Saturday, April 25, 2015

Math: Week 30

MSM2 Blocks 1/2 & 7/8
SOLs Covered:  SOL 7.9/10 & 8.12 Probability
Math Packet:  #22 Probability
Upcoming Assessments:  CCPS Mini-SOL Quiz #1 (Mon. 4/27/15); Probability Quiz (Wed. 4/29/15 @ Home); Sequences & Probability Test (Fri. 5/1/15); CCPS Mini-SOL Quiz #2 (Mon. 5/4/15)

7H Block 5/6
SOLs Covered:  SOL 8.12 Probability
Math Packet:  #21 Probability
Upcoming Assessments:  CCPS Mini-SOL Quiz #1 (Mon. 4/27/15); Probability & Functions Quiz Part 1 (Thurs. 4/30/15 @ Home); CCPS Mini-SOL Quiz #2 (Fri. 5/1/15)

My apologies for this being a day late.  My allergies have been wrecking havoc, so I finished up at school as quickly as possible on Friday and headed home.  I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, so I'll get straight to the point and end things fairly quickly this week.

Both classes were working on probability this week and cover essentially the same skills, though the 7H class works with more complex word problems.  Both cover independent and dependent events, determining which situations are one or the other (independent where the first event has no affect on the second; dependent where the first event changes the possibilities available for the second event) and then finding the probability for those situations.  The MSM2 classes had a whole-class discussion on the differences while we went over different word problems, debating at times whether an event was independent or dependent.

The 7H class had a small bit of whole-class work but also did some extra work on their own via Khan Academy.  Since the 7H class got a head start on the topic last week, they wrapped it up this week with a study guide on both probability and statistics before starting the test Friday at the end of class; they've been told to finish the test at home by Monday if they did not finish in school.

The MSM2 classes were also required to take the state ARDT test; it's similar to the SOL test (it uses the same format and programming) but is used to evaluate students' academic growth over the year when compared to their pre-test scores from the beginning of the year.  While a few students still need to make-up the test, I'm happy to say that almost all the students showed significant growth from where they started the year.  Though some are not where we'd hope 7th graders would be at this point, since some did not start the grade on target, I've tried to use the scores to boost their confidence in their math skills.  When you consider that some were one or two grade levels lower than where they should have started, they should be extremely proud of their growth over this year.  I certainly am!!!

Since the kids (and us teachers!) are already feeling a bit overwhelmed with the number of assessments this time of year, from this point forward the in-house quizzes (meaning those made by myself or another EDMS teacher) will be given as "take-home" assessments (still digital, but open for testing after school/class hours), though students without internet connection will have opportunities provided to them as needed.  All of the county assessments, which will include the SOL mini-quizzes the kids probably remember doing in 6th grade during this same time last year, will still be given in class and will strictly follow SOL guidelines for testing.  These will start during class on Monday.  I'm hoping this will alleviate some of the added stress the kids start to feel with all the added pressures of SOLs that start to show up at this time each year.

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