Friday, October 05, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Oct. 1-5

SOLs Covered: 7.1a&b Negative Exponents & Scientific Notation
Math Dictionary Sections: (7) Scientific Notation
Upcoming Assessments: Scientific Notation & Negative Exponents Quiz (Wed. 10/10); Fractions, Decimals, & Percents Quiz (TBA)

It's been another busy, busy week.   Integer Lifeline projects continued to trickle in this week and while they are technically late, I am still accepting them through the end of next week without a point deduction for the lateness at this time. Since the project counts as test grade, it has a huge impact on the grade if it is not completed.   If necessary, projects (either in part or in their entirety) can be emailed or sent to me through Edmodo or Edline.   Students completed their order of operations quizzes on Monday as needed, followed by time reviewing for the first big test of the year, covering exponents and roots, integer computation, and order of operations.   Tuesday was pretty much dominated by the test, which has been graded and returned.   While students can normally only complete an Error Analysis to earn back points on homework and quizzes, I am allowing students a chance to do the same with this first test.  For the rest of the year's tests, students will be able to "buy" a chance for test error analysis using their Lambie Points.  As I believe I've already mentioned, I am hoping students will learn to budget their points (the same way they will one day need to budget their money--consumer applications!), saving points for the important things (the things relating to grades) instead of the less vital things (such as buying candy), learning financial literacy (knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with their personal finances).

The rest of the week has been spent learning about scientific notation.  We've discussed the reasons we use scientific notation in the first place, making extremely large numbers (such as the mass of the sun) and extremely small numbers (such as the mass of a proton) easier to work with and comprehend.  At this stage, students simply need to be able to convert to and from scientific notation and comparing/ordering numbers written in this form.   This is the first year students have even seen scientific notation, so it initially threw a few students for a loop.   After reviewing the powers of ten and learning about how negative exponents (particuarly those for the powers of ten) work, students are starting to feel a bit more comfortable with it.  We will continue working with this threw the beginning of next week, taking the quiz on the unit on Wednesday.   I will also be making a few changes to several Math Dictionary sections based on needs that I've noticed pop up this week.   Students have been handwriting the changes/additions in their personal Math Dictionaries, but the electronic copies will be uploaded as soon as they are made; I've always considered the MD a "living" document since I've been making changes every year I've been teaching, but this holds true this year more than any other!

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