Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekly Class Summary: Nov. 7-11

SOLs Covered: Term 1 SOL Review
Math Dictionary Sections: Term 1 Review of Sections 1-6
Upcoming Assessments: Benchmark Test for Term 1 (Mon. 11/14 & Tues. 11/15)

Because of the two student holidays, this was a short week for students. When students returned from their four-day weekend, we jumped straight into reviewing all of the first term topics using TenMarks, a website that gives multiple choice questions similar to those asked on the benchmarks and SOL test. The questions are also accompanied by help videos for each topic. Students are encouraged to visit the site or their own if possible and not just wait for the assignments that are given in class.

We also continued our review of the Term 1 quizzes as part of our first benchmark preparation. Since we still have the document camera, I was able to continue showing students how to take middle school math quizzes, verbally and visually walking them through how I would work a problem if I were in their shoes. We discussed what types of things should be highlighted, how to translate word problems and the importance of carefully analyzing what is being asked, and other test-taking strategies. Since middle school math benchmark tests are taken on the computer, we discussed properly showing work for all questions, even the type that students think they can do completely in their heads. I explained that by forcing themselves to write something down for each question, they are forcing themselves to slow down a bit, thus avoiding some of the woes of rushing through their work and/or misreading the question. This will also give them extra materials to use for their SOL review at the end of the year, since they'll have more information to add to the study packets we will create later in the school year.

Students have been asked to study over the weekend and told that they can email any questions that may pop up. I will try to answer them via email if possible, but I will make sure we review any questions that are sent prior to starting the test. The Math Dictionary, class Portaportal, and class YouTube channel are all good sources for home review as well.

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