The News Site of Alliance High School.

The SPUD

The News Site of Alliance High School.

The SPUD

The News Site of Alliance High School.

The SPUD

New math curriculum

New+math+curriculum

Every eight years or so the math teachers at Alliance High School vote for a new math program. This year they had the choice between MATHia and another math curriculum. MATHia ended up being chosen by the teachers and implemented this school year. MATHia is an adaptive 1-1 math learning program that mirrors an actual human teacher/coach with more complexity and precision than any other program. It’s AI-driven, with coaching support that ensures every student can stay on and understand the targeted path. So that they can be ready for end-of-course assessments. MATHia is supported by Carnegie Learning. Carnegie learning is first and foremost all about reading and math so most of its solutions like MATHia, revolve around math problem-solving. The current Algerba l teacher Mrs. Jelinek when asked if she liked the new MATHia program she stated, “I think there are some good and bad things about the program. The first month I was really frustrated and cried at least once a week, but now it’s better. I cried because I was very frustrated because the way the book taught it didn’t work with my brain. I felt like I was letting the kids down because I couldn’t get the lessons down the way they needed to be. The Carnegie learning book is very wordy there’s not very many practice problems in the book. Carnegie learning is more of a student-led learning, and I am used to direct instruction. I definitely feel more confident in teaching the lessons right now.” 

 

Another challenge our school is facing with the math curriculum is with the previous Algebra ll teacher Mr. Seebohm leaving last year. Unfortunately, the high school never hired a new teacher. In place of a math teacher the science teachers Mrs. Ackerman, Mr. Behrends, and the personal finance teacher Mrs. Stark have had to step in and teach the class. This affects them in a multitude of ways, and for one example they won’t be able to teach some of the classes they want to with that math class taking up a slot in their schedule. This also affects the students. These teachers haven’t taught math in a long time, apart from learning it when they were in school. On this matter, the Biology teacher, Mrs. Ackerman states “It takes a lot of time to teach math this year. It’s been a while since I’ve done math of this caliber, but with a little effort, it’s all coming back to me.  I work through each problem of each lesson so I’m prepared in class.  This does take a lot of planning time, but I like the challenge.” As well when asked if she would teach it again her response was “Yes and no.  I like math and I like that it follows certain patterns and rules.  If I taught it again, I would be able to use my experience this year to make class even better. But, if they don’t need me, I’ll stick to Science.” To go along with what Mrs. Ackerman said Mr. Behrends states that “Teaching Algebra 2 has certainly been a challenge.  While I use algebra in my physics every day, I haven’t had to explain some of the finer details to young learners.  The students have been patient with me as I’ve figured out the new curriculum.  It certainly shuffled my schedule for the year.  It’s not the first time I’ve taught because of a staffing shortage, but it’s certainly been one of the more difficult to organize and communicate clearly.” As well when asked if he’d teach it again his response was “​​If there was the need to do so, I could.  My experience with teaching is that the first year is always the most difficult.  I would have a better idea of what works and what does not and I would have a structure for it in place.  It wouldn’t be my first choice, of course, but it would be easier the second time.” For an ending statement, when asked about how he feels having science teachers teaching Algebra ll our principal Mr. Stein says “I don’t think it is what we anticipated. I am really proud of these teachers for stepping up to teach this class.”

 

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Then, I interviewed a student who chose to remain anonymous, they stated “I think it’s really hard to learn when we have a science teacher who never taught math before teaching us Algebra ll.” To go along with this report Taryn Erickson a sophomore taking both geometry and Algebra ll states “ It’s difficult to try and pick up on what Mr. Behrends is teaching as neither he nor the students have ever done this before. This math curriculum moves fast, and that makes it hard to pick up on everything we learn in such a short amount of time”. That is how what was talked about affects the environment of Alliance High School.

 

Despite all of the hiccups we’ve had this year; whether it was a staffing issue or kids having trouble with Algebra ll. The teachers and kids are starting to get the hang of this hard curriculum change. I hope everyone starts to figure the change out, and I hope they like it.

 

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About the Contributor
Kaden Gasseling
Kaden Gasseling, Staff Writer
      Kaden lives and grew up in Alliance, Nebraska. He was born on February 23, 2008, making him 15 years old. His hobbies include reading and playing in band. In band, he plays clarinet and bass clarinet. The difference between bass clarinet and clarinet is the sound and looks, clarinets are thin and small, while bass clarinets are bulky and a lot bigger. Kaden plays Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and Genshin Impact, he likes playing them because they’re calming to him. He wants to go to college to be either a nurse, a music teacher or to play in an orchestra. He hasn’t really thought about where he would like to go for those specific jobs. He likes helping people, and he is very big on band, so those were most suitable for him. Kaden is still deciding on what college he wants to go to. He has two dogs and three cats, he also loves animals. His favorite musician is Lana Del Ray because of the genre of her music.    Diving into a more personal light of him, he joined band and football in sixth grade. He enjoyed band and played baritone. Now, in high-school, he plays clarinet, flute, and bass clarinet. He would compete in multiple competitions for band, which include Scottsbluff and District Music Contest where he played a solo on clarinet. During the end of middle school, going into his highschool year, he would take summer band lessons for the Scottsbluff Parade. Going into freshman year, he would take band, he would audition for jazz band and get into the class. Fast forward through freshman year, into the summer of his sophomore year, he would attend summer band and fundraisers for the Georgia Band Trip. That’s all that has happened so far. He joined The Spud because he enjoys journalism and writing about what is happening in high school. He hopes to accomplish writing a lot of stories and involve himself in more activities to help his school.  

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