts learned in class.
- Session 2: The instructor reviews the MTEL-critical concepts of ratios, proportions, place value, and number lines. Concepts are explained and examined by completing problems together. Homework is assigned to review concepts learned in class.
- Session 3: Students move on to studying algebra and functions. The basics of the coordinate plane, graphing lines, and slope are pre-taught. More advanced test-taking skills are introduced through problem-solving as a group. The instructor guides the class through specific questions based on real MTEL content to review prior lessons and deepen understanding of important skills and strategies. More advanced test-taking strategies are explored. Homework is assigned to review concepts learned in class.
- Session 4: The instructor reviews stats, probability, and slope. These “advanced” concepts are perceived as very difficult, but they are very “coachable”; by learning a few important concepts and algorithms, most students perform very well on this part of the exam. Mean/median/mode are reviewed conceptually and then practically through specific practice questions based on real MTEL content. The concepts important for a solid understanding of probability are reviewed and MTEL-based problems are completed. The slope is discussed, first in the context of y=mx+b and then expanded to include other MTEL-related problems. Homework is assigned to review concepts learned in class.
- Session 5: The instructor works with students on the essential concepts of geometry. The class covers degrees in geometric figures, area, surface area, volume, similarity, Pythagorean theorem, etc. Learning occurs by thinking through MTEL-related practice questions are to ensure all participants can demonstrate their understanding of the subject. Homework is assigned to review concepts learned in class.
- Session 6: Students learn the fundamental ingredients of a successful open response. Knowing the correct answer to the OR question does not ensure a strong or even passing grade on the part of the exam. The emphasis in this lesson is how to write the OR. Once students understand how to write them, each OR question (15 ORs based on real MTEL content) will be reviewed so students can identify the elementary student’s errors and conceptual misunderstandings, the correct answer, and an alternative solution.