George Lucas Educational Foundation

Looking for "hooks" and activities for at-risk 9th graders in Math

Looking for "hooks" and activities for at-risk 9th graders in Math

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I am a first year teacher (retired after 22 years in the US Air Force). I want to engage my students to help them peak their interest and reach mastery levels in Algebra. I am fighting all the issues of generational poverty in my classroom daily. Any ideas would be helpful. So much out there, but what really works in the classroom?

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Miss Jessica's picture

I know that this site is not designated for only WV Teachers! I am sure that there are a lot of other links to projects like these, but I have used a few of them myself and have seen some good results. I was a long-term sub for a year in math and needed help getting things rolling when I took over!!! I love the results of project based learning and hope to seee many teachers using it in the future!!! Take a min & see what you think, I was in an area with poverty & students that didn't get a lot of math education is important at home. These projects seem to get students to understand some of the uses for math in the "real world"!

Good luck!

Let me know if you find something usefull!

nancy feldman's picture

I love many of these on this site, but I teach Spec Ed teens w/ a variety of social/learning issues, and these are too complicated- any simpler to get them interested?

Ryan Reed's picture
Ryan Reed
7/8th Grade Social Studies Teacher in Maine

Do you have access to computers or at least an LCD projector? There are Youtube videos for learning how to do every type of math problem out there, and you could show them as an introduction and then have the students make their own how-to video as an assessment.

Wendy Wegner's picture
Wendy Wegner
Education Writer, Editor, Blogger

Peer tutoring is often helpful - try matching students that are having trouble in a subject with students who excel. And I agree - anytime you can make the equations visual that is going to help visual learners. Games are an excellent way to engage competitive students, but they are fun as well (and promote team work). Experiment with a few out of the box ideas and see what students start to respond to. Some will fail, but even if one works, the time was well spent.

gabrielle marquette's picture
gabrielle marquette
High school special educator and adjunct instructor

While you may have to structure and scaffold lessons more for this type of student, don't assume they can't do it. Sometimes it is just what gets them engaged. Also, when they succeed in something more complicated, they can be more motivated. These more difficult tasks can also have a duel purpose if you can incorporate a social emotional goal like perseverance. I subbed for 9th grade math this year in my building because they couldn't find a long term sub and it was rough. I regularly work on math with many students who are on IEP's for various reasons in my regular job. One thing that I have noticed is that they do bring strengths to various aspects of instruction and when I have been able to harness that by getting to know them...they can accomplish a lot more than I thought. I love the NRICH site for math stuff.


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