Friday, February 03, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Jan. 30-Feb. 3

SOLs Covered: 6.4 & 6.6a&b Multiplication and Division with Fractions
Math Dictionary Sections: (18) Multiply & Divide Fractions
Upcoming Assessments: Determining Units of Measure Quiz (Fri. 2/10); WWU Quiz 8 (Fri. 2/17)

Monday was a student holiday and a teacher work day, thus grades were finalized for the second quarter and first semester.  Report cards will go home on February 10th, so be on the lookout next week.  Students returned to school and spent Tuesday and Wednesday completing the second benchmark test, which is probably the hardest test for the entire 6th grade year outside of the actual SOL test.  Scores for all 6th graders in the school were low, so while I have entered them for the third term grades, you can expect the scores to be adjusted (for the better) next week after I have had time to complete a thorough analysis of the data.

For now, the scores have been entered as is to allow students to check their initial scores and hopefully force some of them to reflect on some of their test-taking strategies.   While given two full days to complete the test, many students rushed to complete it the first day, didn't show all of the necessary work, and/or didn't take the time to check their work and answers.   As we prepare for the simulation SOL test that will most likely take place at the end of the third or beginning of the 4th term, a great deal of emphasis will be placed on using proper test-taking strategies.

Students were again on the computer (this time on the netbooks in class) on Thursday, though for a more enjoyable purpose for most part. While some students wrapped up their benchmark test, those students who completed the test in the lab were able to do a quick check of their grades on Edline before trying out DimensionU.   There have been a few technical issues with gaming so far this year after the launch of a new software version, but we are slowly getting back into the swing of things.  A few new technical issues have popped up with the latest addition to the DimensionU family of games, the launch of their updated website that now allows students to play a few new games online through their web browser. The new web games does require the installation of a plugin from the site, but this would be a quick fix for students who are able to play at home on their own computers.  With luck, our school's tech department should have the last few bugs worked out by time we get the netbooks back in class in two weeks.  Until then, I encourage students (all CCPS student grades 3-8 and Algebra I have accounts) to play from home.

Orange County Public School Students talk about DimensionU in their classroom.

The rest of Thursday and all of Friday were devoted to wrapping up the last of our fraction multiplication and division unit.   We started off by reviewing our previous work and going over the related questions from the benchmark test.  Students started the quiz for the unit, but most will need to finish it on Monday.   Students are encouraged to study over the weekend and many still need to complete and turn in homework.

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