Posted on July 10, 2016


I didn’t teach math at The New Community School — I taught “Language Fundamentals” to 1-2 students at a time.   However, math was taught with equal emphasis on multisensory learning principles:   concrete to abstract, leaving nothing to chance.

I did, however, work with students in the afternoon “extra help” period, where the more independent students worked on homework in big groups, but others would get 1:1 or 1:2 help.   This included reading and dictation support (you talk, I type)… and help with math.   I got to hear basically *every* student say  they were sure they should have a higher placement in math.

I do have a memory of, perhaps, a workshop (every. single. Wednesday.   is a half day with afternoons dedicated to professional development – it’s a full day for teachers) where we were all told “every percent problem in the world can be solved with this proportion:   is/of = %/100.”   Then we worked through how to figure out the “is” — the part — and the “of” elements.

I’m confident that the concept of proportions was properly explored in all its concrete glory.  I wish I had sneaked a visit or two… I have been wondering whether using common units might be a useful bridge.   1 foot: 2 feet   might be more obviously equivalent to 12 inches:  24 inches…  I have sometimes seen the light go on when I talk about tests with 10 or 20 questions onthem, and how a 9/10    would be equivalent to 90/100… and 5/10 would be equivalent to 10/20…

Here’s my mad hope:   to get to that *this week.*


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