Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Feb. 13-17

SOLs Covered: 6.1 & 7.4 Ratios, Rates, & Proportions
Math Dictionary Sections: (23) Ratios, Rates, & Proportions
Upcoming Assessments: Ratios/Rates/Proportions Quiz (Fri. 2/24); WWU Quiz 9 (Fri. 3/2)

As promised (or perhaps warned in the students' opinion), the measurement quiz was given on Monday.  Some had difficulty with the work, but after going over the quiz during warm ups throughout the week while taking a slightly different approach, students are more comfortable with making "ballpark comparisons" and using the conversion cards the made last week.  Again, students will not be allowed to use the cards for the spiral review quizzes, benchmarks, or SOL test, but if students work on memorizing the cards, they could make their own "from scratch" prior to testing.

The rest of the week has been devoted to ratios, rates, and proportions.  While students have been working with fractions for years, they have learned that fraction notation can be used in other ways outside of "comparing parts of a whole" as well as learning the mathematical origins and meanings for the words "rational" and "irrational" when dealing with numbers.  Valentine's Day had students using their new knowledge to describe the relationships within a set "parts to other parts" after making Mathentines (aka Math Valentines).  While making their Mathentines (inspired by a posting from the "Meet the Dubiens" blog), students recorded the number of pieces of red, pink, and white tissue paper they used, which were then used to write ratios (ex. red to white).  Those same ratios were used to determine whether they used a proportional amount for each and again to determine whether their Mathentine color choices were proportional to their neighbor's.  A huge "THANK YOU!" to Michelle O for contributing to fourth block's supply of tissue paper!

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

After going a little more in depth with our notes on Wednesday, students again applied their knowledge in an m&m's® ratio activity comparing the different colors within their bag and writing ratios in additional formats aside form fraction notation (i.e. using words like "to" and using colons [:]).  Again, many thanks to Leonardo C, Travis L, and Christopher G for donating the needed m&m's®!

Students also had an opportunity to practice their work while playing DimensionU.  The netbooks were in top form after the tech department did a little work on them, so students were finally able to fully enjoy the game, both the software and web-based versions of the game.  As an added bonus, students learned that if they login and play five times before the end of the month, they will be in the running to win an iPod Nano!  Please encourage them to continue playing at home; while they enjoy the games and the possibility of prizes, they are increasing their math skills at the same time.  I am waiting to hear back from my contact within the company on a few questions, but check back for future announcements regarding the game and the upcoming spring tournament.

Friday allowed for a little more work with proportions before the students took the eighth WWU Spiral Review Quiz.  Extra time will be given next week to those students who were unable to complete the quiz and scores will be posted to Edline once they are complete.  Students and parents are reminded that school is closed on Monday, February 20th in observance of President's Day; we will continue working with ratios, rates, and proportions upon returning from the short break.

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