School defies math odds

Dixon students ace tests despite demographic stats

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  • Bill
    Jan. 11, 2008 2:13 p.m.

    Sounds like excellent teaching, HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS, and a commercerate lack of tolerance of the USUAL AMERICAN PLAYGROUND MENTALITY TOWARD SCHOOL.

  • sjh
    Jan. 6, 2008 5:58 p.m.

    has your district done curriculum mapping?

  • Eric
    Jan. 2, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    Great success with kids who NEED to do well in order to be ready for 4 years of Math in high school. When you learn Algebra I in 7th grade and Geometry in 8th grade that leaves only Calculus when you are a Junior or Senior! Kids on a fast track? You bet!

  • chk
    Jan. 1, 2008 12:48 p.m.

    what is the class size?

  • Vanessa, TN
    Dec. 31, 2007 6:59 a.m.

    Yes, how did you get your special needs students prepared, and how did you all collaborate with the special needs teachers? Also, how about ESL strategies?

    Do you all have a virtual professional development set up?

    Congratulations on closing your educational gap and teamwork.

  • Kathy, IL
    Dec. 30, 2007 1:35 p.m.

    I love the idea of the teacher's rotating every year. This keeps things fresh, and encourages the collaboration between the staff members!


  • Nancy
    Dec. 30, 2007 12:52 p.m.

    I hope this comment will help the teacher who works with autistic and special needs math students...
    I attended a workshop on multisensory math and was deeply impressed by the approach; both for typical and atypical learners. It was presented by a project from the University of California Berkeley.
    The teaching method presented is called "Making Math Real". I encourage you to look into it. I only regret that my children didn't have this sort of teaching. (It is a K-12 multisensory approach and prepares elementary students with an eye toward higher math.)

  • Tom
    Dec. 30, 2007 8:50 a.m.

    AMEN!!! For 25 years I have been preaching to my math students that "The answer is not the answer - the process and answer is what will get you full credit!!! No credit without process.

  • Bob
    Dec. 29, 2007 9:53 p.m.

    The article states: Only about 75 eighth-graders take geometry each year at Dixon. Teachers described them as bright and self-motivated. Most of the students said they love math and say they have about 30 minutes of math homework each night.
    Based on this excerpt, I have to ask, are these 75 students tracked in high achiever classes? If so, it would not be news that these students would take notes and do well. There are many aspects this article does not address, allowing the reader can get the full story.
    My experience is that most students come into the 9th grade fearing math.

  • marguerite in L.A.
    Dec. 28, 2007 7:09 p.m.

    I am always looking for ideas to help my students achieve. Although they are not the "highly motivated" students you'll find in 8th grade geometry, they are still required to meet the same standards. My students are children with learning disabilities and autism...but I still want to find ways for them to improve and catch up, if possible. I will try some of these ideas. I especially like the math review in place of chapter tests. I also am trying this review method in the "problem of the day" using prior chapter's problems and the state release questions for the standardized math tests.

  • Kamela
    Dec. 28, 2007 6:49 p.m.

    This really motivates me. Most of my students also qualify for free/reduced lunch. I think we need to stop using that excuse. We can not give up, but keep trying. Our children can succeed, too. Congrads to your students.

  • West Seattle Dan
    Dec. 28, 2007 3:11 p.m.

    Congratulations to these teachers and students.
    I would like to know the state wide passing rates for all geometry students and also the rate for 8th grade Geometry students. I would expect that 8th grade pass rates would significantly surpass those of 10th grade Geometry students. Can anyone find and provide this?
    Thanks for the article.

  • BillyBob
    Dec. 28, 2007 11:37 a.m.

    Congratulations to the teachers for their excellent skills in teaching math. Also, there should be recognization for the schools that these students learned the fundamentals of math.
    In the article, it appears that the school is using a version of "THE CORNELL METHOD OF NOTE TAKING". This method is in google with the search in the quotes above. This method should be required starting in Grade ? in all schools in the state. I used the above method to teach my grand daughter pre-algebra and have it on a web site. It is excellent for language, social studies, etc..

    Again, congratulations..Math is a difficult subject to teach as I have found that a large, large majority of college students HATE math because they didn't have the excellent teachers that Dixon is blessed with.

  • Correction to Story
    Dec. 26, 2007 9:31 a.m.

    I just went to and found this:

    Dixon Geometry : 2005 94% 2006 97% 2007 99%

    Those are some really great scores! Then out of interest to the above post I went to Centennial's report

    Centennial Geometry: 2005 100% 2006 99% 2007 100%

    Wow! Those are some even better scores.

    Both of those schools are doing something right and the state should be looking at what is going on.

    I don't think the principal at Dixon was slamming anyone, just proud of the improvement. I imagine it is hard to always be compared to Centennial.

    Both schools should be congratulated on doing a great job!

    Provo parents and students should also be congratulated. I know teachers in the district have had a tough time the last few years, losing almost all of their retirement benefits. It is a wonder any of them have stayed on. Hopefully the district will reward them for their great work!

  • Centennial vs. Dixon
    Dec. 26, 2007 9:16 a.m.

    Wow way to try to slam Centennial across town. Looking up the scores over the passed few years I see that Centennial actually blew away Dixon in just about every category. Then Dixon surpasses Centennial one year and they call the press to blast them?

    Wow, just wow.

  • math junkie
    Dec. 26, 2007 9:02 a.m.

    I applaud the efforts of such teachers and students. It takes real dedication and discipline and much of that is absent in most students this age. However, a big deal was made about the socioeconomic status and diversity of the students in the school, but what about the diverisity of the class? Many times these high achieving classes are not representitive of the school's population as a whole. What is the situation for this class? I guess we won't know.

  • Herb
    Dec. 26, 2007 8:09 a.m.

    I certainly hope that this type of teaching is contagious. What a concept - teachers working as a team to improve their skills, and learning from each other to find better ways to teach. These are the type of teachers to pay extra. They should be paying these kind of teachers more than the administrators.

  • J
    Dec. 26, 2007 7:48 a.m.

    I used to go to Dixon Middle School back in 2000 and I still remember I had an excellent teacher each year in math. Way to go Dixon! Keep it up!

  • Tim
    Dec. 26, 2007 4:32 a.m.

    What great and dedicated teachers. Can we clone them?