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14 May 2011


Todd Juvinall

Way to go George. We are all proud of your efforts to help the youth.

Mikey McD

George, PR like this puts you on the CTA's $hi! List!

Russ Steele

I have found tech mentoring very satisfying. When my daughter Caitlin was in middle school, I mentored a science class. We built telescopes out of PVC pipe, and surplus copier lenses and eye pieces from military surplus equipment. One student went on to become an astronomer, after building her own telescope. I also helped a young man build a computer controlled car in my shop. We designed and built an interface to a Commodore 64 and tethered it to a Radio Shack remote controlled car. The student learned to program the computer to control the car. These were very satisfying experiences, that help shape the students career path. Now I am working with grandkids, we recently built a catapult using scrap lumber and bungie cords. All of these project involved some practical math applications. It was learn by doing.

When our middle school students were falling behind in math we hired tutors to keep them up to speed. We found that a third party was more effective than Dad or Mom in helping with the math problems. Middle schooler are starting to assert their independence and having a third party help with the math overcame that communications barrier.

Sini Fernandez

I think you've heard of Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.com). I just watched the video on the front page with Sal talking about how teachers are using KA videos to 'flip' the classroom such that they assign the video lessons as "homework" and then spend class time working with students who need help while doing the problems. Increases 1:1 time with students and doesn't cost a thing. Pretty neat. An option to suggest if you run out of mentors. :)

George Rebane

Yes indeed, the Khan Academy is an excellent online tutoring resource. The level of arithmetic tutoring required by the K-8 students may be a bit below Khan's curriculum. But they are excellent for the higher grades. Thanks.

Greg Goodknight

Part of the math problem in local schools remains working through the damage that the 'whole math' debacle that lasted from maybe '95 through 2003 or so. In '98, when the California STAR testing finally started, the GVSD found the class that had Mathland starting in the 1st grade had failed miserably by the end of the 3rd grade, with half the kids in the BOTTOM quartile, and only one of 20 in the top quartile. The GVSD held on to that curriculum for years despite the lack of results. Nevada City schools also used it but at least had the sense to dilute it with a program that wasn't as bad.

There are still kids damaged from that experiment winding through the system but the cohort in the middle are now just graduating from college, if they made it that far. My kid did, but might not have had we not moved him to Grass Valley's St.Sensible, Mount St. Mary's School, at the end of the 1st grade.

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