Miller Middle school sixth graders take top places at Region competition
Sat, 05/31/2014 - 12:17pm Sanmarcos1
The sixth grade algebra class at Miller Middle School started on a bold academic journey last year as fifth graders. The students had to qualify for the pre-algebra class by meeting strict academic standards in classroom and testing performance. In addition to regular classroom studies, the fifth graders took a pre-algebra class which met about four days a week throughout the year.
The students advanced to Miller with a solid foundation to tackle the algebra course. They are enrolled in an “Honors Algebra,” which counts toward high school course credit. The students in this class are enrolled together in a math enrichment class which provides the grade level TEKS requirements. This enrichment class also provides extra time for the students to gain the academic study skills required for the rigorous algebra course work.
According to Miller Middle School officials, the classroom formula has been a resounding success. The students have performed on par with and, most of the time, have exceeded the performance of the comparable eighth grade algebra classes.
During the 2013-2014 school year, many of these students participated in the U.I.L. Regional Academic meet. The Miller sixth grade “Algebrainiacs” (as they call themselves) dominated by placing first in every category in which they competed. There were three students competing in the Math Number Sense category, and they were the top three winers. Three students competed in Spelling; they placed first, second and fifth. Two students competed in Geography, placing first and third. One student competed in the Chess Tournament and took first place. Three Algebrainiacs competed in Team Math, earning first place.
Much of the credit for this success goes to the algebra teacher, Hayden Dooley. This is Dooley's first year of teaching after graduating from Texas State University last year.
“It has been an awesome experience having such a talented group of students as a first year teacher, especially my sixth graders who have been extremely important to my further growth as a teacher,” Dooley said.
This is the third and final year of an advanced math curriculum that was implemented in partnership with the Texas State Mathworks program. The first year had 17 students complete the course. The second year had eight students enrolled, and this year 20 students will finish the algebra course. This final class will wrap up the three year pilot program as the largest and most successful group.
Parents and administrators believe the third class was so successful because they made a commitment to follow a rigorous academic track. The next challenge for this distinguished group will be Geometry in the seventh grade.