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his report documents the results of anecdotal observations conducted in District C during the fall of 2004. It describes the algebra topics addressed during our observations, the expected tasks (class activities), teacher actions, and student actions in three Algebra I classes inthis district. We looked at the algebra curriculum for students in theseAlgebra I classes, the ways that class periods were structured in these classes, the kinds of instructional approaches that were used, and students’ responses to these instructional approaches. All of the students who were enrolled in the Algebra I classes taught by the participating teachers in this study were exposed to the same curriculum. During our observations students with different teachers were working on assignments from the same chapters each time we visited. Most often one algebra teacher was just a few pages ahead of his colleague. Each of the participating teachers from District C structured their beginning algebra class periods in their own unique way; however they spent similar amounts of time engaged in teacher-led instruction. However, whole class instruction was observed in no more than 15% of the observation segments for a class. The most typical instructional approaches were providing individual student assistance and modeling how to solve problems while checking homework or leading a review. Completing assignments was the most typical student action in all three Algebra I classes. Other student actions were dependent on which teacher taught a particular class. For example, students worked in a group much more often in Teacher II’s class than they did in either of Teacher I’s classes. Off task behavior occurred most often during times when students were completing assignments or working in small groups and teachers were providing individual assistance, monitoring students as they worked independently or with a group, or leading a review. There were no observation segments in any class when off task behavior was the only student action that was observed.


Project AAIMS is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Grant # H324C030060, Technical Report #9.



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