Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: Apr. 7-11

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.9,10 & 8.12 Probability
Math Dictionary Sections:  31 Probability
Upcoming Assessments:  SOL Quiz #1 (Wed. 4/23/14); SOL Simulation Test (Thurs. 4/24/14 & Fri. 4/25/14)

I'll be keeping things extremely short and sweet this week since I'm just as ready as the kids to start Spring Break!!!  We devoted the week to working on probability.  We discussed the differences between theoretical and experimental probability along with the basics of single-event probability questions.  From there we branched into two or more events happening, both independent events as well as dependent and how to tell the difference between the two, from the obvious questions that state with or without replacement to the less obvious ones when two things are happening simultaneously.  We even had a bit of time to play one of my favorite games, SKUNK!, in which students have to think about the possibility of rolling ones with a set of dice in order to determine whether to stay in the game or play it safe.  I think the kids really enjoyed the game if their enthusiastic behavior was anything to go by.  We ended the week with a little review and updating the Smart Chart before students took the quiz, which has already been graded and even returned to some of the students if they were still with me when I finished.  Grades weren't quite what I'd hoped for, but students made some pretty common errors (like simply forgetting to multiply the ratios after they set it up... a bit too focused on the upcoming break, I'd assume), which I'm sure they'll catch as soon as they get it back and be able to correct their errors to earn back at least some credit.

So there it is folks, possibly the shortest WCS yet!  I hope all the students enjoy the break and come back ready to settle into SOL review mode!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Homework: April 7-11

For the week of April 7, 2014

Students received the new packets on probability last week as they finished their tests.  These packets will be due this Friday, though I ask that students who plan to start Spring Break early and will be out Friday to please try turning it in early if possible.  Otherwise, they'll need to be careful to remember over the break and to turn them in when they return Monday, April 21st.

HW & CW for the week of 4/7/14

Friday, April 04, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: Mar. 31-Apr. 4

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.8 & 8.8 Geometric Transformations; SOL 7.12 & 8.14,16 Relations & Functions
Math Dictionary Sections:  28 Transformations; 29 Relations & Functions
Upcoming Assessments:  Probability Quiz (Fri. 4/11/14)

This week was predominately filled up with testing, so I don't have too much to write about this time.  We did spend Monday in the computer lab, reviewing current and old materials by playing DimensionU.  By the end of the day, I was able to join in and play with the students; while I'm a little rusty, I did show them I've got some gaming skill by the second round (just had to rest the keys for my "leftiness" first).  On Tuesday, we started class by going over a few last minute details from the review packet before the students started the test on transformations, similar figures, relations, and functions; most students finished the test on Wednesday and used any extra time to wrap up odds and ends for the third term.  Ideally, I would leave it at the one test, but we are required to give the county's post-assessment, which shows student growth in each content area, by the end of the third term; with all the snow days, this was the only viable option for scheduling.  Therefore, Thursday and Friday were devoted to the test.  For those students who finished early, the new packets on probability (notes, homework, and classwork) were made available, which start off with review materials.  We'll start going over all of it together on Monday.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Homework: Mar. 31-Apr. 4

This week I'll be giving the kids a bit of a break since they'll likely be on testing overload.  We have both the test on transformations and functions as well as the county's post-assessment.  They do have the extra materials from last week as well as a study guide to look over and continue working on as part of their personal study time and SOL review.  I'd imagine they might also have bit to work on in other classes to wrap up the third term.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: Mar. 24-28

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.12 & 8.14,16 Relations & Functions
Math Dictionary Sections:  29 Relations & Functions; 30 Patterns & Sequences
Upcoming Assessments:  Trans. & Rel./Func. Test (Tues. 4/1/14); CCPS Post-Test (Thurs. 4/3/14)

I'm keeping things on the "short and sweet" side this week for the simple fact that I need to get home and take a nap!  I know springs finally starting to make its way into central Virginia since I can already feel the affects on my sinuses.  Now onto the math!

We've been working hard on functions this week, discussing how to identify a function, the different parts of a function, and how to represent relations/functions using tables, graphs, rules, and words.  Students were again given packets (one homework and one classwork) for the unit.  The classwork packet was worked on in class throughout the week, though students are only responsible for completing pg. 1-10 of it; the rest can be used by the students independently for their own personal review and we'll likely come back to it after spring break as part of our SOL review depending on what materials are released by the state and/or county before then.  We ended the week with a test review packet, which does not have to be turned in as the students should keep it as study material.
That's a Function!!! Interactive from ASSET & ASU
The test will be on Tuesday and Wednesday (as needed), after a computer lab review day on Monday (students are reminded to bring their headphones/earbuds that day).  Normally I avoid having multiple assessments in one week, but we've been given a deadline for the county's post-assessment test, which is to be completed by Friday, April 4th, so we'll spend Thursday and Friday next week working on that.  This isn't the same as the county's SOL simulation test, which I have scheduled for the week after spring break (see the Team 7-2 Student Google calendar; students must login with their county accounts for access).

As I promised the students, I'm giving one last extra credit opportunity.  Students can complete assignments/tests on TenMarks and/or JLab (be sure to use the "new" 2009 standards on JLab) for up to 20 points extra credit.  Students can either email or send their results through Edmodo/Google or print a hardcopy to turn into me.  The deadline for this is next Friday, April 4th (the official end of term) and students will be allowed to use part of their computer time on Monday on this if they cannot work on it at home.  As previously stated, all corrections on old assessments and assignments were due by today (3/28), but since I always allow (and strongly encourage) students to work on pulling their grades up, assignments from this week (homework and classwork on functions) will still be accepted next week.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Homework: Mar. 24-28 (+Reminders!)

Students are reminded to turn in late/incomplete assignments as well as signed grade reports if they haven't already.  All term 3 assignments are due by Friday, March 28.  Any grades taken after this week will be counted towards the next term in order to give students a chance to make the work up or due corrections if necessary.  Students should work on the functions packet, which is due this Friday, March 28.

We'll be in the computer lab for math gaming review on Monday, March 31, so students should bring their headphones/earbuds for that day.  A test on transformations and functions is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1 and we also have to take the county's post-assessment this term, which is scheduled for April 3.  I'd prefer not to have back-to-back testing, but it sadly couldn't be helped.  Again, grades from the week of March 31st will go onto the last term.

Reminder:  I'm still not able to schedule a "regular" tutoring time (auntie driving duties have pilled up), but students can make arrangements with me to set up a time to come in early or stay a little after if the need extra help.

HW & CW for the week of 3/24/14

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: Mar. 17-21

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.12 & 8.14,16 Relations & Functions
Math Dictionary Sections:  29 Relations & Functions
Upcoming Assessments:  Trans. & Rel./Func. Test (Tues. 4/1/14); CCPS Post-Test (Thurs. 4/3/14)

I promised the kids I'll get all of their work graded and back to them at the beginning of each class on Monday, so I've got a stack of stuff to get through this afternoon before leaving, therefore I'll be (trying) to keep this on the short side (though I've said that before and ended up with quite a bit more).  This has been another crazy weather week, so Monday and Tuesday were both two-hour delays, but we used every bit of the hours we were in school those days to continue working on transformations.  I went over some easy tips to help the students remember how to do each of the transformations and made a few updates to the notes and Smart Chart to add to the ease.  Students took the quiz on the unit on Thursday and were given the rest of that block to work on starting to tie up loose ends for this term.  I'll post an additional reminder, but students were informed that the last day I'll be taking make-up work and/or error analysis on assessments will be next Friday, March 28th since the week after next will be the end of the third term.

On Friday, I introduced our new unit on relations and functions.  In all of the classes, the students worked in groups to match up various real world relations before then determining which part was the independent event and which was the dependent (ex. the distance traveled depends on the amount of gas in a car).  I was extremely happy with this activity as students seemed to really enjoy it on top of getting a lot out of it.  Blocks 3/4 was able to complete and Block 7/8 was able to start a second activity in which students went about determining whether various graphs, tables, maps, and number sets were or were not a function (Block 1/2 will do this activity on Monday).  We'll be continuing this unit all of next week, but the test will take place at the start of the following week and will thus be one of the first grades for the last term.  This is in order to allow students a chance to complete an error analysis on it before the grade is closed out.

Finally, I'd like to remind students and parents/guardians that some of the county's teachers (myself included) cannot access our email at the moment, specifically all teachers with last names L-R last I heard.  I'm not sure when we'll get it back, but as I stated in the message I sent through Edline, I can still receive messages through Edmodo, as comments left here on the blog, and of course there's always the "old school" paper note sent through the student.  A message can also be left with the office and I can call back when I'm free.  If any emails were sent after email went down (I last received emails Wed. 3/19 at 9:27 PM), then there's a possibility they could be completely lost.  Since I've not heard specifics about what happened to the email system, I'm not sure what to expect from this.  Fingers crossed the issue is solved soon!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Homework: Mar. 17-21

Students are reminded to turn in late/incomplete assignments as well as signed grade reports if they haven't already.  Students should continue working on the transformations packet, which is due this Thursday, March 20.  A quiz on transformations is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, though it might be pushed back a day depending on how far we get with these winter weather delays.

Reminder:  I'm still not able to schedule a "regular" tutoring time (auntie driving duties have pilled up), but students can make arrangements with me to set up a time to come in early or stay a little after if the need extra help.

HW & CW for the week of 3/17/14

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: Mar. 10-14

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.8 & 8.8 Geometric Transformations
Math Dictionary Sections:  27 Coordinate Plane; 28 Transformations
Upcoming Assessments:  Transformations Quiz (Wed. 3/19/14)

This week has reminded us that spring is approaching (but will apparently take a detour Sunday evening/Monday morning), so we've actually had a whole uninterrupted week.  Students finished the test we "previewed" last Friday.  If they didn't finish on Monday, the completed it on Tuesday in the computer lab before we had our first completely "fun" day of math gaming.  The students all have DimensionU accounts and we were able to play a little bit the last time we were in the lab, but this was the first time they could really get into it.  DimensionU has different "worlds" the students can play in and our school accounts give EDMS students access to the math and language arts part of the game.  Obviously while in my class, students are expected to play the math portion (earning points while answering math questions related to our curriculum), but the game can also be downloaded and played from home.  I'm one of the building contacts for the company, so I've received word that there will be a web-version of the game relaunched sometime in the future.  I'm hoping it will work with the Chromebooks the students will be given next year, so we'll be able to get a lot more use out of the game.

When we returned to the classroom on Wednesday, we got started on our geometric transformations unit.  Students received their new homework and classwork packets, which are currently due on Wednesday, March 19th; this could be pushed back depending on how far we get at the beginning of next week.  We did a little review of the basics of working on the coordinate plane before starting on translations.  On Thursday, some students were able to get started on reflections, but most were only able to finish translations.  With a social studies field trip and chorus students leaving for state assessments, about half of the students were out on Friday, therefore, instead of teaching a lesson that would just need to be repeated on Monday, students were given some Pi Day activities to work on as well as a chance to complete unfinished assignments, work on error analysis for their old assessments, and get help from me when needed.  Since students were with me for both their math block as well as the block they normally have language arts, some were able to make a lot of progress on getting caught up and/or ahead in their work.  Students can work on their classwork packet on their own outside of school, but we will be continuing our work with transformations on Monday.

Students are reminded that they can make arrangements with me for a tutoring session before or after school.  At the moment, I'm not able to set up a "regular" after school tutoring session as I have in the past (my sister needs my "auntie's taxi service" to be running for a bit), but I can find a few minutes before and/or after school some days to give extra help when needed.  Students can check with me or have their parents email and we can find a time that works for everyone.  I can also work with students during SOAR class, though I have plans to help students get organized and clear out lockers over the next few weeks (some of their binders and lockers are looking like a paper factory exploded in there!).

Monday, March 10, 2014

Homework: Mar. 10-14

This week students will be finishing a test on Monday and will be in the computer lab on Tuesday, so they will not receive their new math packets until Wednesday, which will not be due until next week (Wed. 3/19).  They should bring their headphones/earbuds for the lab day.  Students will be given a grade report to take home and get signed by a parent/guardian, returning the next day.

On a side note, I'm still not able to schedule a "regular" tutoring time (auntie driving duties have pilled up), but students can make arrangements with me to set up a time to come in early or stay a little after if the need extra help.

HW for the week of 3/10/14