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A new approach to teaching pre-algebra.

**Rachel Mudge Sarah Delos Santos
**

Foothill College Mathematics Department

**What is Math My Way?
**

• • • • The Creation of MMW Program Overview Preliminary Results Next Steps

Mathematics

The Creation of Math My Way

Mathematics

**What led to MMW?
**

• • • • An increase in basic skills students A decrease in preparation levels Our frustration with success rates Foothill Campus Research

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Ouch!

• Tens of thousands of students are falling through the cracks - we can debate the reasons why, claim that students aren’t as prepared as they used to be, etc - the bottom line, however, is they still come to our doors… • Good news?!? These numbers are very consistent across campuses, which means that these are systemic issues - not the “fault” of individual campuses, departments, or faculty members.

-Rob Johnstone

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**Success Rates & Prior Course Grade
**

90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Intro. Algebra Inter. Algebra College Level Course

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percentage passing

A in prior course B in prior course C in prior course no prior course - 1st attempt

**What were we trying to fix?
**

• • • • Pacing Mastery Success rates Persistence through the sequence.

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**Math My Way Program Overview
**

(program started Fall ‘06)

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**What do the students learn?
**

• • • • • Whole numbers Fractions Decimals Real Numbers Equations and Expressions I • Equations and Expressions II • Ratio and Proportion • Percentages • Basic Geometry

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**What happens in the classroom?
**

• Mini-lectures (10 -20 minutes) • Computer Drills (using ALEKS*) • Textbook Assignments • Review Worksheets • Students work alone and in groups

*Software coupled with a custom McGraw-Hill text Mathematics

**How do the students gain mastery?
**

• All written work must be satisfactorily completed

– 100% complete – 100% correct – Correct use of mathematical notation

• All computer drills must be completed • All module work is completed before taking an exam • 87% is required to pass the module A – D exams • 84% is required to pass the module E – I exams

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**Why do the students do it?
**

• • • • Strict attendance policy Strict classroom rules They don’t feel left behind They see progress (retention rates are 90%+)

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**What makes it a program and not a regular course?
**

• • • • • • 150 students, 5 classrooms, and instructors. Students are reassigned every 2-3 weeks Students don’t restart each quarter Faculty members meet weekly Faculty members share grading Faculty members share outside responsibilities

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Preliminary Results

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**What have we learned about the students?
**

• Most students can master Arithmetic Concepts • Students are content to move slowly • Many students’ lack of self-awareness impedes their progress • Many students need to develop basic life skills • Accuracy is very difficult to learn • Rewards work better than we imagined

Mathematics

**Persistence* through the Math Sequence by Preparation
**

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Introductory Intermediate College Level Algebra Algebra

*Percentage of students completing Pre-Algebra who enroll in subsequent courses.

Traditional PreAlgebra (n=373) Math My Way (n=204) Math My Way ≤ 3 quarters (n=163)

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**Success rates and A/B grades
**

120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Pre-Algebra Intro. Algebra

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Success (Trad.) Success (MMW) Success(MMW≤3) A/B Grades (Trad.) A/B Grades (MMW) A/B Grade (MMW≤3)

**Success rates and A/B grades
**

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Inter. Algebra College Level

Mathematics

Success (Trad.) Success (MMW) Success (MMW≤3) A/B Grades (Trad.) A/B Grades (MMW) A/B Grades (MMW≤3)

Next Steps

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**How has this influenced the Foothill Math Sequence?
**

• Elementary Algebra Modifications (Fall ‘08)

– Curriculum redesign – More contact hours – Online support for students and instructors

• Combined Elementary and Intermediate Course • Statway™ is the next course currently finishing its first year.

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Thank You!

delossantossarah@foothill.edu mudge@carnegiefoundation.org

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