Friday, November 02, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Oct. 29-Nov. 2

SOLs Covered: All of Term 1--7.1, 7.3, 7.13, 8.1, 8.2, 8.4, & 8.5
Math Dictionary Sections: #1-12
Upcoming Assessments: Properties of Real Numbers Quiz (Fri. 11/16)

It's been another doozy of a week, this time mostly due to the crazy weather!  Thankfully we had a much easier time here in Virginia, especially when compared to what we experienced last year at the start of the school year (hurricanes and earthquakes and aftershocks, oh my!).  Our hearts go out to those in parts of the country that were more severely hit by Hurricane Sandy this week.  Schools were closed throughout many parts of Virginia on Monday and Tuesday, so when we returned Wednesday, which happened to be a previously scheduled 3-hour early release day, we jumped straight into reviewing for the test.  After a bit more review (including a recap of our favorite math music videos!), the test took up most of Thursday.

Since students will be out for another four-day weekend (thanks to the Parent/Teacher Conference Day on Monday and a teacher workday on election day), I did not want to start a new unit, so part of Friday was spent wrapping up any last minute work to be added to the first report card.  Students turned in the first Liberty Points and received the new ones for the second term.  Those students who were frugal with their points will see the pay-off the next time they check their grades and see how the extra credit earned from their old points helped their grades. When they return next week, they will also receive an equivalent amount of Lambie Points.  I like to compare the Liberty Points to a credit card and the Lambie Points to cash and as we get into our work on consumer applications later in the next term, I hope they will start to understand how my different point systems relate to this as well as thinking ahead to how this may affect them when they are older and having to manage their own finances.

The extra parts of Friday's class were spent on a quick check of the Math Dictionary, updating the table of contents and added the next section to free up a bit more time next week.  Some of the students were also able to do a binder clean-out and get things a bit more organized.  I've encouraged students to keep their old quizzes and tests, but to preferably do so in a separate folder at home.  Any of the old classworks and homeworks can be recycled (save trees!), but students who wish to keep them for later review are welcome to do so but again in a folder at home to help keep their school things organized and to free up space.  If they get rid of any of the classworks or homeworks but find later on they wish they still had it, they can find everything in the "Digital Copies of Graded Assignments" folder on GoogleDrive as well as the folders on Edline and Edmodo.  To wrap things up for the week, I introduced students to KenKen puzzles, which are similar to Sudoku puzzles but with a bit more thought to it, requiring a bit of math work that utilizes the basic operations and utilizing some properties knowledge (our upcoming unit).   KenKen puzzles were developed by Tetsuya Miyamoto with the goal of improve his students’ math and logic skills by "[encouraging] independent thinking, emphasizing trial and error, concentration, and perseverance."  I've promised to keep extra puzzles available in class for students who finish their work up early or those who just want to have a few extras for the fun and challenge.  Any puzzles turned into me can also earn students a few extra Lambie Points.  Look for more when you return next week!

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