Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Sept. 24-28

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:  Test #1 Exponents/Roots, Integers, Order of Operations (Tues. 10/2)

It's been another busy, fun-filled week with continued work on the order of operations, an early release day (for the students with staff development for the teachers), and one really long day for Back-to-School Night.  Since I'm still feeling the effects of yesterday's 14-hour workday, this week's class summary probably won't be as long and eloquent (IMHO) as the norm.

Students have been slowly becoming more comfortable working with more complex problems this week, mixing higher exponents, integers, and algebraic expressions into our work with the order of operations.  They got to practice on these topics on Thursday when we went to the computer lab for the day for one of what will hopefully be many tech days!  While in the lab, students set up their Edmodo accounts if they hadn't already had the chance.  Parents are encouraged to use Edmodo along with their children and can set up their own parent accounts using their students' codes, which can be found on the students' page on the right side of the page.  Students also updated their information on their My CCPS accounts, which is where they can change/retrieve their password as well as access various applications made available to them through the county.

After wrapping up some of the technical pieces, students were able to get into the fun stuff!  At this point, the students have received their account information for several sites I've set up for them:  ClassDojo, Lure of the Labyrinth, MangaHigh, SumDog, TenMarks.  ClassDojo allows me to give points for positive behaviors and take points for negative behaviors, allowing the students to reflect on their progress and judge which areas they need to work on and which things they rock at!  TenMarks allows students to practice concepts while receiving tips and video tutorials; students had to complete at least one of the six assignments I posted for them, though they are encouraged to complete/continue the others as each assignment is on one of the topics that will be tested next week.  The rest of the sites have math games, which allow them to perfect their skills at the basics, which in turn make all the harder topics easier (i.e. mastering basic number sense and computation will make almost every other concept easier) and/or to practice the new topics we are covering this year.  All of the sites (in addition to DimensionU, which the district may or may not be renewing our subscription to) are available outside of school, so students are highly encouraged to use on their own.  Practice makes perfect!

After our day of fun, things were a little more serious, get-down-to-business on Friday, with a quiz on order of operations and turning in the integer projects.  I've received quite a few requests for an extension on the due date of the project for various reasons, so I will take projects on Monday without penalty from all students.  After that, there will be a lose of points for continued lateness outside of any possible exceptions that are worked out on a case-by-case basis.  Students also received the review work for the first test; students are encouraged to work on it and study over the weekend, but we will spend Monday reviewing before taking the test on Tuesday.  Remember that our videos, games, and such all count as part of your own personal review!

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