Friday, November 04, 2011

Weekly Class Summary: Oct. 31-Nov. 4

SOLs Covered: SOL 6.18 & 7.13 Algebraic Concepts; SOL 6.20 Graphing Inequalities
Math Dictionary Sections: (5) Algebraic Concepts; (6) Inequalities
Upcoming Assessments: Benchmark Test for Term 1 (Mon. 11/14 & Tues. 11/15)

We explored graphing inequalities this week (graphing only, students will learn to solve inequalities next year, though I gave them a "preview" in their notes).  Students were super excited to finally do the Oreo©/Twizzlers© activity, which had been pushed back for several reasons from last week's plans. One of the reasons for pushing it back had been the wait-time on being able to check out the document camera, which we finally got back this on Monday. I was able to project what I was doing from my desk with the Oreo© (representing the closed circle [closed cookie] and open circle [open cookie]) and the Twizzlers© (representing which direction the arrow/ray is drawn), allowing the kids to grasp the concept and follow along with their own manipulatives much faster. A huge THANK YOU! to all of the students (and their families) who made this activity possible: Elena A, Esther P, Emily LC, Katelynn S, Leonardo C, Angel B, Travis L, Jessica W, Jamayne R, Elizabeth S, David D, Andrea N, Matthew C, Chris G, and Marta A.

Inequality Wars by TL Hui on XPMath

Sixth grade math classes were scheduled this week to take a Gallup Poll (letters went home from the school last week) and to practice logging into AnComm Talk About It, a website that allows students to anonymously communicate with the school's administration and guidance counselors about concerns and problems they might be uncomfortable sharing in person. There were some technical issues with the site when we tried to login, but they can access it from home and on cell phones with their student ID number as their username and their last name as their password. Students were then able to check their grades for this term one last time and had another chance to complete JLabs in class to take the place of missing homework assignments and for extra credit points. I also extended the deadline for JLabs, allowing students to email or turn in scores first thing this morning. I'm so proud of all the students that took advantage of this opportunity and thus pulled their grades up.

The algebra quiz (with a few property and graphing inequality questions) was taken on Thursday, right after we went over the review worksheet. The document camera again really helped with this since I could show the students how to properly show their work and which parts were important enough to highlight (middle schoolers have tendency to highlight everything or nothing, which doesn't help their work at all). Friday was another quiz day since it was time to take another of our WWU Spiral Review Quizzes. All grades for this week are being added onto the second term to give students time to make-up the work or retake quizzes (as needed) without putting a rush on things. I'm hoping to get the quizzes graded and posted to Edline during down times on Monday and Tuesday, which are both student holidays and Parent-Teacher Conference Day and a teacher workday respectively, but they will definitely be posted by the end of the week. Grades for homework, warm ups, and the inequalities activity have already been added onto the Term 2 grades.

Throughout the week, we began reviewing all of the old quizzes under the document camera (again to show students how to properly show work). This will carry over into next week's lessons as part of our Benchmark Test review. These tests are created by the county to help students prepare for the rigorous nature of the test as well as computer testing, something that might be new for many of the sixth graders. My classes are scheduled to take be in the computer lab for testing on Monday, November 14 and Tuesday, November 15. It is very important that students be on time to class those days since the labs are booked by other classes everyday for the next few weeks.

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