Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Sept. 17-21

SOLs Covered: 7.1e & 7.3a-b Integers; 8.1a Order of Operations; 7.13b Evaluating Algebraic Expressions
Math Dictionary Sections: (6) Order of Operations
Upcoming Assessments: Order of Operations Quiz (Wed. 9/26); Integer Lifeline Project (Test grade due Fri. 9/28); Test 1 on Exponents/Roots, Integers, Order of Operations (Mon. 10/1)

It's been a super busy, super fast week! We started with a quiz on last week's content, computation with integers.  The results left much to be desired, so I planned a retake for Friday, mixing in integer review with our newest topic, order of operations.  The biggest issue students had with the first integer quiz was mixing up the rules between the various operations.  After reviewing a couple of our favorite videos in class (and many students shared they'd watched them at home as well), watching a new cartoon created by Taylor B. using Xtranormal (Good job, Taylor!), and working a few more problems the "old school" way (aka paper/pencil) and the "new school" way (playing a few web games on the Promethean board, all of which can be found on the class Portaportal).  By the end of the week, almost every student improved upon his/her original scores, many by several letter grades!  I'm so proud of how hard everyone worked!   As a final wrap-up of the integers unit, students have been assigned an "Integer Lifeline" project, which is due next Friday, September 28.   I can't wait to see all the projects!

Throughout the week we also began working on the order of operations (aka PEMDAS, aka GEMDAS, aka BIDMAS, and probably a few others).   I prefer the OpHop approach, using an "Operation Hopscotch" to keep track of the four steps.  Most of the students remembered the basics from last year, so after a bit of review with some of the basic problems, we started mixing in the "new stuff":  working with integers in the problems and how PEMDAS is used in evaluating algebraic expressions.  We will delve more deeply into the algebra connections in the coming weeks, but we started with a quick "algebra preview" by working substitution problems.  Of course, being the tech loving group that we are, we had to play a few more web games (found on the class Portaportal) and watch a few videos (the full PEMDAS playlist can be found on the class YouTube channel).  We'll continue working on order of operations next week before doing a comprehensive review of everything we've covered thus far for our first big test.

PEMDAS Blaster from MangaHigh

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