Friday, March 04, 2011

Weekly Class Summary: Feb. 28-Mar. 4

SOLs Covered: SOL 6.23, 7.20, & 7.21 (New 6.18 & 7.13) Algebraic Concepts; (New) SOL 6.20 Graphing Inequalities
Math Dictionary Sections: (20) Algebraic Concepts; (21) Graphing Inequalties
Upcoming Assessments: Algebra, Properties, & Inequalities Test (Tues. 3/8/11)

We immersed ourselves in algebra this week. The vocabulary for this unit is exceedingly important since students can expect to see questions on the unit test, the county's simulation test, and the state SOL test that are completely focused on the terminology for this section. Because of this, we spent the advisory block this week making vocabulary cards for this section. Students are also encouraged to utilize some of the various websites I have bookmarked on the class Portaportal, which allow them to make online flash cards they can study online, tracking their progress with each word, as well as allowing them the opportunity to share and study with friends. These resources can be found grouped together under the "General Math Sites for Everyone" and I hope those students that try them out will extend their use of the sites to include our other sections and their other subjects.

In addition to the vocabulary work, we spent time solving problems (both algebraically and with picture representations) and translating verbal expressions to/from algebraic expressions (English to Mathish and vice versa). Students are reminded that it is very important for them to show their work algebraically instead of simply substituting numbers to see what works as they are used to from elementary school. Doing so now will no longer work for them as the SOLs ask questions specifcially addressing how a problem would be solved algebraically and it will also become a bigger issue as the problems get harder in the next few years of their math education.

On Thursday, we had a "sweet" break in our usual work for their brief introduction to graphing inequalities. In seventh grade, students will be required to solve and graph inequalities on the number line as part of their algebra work. Therefor sixth grade students are introduced to the topic by simply learning how to graph basic inequalities (ex. x > -7) on the number line. For this topic, I planned an activity that involved using Oreos© to represent the closed and opened circles (a whole cookie and a cookie that's been twisted open respectively) and Pixy Stix© (or Twizzlers©) to represent the ray. A big thank you to those students and parents who donated the yummy supplies that made this activity possible! I greatly appreciate the help and the students really enjoyed it!

The entire unit (properties, algebra, and inequalities) will be reviewed on Monday and tested on Tuesday. Students are asked to study over the weekend as well as Monday evening.

The X Detectives from the Math Playground

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