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In entry one I am featuring my Pre-Algebra students There are 53 students total split between three classes The students range from 13 to15 years old and are all in eighth grade The population is composed of 33 males and 20 females Twenty-five of the students are from a minority background twenty-six students have either free or reduced pay lunch and seventeen students are in the magnet program Academically my students are considered to be at or below standards for annual yearly progress Only 18 students met standards on our state test the rest were below Eighteen of the fifty-three students are in our special education program and twelve of the eighteen receive special services specifically for mathematics Besides performance on the standardized tests students in this group tend to be afraid of math and have not been successful in previous years They come to me with the understanding that they are bad at math and that they will not get better Due to this belief they are not very motivated to complete work From a learning standpoint the students prefer to do activities where they can work together and use manipulatives or technology to complete a task Many are below grade level readers so they prefer to learn by experimenting instead of taking notes or reading about new vocabulary When we do have notes the students prefer to just know the process opposed to why that process works They struggle with any type of problems that require application or thinking beyond rote processes The subject matter I am focusing on is real-number operations specifically integers The students have learned the four basic operations with integers in the past but they do not have a deep understanding They know how to perform the operations by following the rules but they do not know why those rules exist or how to explain why the answer is what it is beyond listing the rule They also get
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