Friday, November 09, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Nov. 5-9

SOLs Covered: 7.16 & 8.15c Properties of Real Numbers
Math Dictionary Sections: (13) Properties of Real Numbers
Upcoming Assessments: Properties of Real Numbers Quiz (Tues. 11/13); Test 2.1 on Properties & Verbal Expressions (Fri. 11/16)

It was another short week for the students, but teachers filled the two days the students were gone with parent/teacher conferences and staff development.  A huge "thank you!" goes out to all the parents who took time out of their day to meet with us to check on the progress of their children!  If there are any parents who were unable to come in on Monday but would still like to arrange a time to meet, please feel free to email or call the school and I will get back with you about possible times.  I cannot promise that the other teachers would be able to attend as well for a team conference as we do for the official parent/teacher conference day, but I can do my best to try to make those arrangements and at the very least make sure we can find a time to meet to discuss progress in my math class.

Once students returned, we jumped straight into working on the properties of real numbers.  At this point, students have covered all of the properties covered in seventh grade throughout their previous years of education, so we started off with a quick review of the different terms (associative, commutative, identity, inverse, zero, and distributive) along with some of the mnemonics my former students and I have come up with over the years.  I strongly recommend students spend extra time reviewing and memorizing the vocabulary terms for this unit as students need to not only know how the properties affect a problem, but also term goes with each change.  While the names themselves are not necessarily needed to understand how the properties work (i.e. you can understand that 4+5=5+4 even if you don't know it's the commutative property that allows for this), students do need to know them for both testing purposes and to understand what others mean (myself, future teachers, or anyone else) are referring to when they use the different terms.  For this week and next, we are focusing on matching different problems with the properties being applied.  After the quiz next week (Wed. 11/13), we will begin working on translating verbal expressions into algebraic expressions and upon returning from fall break, we will be using the different properties to solve one-, two-, and multi-step equations, so it is vital that students have the vocabulary down now to ensure that they are able to later identify the various properties being applied to each equation.

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