Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekly Class Summary: Sept. 9-13

SOLs Covered:  7.1 & 8.3 Integers
Math Dictionary Sections:  2 Intro to Integers; 3 Integer Addition; 4 Integer Subtraction; 5 Integer Multiplication & Division
Upcoming Assessments:  Properties Quiz (Fri. 9/20)

Now that we've gotten back into the swing of things, we started the week off busy from the first minute.  Monday started with a quick review of our work from last week on squares and square roots so students would be able to complete last week's homework.  We then jumped into reviewing integers, which students were introduced to last year in sixth grade, allowing them to start solving basic single operation problems with integers.  Students started with addition, learning that if the numbers have the same sign (i.e. all positive or all negative), they still add as they normally would, simply taking the sign of the addends for the sum.  From here, we started talking about how to proceed when given numbers with different symbols.  Students were given several different methods for solving such problems, using number lines and counters along with working it "old school" by subtracting the absolute values of the two addends, giving the sum the sign of the addend with the greatest absolute value.

Once students were a bit more comfortable with adding integers, we moved onto subtracting, which can be simply turned into an addition problem when students remember our key phrase: "Keep, Change, Change."  Students picked up on this quickly, so we were able to jump onto multiplying and dividing integers.  We read a poem that can help students remember the rules but also took a look at how "smilies" and "frownies" could be used as a quick reminder as well.  Using a set of positive and negative foam fingers I'd made (along with a mini-set made out of card stock and popsicle sticks for the students), we practiced figuring out whether a problem should give us a positive or negative solution.  Again, the kids picked up on things pretty quickly, so we had extra time to play a few online games on the Promethean board to review as a class.

The unit was wrapped up on Friday with a quiz; I'm still in the process of grading the quizzes, but I can tell there are a few quick points that we'll need to review on Monday so students can work on quiz corrections.  While corrections are not required, I highly encourage all students to take advantage of the opportunity to pull up their grades as they can earn back half-credit for each missed question (see Error Analysis for further details).  My students also have the opportunity to "buy" a retake using either of the class point systems I have in place if they are still unhappy with their grade.  This applies to all assessments given throughout the year aside from the SOL simulations given in the spring, so I ask parents and guardians to encourage their children to take advantage of these opportunities.

Back-to-school night was held Thursday evening and I thank all the parents who came out last night to show their support.  My presentation is included here for any parents/guardians unable to attend.  I try to give a bunch of information in the short period of time we're allotted  so I am more than happy to answer any questions or meet with any parents to go over anything pertaining to my class and resources.  The sites mentioned are all links that will take you directly to each site. The current version of the Math Dictionary can be downloaded from here.

No comments: