Friday, March 02, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Feb. 27 - Mar. 2

SOLs Covered: 6.16 & 7.9 Probability
Math Dictionary Sections: (24) Probability
Upcoming Assessments: Probability Quiz (Fri. 3/9); WWU Quiz 10 (Tues. 3/13)

Students started the week with the ratios, rates, and proportions quiz after going over last week's review worksheet.  Overall, grades for this quiz were a vast improvement over other recent assignments since most students seem to have turned over a bit of a new leaf after we discussed the need to apply ourselves to our work.   I believe many were also given a push in the right direction once they saw the winners of last week's HW Stingray drawing receive their points.   In addition to this, they were informed that the 6th grade math teachers are working on an idea for class competitions that will probably have scoring revolving around points being given for doing all the things that "good" students do (bringing supplies, getting started on work immediately, following directions, etc).  Make sure to check future "weekly class summaries for further information once the details for the competition are ironed out.   Most students seem to be a bit more driven to succeed, so please encourage them to continue striving to do better.  Congratulations to this week's HW Stingray winners!

After the R/R/P quiz was finished, we jumped straight into probability by reviewing the basics of probability that students learned in elementary school. In the past, students dealt with finding the probability of a single event.  This week we began building on this by starting an exploration into multiple events, both independent and dependent.  At the moment, we are still discussing how to distinguish between the two types of events (independent events have no effect on each other, while dependent events have one event affect the possible outcomes of a second event).   This has not been a simple task, but students seem to be grasping how to breakdown a scenario into individual events and determining whether the first is changing any aspect of the second.   We will continue working on this next week with a few group sorting activities and experiments/games that the kids are eagerly anticipating.   For one of the experiments, we could again use help in the form of classroom donations, this time with plain Hershey's Kisses®.  Thank you Elizabeth S for already donating to second block's supply!

When we had the netbooks in class this Thursday, students completed a pre-survey for a Harvard University study the district (and many others across the country) will be participating in this month.   The TESLA Project (Transforming Engagement in Students Learning Algebra) is being conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in order to "[investigate] the relationship between technology-based motivational activities and student interest in careers in STEM professions."  A letter/consent form with further information was sent home earlier in the week; additional information can be found on the project's website.  I will also provide additional information in the future once we (the teachers) have attended our training in two weeks.

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