Friday, September 06, 2013

Weekly Class Summary: Sept. 3-6

SOLs Covered:  7.1 & 8.5 Squares & Square Roots
Math Dictionary Sections:  1 Exponents & Roots
Upcoming Assessments:  Squares/Square Roots & Integers Quiz (Fri. 9/13)

It's been an awesome first week back to school!  On the first day, students filled out a little form so I could get to know them a little better and I in turn shared a bit about myself as well as my expectations for the school year.  The first day also came with quite a bit of paperwork, which flowed into the rest of the week as students returned the completed forms.  By day two, students started off immediately with their first set of warm up questions, which should be in a notebook (be it spiral or composition) that will stay in class in order to help cut down on the amount of stuff students must carry around with them.  Throughout the year, if students wish to take their warm up book home overnight to study, it will of course be permitted, but it is very important that they bring it back the next day in order to keep students as organized as possible.

After warm ups, we started working on what I call our "Math Dictionary."  This is a composition that will be the student's interactive notebook for the year, containing their notes and examples.  Students will essentially be making their own textbooks for the year and thus should take the Math Dictionary home with them each night to help with homework and materials to study.  An eBook version of the Math Dictionary can be downloaded from my GoogleDrive, but be forewarned that I consider this a bit of a "living" document, meaning I'm constantly making changes as I see the need arise.  Anytime I complete an update, I try to include a post to let everyone know as well as updating links, but links within older posts (more than a year old) will not be changed.

To help the students "connect" with their Math Dictionaries a little more, I had them personalize the first two pages with math about them, adding pictures and numbers that make the math of their lives (ex. the year they were born, the number of siblings they have, their jersey numbers, etc.).  These pages will also serve as their only "doodle" pages, so they'll be able to draw on these pages every once and awhile but I should not find random sketches of SpongeBob or Justin Beiber's name in the middle of their book when I go to grade it.  Once they had a bit of time personalizing their books, we moved on to set up the table of contents and the first section of notes, Exponents and Roots.

With the Math Dictionary set up, we moved onto a classwork assignment that had students discovering on their own what's going on with the square roots of all the numbers between the perfect squares.  Since I also had to work in time for students to take the county's pre-assessment for the year, we didn't quite finish the activity and I as I stated in an earlier post this week, I feel we need to do a bit more work in class before I can expect the students to have the previously assigned homework completed.  Therefore they had no math papers to turn in for grading this week and we will instead go over everything on Monday.  The first grades will be taken starting Monday or Tuesday, depending on how much students remember from the first week, after that summer daze has worn off fully.

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