Friday, December 07, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Dec. 3-7

SOLs Covered: 7.14 & 8.15a Solving Equations
Math Dictionary Sections: (14) Algebraic Concepts
Upcoming Assessments: Two- & Multi-Step Equations Quiz (Mon. 12/10); Inequalities Quiz (Fri. 12/14); Test 2.2 on Equations & Inequalities (Tues. 12/18)

Another awesome week has passed and it's been an eventful one!  We started the week with practicing combining like terms.  Since this is the first time students have done this, there was a bit of a struggle at first and I extended our work into two days of combining alone, which carried over into Wednesday when it merged with distribution.  With our work on combining we did a lot of coloring coding, matching up the like terms by their variables (or lack thereof).  Students need to remember that like terms have exactly the same variable(s) raised to exactly the same power(s).  They also need to remember to include the sign (plus/minus) in front of the term, making the term either positive or negative.

Once students were comfortable with distributing and combining like terms, we moved onto solving two-step and multi-step equations.  We started our work by modeling equations, beginning with one-step and working our way up to the multi-step, using Teddy Grahams© and miniature marshmallows.  We used regular Teddy Grahams© to represent +x and chocolate to represent -x and regular miniature marshmallows to represent +1 and the colored fruit-flavored kind to represent -1.  I'm working on putting together PowerPoint and notes versions of the activity, so students can review and print copies in case they didn't finish making all their hand-drawn versions.  It will be posted and added to the digital Math Dictionary notes as soon as I finish it up and get a teacher-friend to look over it for any mistakes I might have missed.  Not only did the kids love the snack at the end of the activity, they really seemed to grasp the topic and were able to use what they learned from it to work various equations the old school paper-pencil way, showing their work algebraically.  We also made index cards with the steps for solving multi-step equations, which they'll be able to use on the quiz and test scheduled for later this month.

Due to pushing things back at the beginning of the week, everything was pushed back this week, including the deadline for turning in the week's homework without penalty (normally by the following Monday, this week's can be turned in through Tuesday) and the quiz, which will now be given on Monday.  I gave students three extra worksheets before they left on Friday.  They are only for extra practice and do not have to be turned in for a grade, but if they are completed and turned in, students can earn their choice of extra credit points, Lambie Points, or as a replacement for one missing assignment from this term.  There are also tons of sites bookmarked on the class Portaportal that can be used for further practice and review.

Once we wrap up this unit with Monday's quiz, we'll be jumping into solving and graphing inequalities, which will come with another yummy activity.  We could still use a few more donations of Oreos for the activity if anyone is interested in helping out.  Many, many thanks to all the students (and parents!!!) for all the help with the supplies this week!  I've been so awesomely overwhelmed with how spectacular you guys are!  Thanks to the following students and their parents:  Jordan G, Emilio, Emma Jo, Jason, Mallory, Precious, Avia, Nick, Brent, Taylor, and Megan.  I don't think I forgot anyone, but I trully apologize if I did; please let me know and I'll be sure to give props where they're do.

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