Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Class Summary: Feb. 17-21

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.7 Properties of Quadrilaterals
Math Dictionary Sections:  24 Quadrilaterals
Upcoming Assessments:  Quads Quiz (Mon. 2/21/14); Review Quiz (Fri. 2/28/14)

After returning from another long, snow-covered weekend, students turned in their consumer applications packets and take-home tests.  Knowing how the snow days lead to forgetfulness, I gave the kids a little time on Monday to wrap up their work on these things.  Students are reminded to turn those in ASAP if they haven't so far.

The rest of the week, we started our first geometry unit of the year:  properties of quadrilateral.  In MSM2, we cover the general term of quadrilateral as well as the more specific terms of parallelogram, rhombus, rectangle, square, trapezoid, and kite.  We spent a lot of time going over the quadrilateral "family tree" and how things relate to each other.  I used other analogies to help students better understand their relationships, for example "all puppies are dogs, but not all dogs are puppies" helped students understand that "all squares are rhombi, but not all rhombi are squares."  I also talked about how different shapes share characteristics of their "parent" shapes the same way the students share characteristics with their parents ("daddy rectangle" and "mama rhombus" share their characteristics with "baby square" the way students might have their mom's eyes and their dad's nose).  Most of the characteristics have been covered in previous years, but students were introduced to the rules of each quadrilateral's diagonals.  I've suggested to students that they create flash cards with each characteristic written on one side of the card and all the shapes that have that characteristic on the other.

On Friday, we spent the day in the computer lab.  I'd already booked the lab about two months ago just for a general fun math gaming day, but we ended up needing it to submit our answers for the county's first semester benchmark test.  Since all the work had been completed on paper previously, that part didn't take too long and we had time for some less serious computer stuff as well.  Before allowing the kids to play, I did walk the students through the process of adding the team's student calendar I created to their own Google calendars.  I've been told that with the introduction of Chromebooks next year, students will no longer be issued a tracker/agenda where they've traditionally kept track of all their assignments and such.  Because of this, I'm experimenting with how to use the Google calender to keep students and parents informed as well as helping students keep their school and outside life more organized.  Next week during SOAR on Tuesday (for Block 1/2), Wednesday (for Block 3/4), and Thursday (for Block 7/8), I'll be helping students who need it in setting up their Google accounts and its various features on their mobile devices (as long as they've gotten permission from their parent ahead of time).  Students will only have permission to have their devices in class and out during the SOAR block on those days and have been reminded that being allowed to use them at any time in my class does not give them permission to use it outside of my class or those times.

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