Friday, May 31, 2013

Weekly Class Summary: May 28-31

SOLs Covered:  All Math 7
Math Dictionary Sections:  All Sections
Upcoming Assessments:  End-of-Year Facebook Project (Due Fri. 6/7)

This will be a short and sweet summary as most of this week has been taken up with our Math 7 SOL tests.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were literally half filled each day with testing (3 hours!!!) and the afternoons (after electives and lunch) were spent with last minute preparations for the next day's testers.  I'm so proud of how hard all my students worked!  While not every student passed their SOL test (by state standards a score of 400), almost every student showed improvement compared to where they stood earlier in the year, even earlier this term.

I have posted each student's SOL scores as a note at the bottom of the Term 4 grade reports on Edline.  On top of that, I have adjusted grades for each student's SOL mini quizzes and/or simulation test to reflect their personal growth; grades were only adjusted if they were lower than the SOL score (which was converted using the state's conversion scale for raw scores from the 2010 SOLs, any discrepancies given in the student's favor).  I know some students will be disappointed, but I hope they look at how much they've improved and use that as motivation to continue to work hard instead of feeling discouraged.  Please remember that this was one test and we should look at each student's work throughout the year.  Each student (and parent) should consider how much they've learned and grown when compared to where they started back in September and feel proud of themselves; I know how proud I am!

Friday, students were given a bit of a chance to unwind and relax from the "testsing tension" of the rest of the week.  While enjoying ice pops I brought in as a reward for their hard work, we started to prepare for next week's project, the "fake Facebook" project (derived from a post on the Tech Tools for Schools blog) that will have the students taking a math topic and personifying it through a PowerPoint presentation set up to resemble the "old" Facebook.  We watched PBS's "The Story of 1" for a bit of inspiration on how to go about the personification process and students have already begun brainstorming ideas and seem to be pretty excited about it.  Since the intent behind the project is to get students to review what we've covered this year and use their creativity to present it in another way, I have told students that if they come up with another idea for a project instead of the math FB, I am definitely willing to discuss the possible alternative with them.  My hope is that they will see a bit of the beauty and wonder I find in math and perhaps start to appreciate everything math can do.

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