Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Class Summary: Nov. 14-18

SOLs Covered: SOL 6.11 Coordinate Plane
Math Dictionary Sections: (7) Coordinate Plane
Upcoming Assessments: Coordinate Plane Quiz (Tues. 11/22)

Monday and Tuesday were devoted to benchmark testing. Once students finished, they began working on their WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) assignment, The Math Monster. Students did not have to finish their final copies this week, but they need to have at least a rough draft turned in by Friday for a homework grade. They can work on it at home on their on if they like, but students will have a chance to complete their electronic copies the next time we get the netbook cart. If students finish their assignment on their own ahead of time, they will be able to spend more time playing the math games. There will be a separate grade for the WAC assignment in December that will be for completing their final copies and fulfilling the requirements, which can be found here.

Once we returned to the classroom on Wednesday, we jumped into our first geometry unit of the year, the coordinate plane. In general, middle schoolers seem to get confused with the minute details of this unit. One of the biggest mistakes students make is mixing up the x- and y-axis. To help with this, I started using the X-Man Wolverine™© (Marvel) in relation to the x-axis (his claws come out of his hands to the left and right, not out of his head and feet). The other common mistake is how students sometimes mix up the order of "ordered pairs," (X,Y). For this, I remind students that it goes in alphabetical order [...w,x,y,z] every time. So far students seem to have really taken to the topic and are enjoying the unit, which so far has included Cartesian cartoons (where students make their own connect-the-dots) and reading a "Pirate's Map" to follow different journeys/trails. The unit will be wrapped up and assessed next week before the Thanksgiving break.

Catch the Fly from

The Coordinate Plane Game from

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