Friday, November 07, 2014

Math: Week 10

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.13a Algebraic Verbal Translations
Math Packet:  #8 Algebraic Verbal Translations
Upcoming Assessments:  CCPS Review Quiz #2 (Mon. 11/10); Combined Quiz (Real Numbers, Algebraic Verbal Translations, Review) (Fri. 11/14)

SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.14 & 8.15a Solving One- & Two-Step Equations
Math Packet:  #9 Solving Equations: Part 1
Upcoming Assessments:  CCPS Review Quiz #2 (Mon. 11/10); Multi-step Equations Quiz (Thurs. 11/13)

The week started with an extended weekend for the students while teachers had a work day on Monday to finish up grades for the first term.  Tuesday was the annual parent/teacher conference day.  The team had a packed schedule and it was a pleasure to meet everyone.  Even though there were some downsides to some of the meetings regarding grades and the occasional behavior issue, overall I have an awesome group of students this year, which is obviously partly due to them having awesome parents!  Thank you to all the supportive parents and guardians out there!  I know that with middle schoolers, your jobs as parents have become a bit more difficult (it's a tough age after all), but your help and support is greatly appreciated by all of us at school.

Even though it's been a short week for the students, but we still got plenty of work completed.  The MSM2 classes worked on verbal translations (a.k.a. English to Mathish in my classes), which can be a tricky topic (think back to the word/story problems of your youth with algebra thrown into the mix!).  We did a bit of work together in class on Wednesday and Thursday, checking the final work on Friday before the kids did a group activity, matching verbal expressions to their algebraic equivalent hanging on the walls around the room.  The kids have a miniature version in their math packets so they'll be able to review the work on their own when they study.

The 7H kids reviewed solving one- and two-step equations in preparation of more complex multi-step problems next week.  Even though it's predominately a review topic, students needed a bit of clarification for different things.  Students often get used to seeing one particular set up for equations, so when things change (ex. the expression going on the right side of the equal sign instead of the right), they can get confused.  We went over these things and did quite a few problems together, going over some of my own tricks for working around the complications (ex. drawing a line down through the equal sign with a highlighter to make visualizing the steps to solve a bit easier).  The kids had a quiz on Friday for this; a few students didn't finish and are encouraged to finish this formative assessment at home since it's online and since we have to take the second county summative assessment on Monday.  The algebra work will continue in both classes over the next few weeks.

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