Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekly Class Summary: May 20-24

SOLs Covered:  All Math 7
Math Dictionary Sections:  All Sections
Upcoming Assessments:  Math 7 SOL Test (Tues. 5/28-Thurs. 5/30)

It's been another week full of SOL review.  At this point, I've had my mini-conference with each student about their simulation test scores and helped them understand which areas (based on this test, their SOL mini-quizzes, and their work throughout the year) they need to focus their own study time.  They were also given a chart and letter to accompany their answer sheet (which should have all the corrected answers now in order to aid their studying) for the mini-quizzes, again showing for which areas they've reached mastery and the areas they need to work on in order to get to a mastery level.

As previously mentioned in the homework post, for the first time all year I did not give them any formal homework aside from getting their letters signed.  I wanted to leave the time open so they could focus on their own personal areas of need and no one assignment would work for each student to do this.  To help with their efforts, I have updated assignments on TenMarks with everything we've covered throughout the year.  Each student can work on the assignments listed their for which they need to improve.  I've been very pleased to see how many students have been logging in each day to work on TenMarks as well as MangaHigh (we won our Fai-To by the way and captured our opponents' trophy!).

We spent a ton of time practicing with the state's TestNav practice SOL test, though I encourage students to continue practicing with it at home this weekend.  Throughout our review of the practice questions, I went over all the nitty gritty details that could have a negative on their score if they aren't careful:  the fine details in wording (ex. fill-in-the-blank questions that require fractional answers in simplest form), TEI questions with multiple right answers required to get the question correct, math vocabulary and even "regular" words that are vitally important, different intervals given on a graph, etc.  I was able to get through all of the questions with my Block 1/2 class who tests when we return from the long weekend on Tuesday; I should be able to finish up the last of the questions with my other two classes next week the day before each tests.

Because of the complexity and rigorous nature of our math testing, students will automatically be getting an extra "chunk" of time (three hours) added onto our morning testing blocks to ensure they have enough time to properly address each question, though if there are any students who need extra time, they will most definitely be given it as needed.  I hope (and encourage!) all students to take as much time as they need and not to rush just because others are finishing before them; we all work at different paces and we shouldn't try to force ourselves into something that might work for someone else.

While I hope every student takes time throughout the long weekend to study (and feel free to email or Edmodo message me if you have any questions), I hope everyone has time to enjoy their mini vacay as well as appreciate the reasons we get this extra time away from school.  Since quite a few of my students' parents are part of the armed forces, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their service to this country.

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