Saturday, January 17, 2015

Math: Week 18

MSM2 Blocks 1/2 & 7/8
SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.4 & 8.3 Proportional Reasoning
Math Packet:  #12 & #13 Solving Practical Problems Using Proportional Reasoning
Upcoming Assessments:  Consumer Math Quiz (Wed. 1/21); Proportional Reasoning Test (Mon. 1/26 & Tues. 1/27)

7H Block 5/6
SOLs Covered:  SOL 8.3 Proportional Reasoning
Math Packet:  Proportional Reasoning Study Guide
Upcoming Assessments:  Polynomials Quiz (Mon. 1/26)

This is going out a bit later than usually this week (my apologies to anyone who might have been expecting this yesterday), but it's not exactly been a normal week as it is.  The kids (and honestly all the teachers, too!) were excited to get our first snow (ice?) day of the year on Wednesday, followed by a two-hour delay on Thursday.  At EDMS we try to plan as much as possible for inclement weather and I kept track of last year's snow days, so we're still in good position with our pacing for the year.  If this winter continues to follow the trends we saw last year, both the MSM2 and 7H curricula have topics that can easily be moved to the end of the school year, after the SOL tests, without difficulty (for MSM2 the Math 8 topics and for 7H the Algebra I topics).  I do ask that students try to keep their minds "fresh" by reviewing materials whenever they miss school, both when the county closes for inclement weather as well as times they might need to miss for other reasons (out sick, family trip, etc.).  They can go over their old materials as well as using their various web resources when possible.

Before going into this week's topics, I would also just like to remind both students and parents to remember to log into Synergy (a.k.a. StudentVUE and ParentVUE) to check grades.  We're nearing the end of the term and I've been encouraging students to stay on top of their grades and do everything they can to pull their grades up.  Students can do corrections (reminder, they need to not only give the correct answer but also show their work and give an explanation along with it) on old assessments to pull those grades up as well as completing missing/incomplete assignments.  Students can spend their Liberty Points to turn in late corrections and assignments to "buy back" the penalty.  For students and parents who have smart phones or similar handheld devices, there are apps to make checking grades a bit more convenient.  For those using iOS devices, you can find the StudentVUE app here and the ParentVUE app here.  For those using Android devices, you can find the StudentVUE app here and the ParentVUE app here.

Now for the math side of things from this week.  Both classes are still working on proportional reasoning including consumer math skills, with the MSM2 classes getting further into the consumer math side and working a bit more percents while the 7H class wrapped up their work on this topic with the unit test.  With both classes, we've had a few recent conversations about how best to study and prepare for math class.  Aside from simply doing the assigned work and reviewing it, I've encouraged students to continue working with the various sites I've set them up with as well as to study and practice making the Smart Chart.  I believe I've mentioned the Smart Chart before this school year, but in case I haven't or as a refresher as needed, it's basically a "cheat sheet" (only without the negativity of that naughty word) with all the little tricks and hints to remind the kids of the process for solving each type of question.  I gave them an "official" copy this week (they normally add it to the blank cover of the work packet each unit) and I will allow them to use it on any of their formative assessments.  I encourage students to practice making the Smart Chart from memory on weekends since that's the only way they'd be able to use it for summative assessments, including the SOL test, if they make it without prompting using plain blank paper once in the testing setting.

Again, my apologies for this going out late.  I truly hope that these emails/posts are helpful to at least a few of you out there and I do try to get these out as soon as possible.  I hope everyone is having a restful weekend and that all the kids (and hopefully some of the parents) enjoy the long weekend!

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