Friday, June 13, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: June 9-13

SOLs Covered:  SOL 8.6 Angle Relationships
Math Dictionary Sections:  35 Angles; 36 Angle Relationships; 37 Angle & Line Bisectors
Upcoming Assessments:  NONE!!!

So here we are!  The year's officially over and it's been a great one!  On Wednesday, we had our awards ceremony with the finale slideshow, which can be found on Edline, followed by an attempt at an outdoor carnival until the rain forced everyone inside. With the wash-out, students instead got to come in and watch movies or socialize.

For math this week, we did a bit of work on angle relationships, which tied into my favorite end-of-year activity, origami.  While going through the steps for folding the paper, I pointed out the various things that relate back to our work this week and throughout the year:  supplementary angles found within the folds, how the diagonals of a square form perpendicular bisectors, etc.  It took a bit of time along with 12 pieces of paper per student, but students' final product was a 24-faced polyhedron.  Those who finished early also had a chance to make 8-pointed stars and/or other pieces of origami.

I hope everyone enjoys their summer break and stays safe.  I'd also like to encourage students to review every once and awhile over the summer so their math skills stay fresh.  To help with that, students will still have access to the accounts I set up for them this year aside from TenMarks, which they can instead sign up for on their own.  The county has also made resources available on their SOL & Summer Resources page.  And finally....

Have a great summer!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Homework: June 9-13

For the week of June 9, 2014

With this being the last week of school, all work is winding down for the year.  Grades will most likely need to be sent before the last day, but I still plan on taking a few small grades, mostly to help students get a little last minute boost if they put forth the effort.  The work will predominately be completed in class, but it would be good for students to review a little bit once they get home.

CW Packet for the week of 6/9/14

Friday, June 06, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: June 2-6

SOLs Covered:  SOL 8.10 Pythagorean Theorem
Math Dictionary Sections:  34 Pythagorean Theorem
Upcoming Assessments:  NONE!!!

Things are slowly winding down now, but we still have Math 8 topics to cover.  This week's topic was the Pythagorean theorem, one of my favorites!  We had a little bit of story time with "What's Your Angle, Pythagoras?" by Julie Ellis.  The book discusses a hypothetical situation for how the Pythagoras might have come up with the theorem since the actual events are unknown.  From there, we moved onto working some real world problems requiring the use of the Pythagorean theorem and then a few practice SOL type questions made by the district.  Students who finished up early got started on next week's packet, which they'll be expected to bring everyday next week.

The last day to turn in work for term 4 (missing or incomplete assignments, error analysis for assessments, and/or extra credit work) was Friday.  For any students who were absent or making up SOLs, I'll still accept the Pythagorean theorem work packet on Monday, but that will be the deadline for that.  At this point, I'm not sure what grades I'll be taking next week as we've not been told when to start sending grades, so we'll have to go day-by-day for future grades.  Any additional grades will be designed to help students improve their grades and will not have a negative impact on their overall grade unless the student were to refuse to do the work (thankfully something that rarely ever happens with this group of kids!).

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

End-of-Year Reminders!!!!

As we near the end of the school year, I would like to remind students to get in all of their missing or incomplete work and to consider earning some extra credit through TenMarks.  Error Analysis can also be completed to improve quiz and test grades .  Digital copies of all graded assignments (aside from quizzes and tests) can be found in the assignments folder on Edline as well as on Edmodo and the class blog.  Everything is due no later than Friday, June 6.  Parents and guardians, please encourage your children with this endeavor.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Homework: June 2-6

For the week of June 2, 2014

Tomorrow students will receive the new packet on the Pythagorean Theorem.  These packets will be due this Friday, though I ask that students who plan to be out Friday to please try turning it in early if possible.  Otherwise, they'll need to be careful to remember over the weekend and to turn them in when they return Monday, June 6th.

CW Packet for the week of 6/2/14

Friday, May 30, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: May 27-30

SOLs Covered:  All Math 7 SOLs
Math Dictionary Sections:  Review all sections
Upcoming Assessments:  Possible quiz on Pythagorean Theorem & Angle Relationships

Finally!  We've made it through the Math 7 SOL with today being the last day of math testing!  We got some last minute review in on Tuesday before Block 1/2 took the test on Wednesday, followed by Block 7/8 on Thursday, and culminating with Block 3/4 today.  The kids have all worked extremely hard and I'm so proud of them!  We're all a little worn out from testing, so I'm keeping it short-and-sweet this week (really this time!).  I'll give the kids a little break on Monday with some fun probability review to help de-stress after all the testing, but we'll get back into learning mode after that in order to cover a few Math 8 topics that were pushed back since they are part of the MSM2 curriculum but are not tested on the Math 7 SOL.

I hope all my students enjoy some down time this weekend!  Don't forget to spend a little time reviewing for your upcoming history SOL (even blocks on June 4th and odd blocks on June 5th).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Homework: May 27-30

We've got our SOL test this week (Block 1/2 May 28th, Block 7/8 May 29th, and 3/4 May 30th), so the only thing I'm asking students to do this week is study and prepare.  Review your materials from the SOL review folder and Math Dictionary, practice making your Smart Chart from memory, get plenty of rest the night before, and eat a good breakfast in the morning before heading to school.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: May 19-23

SOLs Covered:  All Math 7 SOLs
Math Dictionary Sections:  Review all sections
Upcoming Assessments:  Math 7 SOL (1st Wed. 5/28, 3rd Thurs. 5/29, 7th Fri. 5/30)

The kids can tell you how I've not been feeling very well at this week and while I'm feeling much better now than I have been over the past three days, I'm still thinking I'll keep it a bit shorter this week so I can head out at a reasonable time today.  I first have to thank the kids for (mostly) being on their best behavior this week in order to make things easier for me, knowing how bad I was feeling.  You guys rock!

We wrapped up the last of our individual category review last week, so this week was spent going over the released test.  We went over strategies for attacking each questions and possible variations they could expect to see.  While going through the problems, we reviewed how the Smart Chart could help them with the different problems.  Students should practice making the components of the Smart Chart they need help with (there's no need to make the portions they rock at) since they'll need to make it from memory on blank paper the day of the SOL.  As previously stated, the tests for the Math 7 SOL will be held next week, so I encourage students to use this 3-day weekend to at least spend part of the time reviewing.  In addition to the SOL simulation letter and feedback form, on Friday students were given their SOL mini-quiz letter, which gives another peak at the areas of strength and weakness for each student, allowing them to fine tune their focus for study.

I'm going to end this here, but I do encourage students along with their parents/guardians to email or message me on Edmodo if they have questions while they review this weekend.  Extra practice (which can also earn the students extra credit!) has been added to the class Edmodo pages to help students along with their personal review.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Homework: May 19-23

For the week of May 19, 2014

We are in our final week of SOL review (our test is next week!), so students should continue working on their review packets.  This week's focus is on the most recently released Math 7 SOL test, which can also be practiced online.  Any work from our packets that isn't completed in class should be finished at home along with students taking time each evening to review the materials in their SOL review folders.  I've tried to help the students work on their self-pacing by telling them that for this packet, they should be finishing about 13 problems each day, so if they don't accomplish that in school, they should finish that amount at home each night.

#5 Math 7 Released SOL Test Packet for the week of 5/19/14

Friday, May 16, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: May 12-16

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.9-7.16 P&S and PF&A
Math Dictionary Sections:  Review all sections on P&S and PF&A
Upcoming Assessments:  SOL Quiz #5 (Fri. 5/23/14); Math 7 SOL (1st Wed. 5/28, 3rd Thurs. 5/29, 7th Fri. 5/30)

We had yet another fun-filled week of SOL review!  Well, as fun as practice problems can be at least.  Students worked on the packet for the final (and biggest!) category of the SOL, Probability & Statistics (SOL 7.9-7.11) and Patterns, Functions, & Algebra (SOL 7.12-7.16).  Thankfully, my data projector was finally fixed by the end of the week, so we can now view online resources and use the Promethean board and ActivSlates again.  This was incredibly important since it allowed us to start looking at the practice problems from the VDOE website (links to it and other resources put together by CCPS).  These practice problems (31 total for Math 7) give students a taste of what to expect for online testing, which is really important for those students who are taking the SOLs for the first time this year.  There are various online tools available and we went over each one and some of the possible complications that can pop up with each.  As we continue to work through these practice problems as well as the newly released test (the first released test since the SOLs changed in 2009), we will continue to discuss various strategies for approaching the questions, how best to use the eTools available, and possible pitfalls that "hide" in the more rigorous questions.

We are quickly approaching the end of the school year.  With that I always have students asking what they can do to pull their grade up.  In order to give students an opportunity to earn some extra credit as well as continue their review for the SOLs, I've uploaded an assignment to Edmodo using their new snapshot tool.  The questions chosen are all for the probability, statistics, patterns, functions, and algebra section since that is the biggest category as well as the one the majority of students struggle with the most.  The assignment will remain active through May 30th, which will be the last day of Math 7 SOL testing.  Regarding the actual dates for testing, there was a slight change for the block 3/4 students, who had previously been scheduled to take the test on May 28th.  They are now scheduled to take the test on May 30th in order to allow students to go to their electives classes (and get a little break from the test-prep and testing environment) as well as to allow teachers to have a planning block.  I've updated the Google student calendar with this information as well as the other 7th grade testing dates/times (students must login with their CCPS account to view the calendar).