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This report documents the results of anecdotal observations conducted in District B 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 four Algebra IA classes and two Algebra IB classes in this district. We looked at the algebra curriculum for students in these beginning algebra 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. Student with and without disabilities were all enrolled in general education beginning algebra classes in District B; therefore they completed the same curriculum. The two Algebra IA teachers moved through the textbook at slightly different rates, but students were exposed to basically the same content. One teacher taught both of the Algebra IB classes, and her lessons concentrated on the same topics for each class. The most common expected task varied by teacher. Teacher 1 taught one section of Algebra IA and two sections of Algebra IB. In her Algebra IA class, the most typical task was checking homework, in Algebra IB, it was leading a review. Teacher 2 taught three sections of Algebra IA where the most prevalent expected task was teacher-led instruction. The most typical instructional approaches that we observed in District B were providing individual student assistance and modeling as the teacher showed how to solve algebra problems or reviewed for an exam in both courses. Completing assignments was the most typical productive student action in both courses, with listening observed just as often in the Algebra IB classes. Off task behavior was the most common nonproductive student action, and it was the most often observed student action in District B.


Project AAIMS is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Grant # H324C030060; Technical Report #8.



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