Special Note: If you happen to purchase a new Texas Instruments calculator, I am collecting the "teacher points" which are on the back of the packaging (similar to Box Tops on food products)! If you are willing to submit these, I can earn free supplementary materials from Texas Instruments! Any help is appreciated!
Announcement: Something has come up and I will be out of school on Monday, June 5. Therefore, the Chapter 17 test B has been rescheduled to Tuesday, June 6. There will be an additional study activity on Monday while I am out.
Have a great week!
I hope everyone had a safe and restful holiday weekend! I was grateful to have internet technology which allowed me to watch my military father walk in a Memorial Day parade back East. It was a somber day of remembrance, filled with much gratitude.
Pre-Algebra students will be taking their last chapter test on Thursday, covering chapter 17: additional probabilities. We will be working next week on some reading and activities involving probability before the final exams.
Algebra 1 students are still working on complex fractions, and will be moving to complex fractional equations later this week. We will have our last chapter test next week.
The final exam schedule has been posted and is as follows: Wednesday, June 14: 1st exam: Latin 2nd exam: Music Theory (7th/8th grade) or Composition (9th grade)
Thursday, June 15: 1st exam: Math 2nd exam: Science
Friday, June 16: 1st exam: English 2nd exam: History
Students will take exams in the following rooms: 6th Grade: Mrs. Kent/Mrs. Perrine's room 7th Grade: Mrs. Sweeney's room 8th Grade: Mr. Carnesecchi's room 9th Grade: Mrs. Kent/Mrs. Perrine's room
*****Please note: Exams will not be given early, nor will there by any make-up sessions after June 16. Teachers and staff will not be in the building after June 16th, as we are attending Hillsdale training for the remainder of June. Therefore, there is no one available to proctor and grade make up exams.
We are down to 21 days left! There is still so much to do, but I am amazed at how far we have come!
Students in Pre-Algebra are finishing their first chapter on probability today. We will begin our compound probability unit by the end of this week. Students will have the opportunity to incorporate some reading in mathematics during this chapter as they read about "rare" events in narrative form.
Students in Pre-Algebra are finishing their unit on quadratics and can now be heard singing the quadratic formula around the school. It may be a song that gets stuck in your head, but I'm happy if it helps students remember. If you would also like to hear the song, it can be found here.
In addition, I reminded students this week about how poetry can be found everywhere, even in mathematics. Below is one example of a great math poem:
At first it may not look like a traditional poem, but if you read it aloud, I promise it is!
Twelve plus one hundred forty four plus twenty plus three times the square root of four all divided by seven plus the quantity of five times eleven equals nine squared plus zero.
Wait. That's not very poetic. Perhaps try a different way. How would you read this classically? (Read in a limerick pattern.)
A dozen, a gross, and a score, Plus three times the square root of four, Divided by seven Plus five times eleven Is nine squared and not a bit more! Have a great week!
Happy Last Day of April! Only 7 weeks left of school, can you believe it!?!?!?
This past week, the 8th graders finished their M-Step process. I am very proud of them for working hard, being on time, and adjusting to our crazy flip schedules. This week the 7th graders have two days of testing (with three days next week). There will be one flip day this week (Tuesday, May 2). Students should check their personalized schedules to determine where to report and when. I will be offering a morning lecture on Wednesday, May 3 for those 7th graders who may be missing class for M-Step testing. The topic will be the introduction to devices used in probability such as dice, cards, coins, etc.
Mid week, the pre-algebra classes will begin our chapter on simple probability. We will be working with theoretical and empirical (reality) probabilities. This chapter will focus on single events, while chapter 17 will focus on compound or multiple events. The Algebra 1 class will be solving quadratics using factoring and square roots, including solving for equations found in story problems! On a non-school note, thank you so much for your support this week. If you haven't heard, my basement flooded after we lost power Wednesday night, which prevented our desperately needed sump pump from running. I made it in for classes on Thursday, but had to leave before seminar to get back to cleaning up the mess. I knew the students would be disappointed if we didn't get to run the M&M's activity! I appreciate the patience of both you and your children as I navigated through these "messy waters"! :)
Have a great week!
Tomorrow morning's 7:30 lecture has been canceled as all Pre-Algebra classes will be doing quiz corrections during class. Any student that misses the corrections for M-Step can come to me during seminar for make-ups.
This week, the Pre-Algebra classes will be finishing their introduction to statistics with the M&M's project. We will be calculating measures of center and having discussions about how statistics are used to make predictions about larger groups (such as the 1 pound bag) from our small size sample (individual size bags). Next up will be probability, using dice, cards, and coin flips. I am hoping this material will feel relatable to students and could even help their Euchre game! :)
The algebra 1 class has been working with radicals and will begin using them in equations and story problems this week. This will prepare them for our final major unit: Quadratics! I am excited as this material is essential for success in all future high school math classes. I know they will do great!
A reminder to all families: as the weather is turning nicer and hotter, please refresh yourself and your child with the "summer" dress code policies in the student handbook. It is not in the student's best interest to be missing class to sit in the office waiting for proper uniforms to be dropped off!
Have a great week! High of 76 degrees on Wednesday is expected!
I hope everyone is having a great break! I made it until today before I came in to school, so I know I got some much needed rest as well! :) Sorry in advanced, there is a lot of info below, but this M-Step information is vital!!!!
M-Step testing starts on Tuesday for eighth graders and early next month for sixth/seventh graders (detailed schedule below). These assessments are a way for us to show to the world how your child is excelling in core content areas and to measure instruction quality of the school overall. Please help both the school and your child by ensuring your child gets a full nights sleep before any test day, eats a full healthy breakfast each testing day, and tries their best effort. I know the students will shine!!!!
Here are some notes about how this will affect our math classes.
Although testing windows are scheduled 8:45 - 11:00 each testing days, not all test days will require this length of time. Some are estimated to be completed as little as 45 minutes! Our schedule accommodates the variation in required testing times between grade levels testing on any given day.
In order to minimize the number of classes missed for each subject, we will be "flipping" our schedule school-wide for 5 of the 11 overall testing days (5 days for sixth/seventh graders and 6 days for eighth graders). This "flipped" schedule will have the same bell times, just a changed order of classes. The new order on these five days will be: 6th, 7th, 8th, 4th, 5th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. This means that whatever class your child has 6th hour normally will be the first class they go to on the "flipped" days. This schedule ensures that lunches are not affected. Flipped days will have no missed math classes.
If your child is scheduled to attend M-Step testing, they will be missing some classes, while remaining upper school students will attend either their normal schedule or the "flipped" schedule.
I have rearranged the sequence of topics within chapters 15 and 16 to ensure the "easiest" material is covered on days when students will be missing class for testing. We will still be covered the full chapters, with chapter 15 first, just a bit out of order.
On the mornings of normal schedule testing days, when some students will be missing math classes, I will be offering morning lectures from 7:30-8:15 to cover material that will be missed. This is completely OPTIONAL. If your child feels confident in teaching themselves the content from the textbook, they are welcome to do so. If not, they are welcome to attending the morning lecture before school. Regardless of choice, students are still responsible for the material, homework and content knowledge which will be covered on the chapter quizzes and tests.
Detailed Calendar: *** This is my current understanding of the schedule. If anything changes, I will keep this updated! Tuesday, April 18
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mrs. Smith (email@example.com) and we will work to get all your questions answered!
Parent - Teacher Conference Day! I'm looking forward to speaking with each of you about the amazing progress your child has made during quarter 2 and quarter 3. If you are unable to make it to any of the available times, please let me know and we can work out an additional time slot. I hope to see you all soon!
ALERT! Some important information about upcoming dates!
Parent Teacher conferences have been scheduled for next April 5 (Wednesday) and April 6 (Thursday) from 4-6 pm each day. Unfortunately, I have a conflict with the April 6 (Thursday) times and will ONLY be available during the Wednesday, April 5 session. To make up for the shorter time, I am extending my availability on Wednesday, April 5 to be from 4 - 8 pm. I am also available for conferences before school by appointment any day next week. If these times don't work for you, please let me know and we can arrange a phone conference during the day next week!
In order to simplify the process, I have created a Sign-Up Genius Event. Please click on the link below to select an available time slot that works for you! If you have trouble finding a time that meets your needs, please email me ASAP so we can make alternate arrangements.
All report cards will be delivered at Parent Teacher Conferences by the student's seminar teacher.
I am having trouble believing that the third quarter will end this Friday, March 24! This year is progressing along so fast!
In order to prepare grades for 3rd quarter report cards, all grades will be closing on Friday, March 24. All re-do's and make up tests/quizzes must be completed by then. If you have any questions, please first check TeacherEase, then let me know if need more information. Pre-Algebra classes will be finishing chapter 13 this week. This will be our last geometry content chapter. We will spend the fourth quarter focusing on proportions, data, and statistics. I will be sending home a letter/permission slip to allow students to participate in an M&M's experiment for the upcoming data chapter. (An alternate bag of marbles will be provided for those who chose not to use M&M's so no one will miss out!) Algebra 1 students are finishing their chapter on Polynomials. We will be starting factoring and quadratics at the beginning of the next quarter. These chapters represent the heart of algebra, and I know the students will be successful thanks to the strong foundation built in the early chapters.
3 weeks until spring break! :)
Happy Happy Pi Day! Today is also Albert Einstein's birthday!! So much to celebrate!
Below are some links to some great discounts and deals being offered at some local stores today only in celebration of Pi Day! (This is in no way an endorsement or guarantee of these businesses.)
Here are some photos of my Pi Day chain. This is a color coded chain made up of the first 500 digits of Pi! Can you spot them all?
Wow! Last night's auction was a big success! Thank you so much to all of the families that donated, attended, and purchased some of the wonderful items! We are very lucky to have such a great community who is so generous! I can't wait to go again next year!
The pre-algebra students are working on some geometry topics this week and next, focusing on areas and perimeters of 2-d shapes while using their algebra skills to solve the given problems. Our next chapter will involve 3-d shapes, so it's a great time to mention how this new chapter adds a whole new dimension to our math! (Please forgive the cheesy math humor!) Algebra students will begin to FOIL this week, and I don't mean the aluminum kind. :) We will begin working with exponents in new ways they have not seen before.
In all classes, I will begin incorporating some multiple choice questions and bubble sheets to allow students to become familiar with the style of questions they will encounter when they take the M-Step next month. I will not be altering the content taught in any way, just adding some addition opportunities to practice having to fill in a bubble rather than answer directly on the test as I do for my regular assessments.
I am hopeful that a real spring is not too far around the corner! Have a great day!
I hope everyone is enjoying our blustery weekend! All students have chapter tests on Monday. We will begin our geometry chapters in the pre-algebra classes and the variation chapter in algebra 1 on Tuesday.
Just some reminders for all students and parents:
I am NEVER interested in how much math a student can calculate mentally. I can only grade what is written on the paper. I need to see where the answers come from. We are now at a level where mental math is not appropriate. For any problem that has just an answer written down, I will assume the answer was simply copied and therefore will mark wrong. True understanding comes from being able to explain how an answer was arrived at, and I want all students to be able to not only arrive at a correct answer but also justify why it is correct. If a student says "I know the answer is 5 but I have no idea how I got there," then I cannot be sure they will be able to replicate that success on a quiz or test.
I remind students on a regular basis that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem. It is important to distinguish between knowing there are multiple methods and working with specific methods. For example, if the chapter topic is "inequalities," then students are required to use inequalities to solve the problem, even if they know of a different way. If students only ever use the old way they already knew, they will not master new materials, which is the goal.
Unless explicitly stated in a given problem, students are never allowed to round a final answer. If the decimal version of an answer has more than 2 digits then the answer must be given in fraction form. No exceptions! Answers such as x=2.34 when the calculator version was x=2.34193948242.... will be marked wrong. Students have been told this on an almost daily basis since October and yet many students are continuing to round their answers. :(
The second semester is now well underway! The Pre-Algebra classes are moving very quickly through our short chapter section of the book. We are halfway through chapter 11 now, working with inequalities. Students were excited to have our good friend, "Number Line Dude" return as we graphed our inequalities! We will be finishing this chapter this week. Next up will be some Geometry chapters involving area, perimeter and volume. The Algebra 1 class is finishing chapter 7 next week. Chapter 7 has been covering systems of equations, where student are given two equations with two variable each, then must find the pair of values that will work in both equations. Our next chapter will be studying direct and inverse variations, as well as an introduction to their first quadratic equation. Very exciting!
Don't forget to check TeacherEase for the latest update on student grades. Copies of all homework assignments and classwork are posted on the individual class pages here on my site. Please let me know if you have any questions! Have a great long weekend!
Be sure to sign up for my individual teacher Remind App as well as LCCA's school-wide Remind App (a great way to get early alerts about snow days!).
Have you visited my help page? I have posted links to a wide variety of helpful sites that provide mini-lesson videos and demonstrations, calculator help, blank graph paper, and study skill development. You may find your new favorite website!
Congratulations! We have made it to the half-way point! I am so proud of the students and how far they have come over this first semester. There is still much to be done as we finish the second half of our school year. I am looking forward to watching the students continue to progress and grow as mathematicians!
Pre-Algebra students turned in their first semester book and were issued their second semester books yesterday. Students will not be getting a workbook for this semester. Instead, homework will be given on worksheets. These worksheets will have the same problems that are found in the workbooks, just printed on a separate sheet. A copy of the the homework will be put on the class site in case students find a way to lose their paper. :)
Algebra 1 students will continue to use the same textbook for the second semester.
The current plan is for all upper school teachers is to submit grades to the principal by Friday, February 3rd. Report cards (for the entire school) are scheduled to be sent home the week after that. My hope is to have all math exams graded by the end of this weekend. Please check TeacherEase to stay up to date on your student's overall grade, including exam scores. There should never be any surprises when report cards come home!
Have a great weekend!
Our long winter break has arrived! I am looking forward to an extended rest period, as I hope you are! We have only a litle over two short weeks upon our return to prepare for final exams at the end of January. There is still so much to do, but I am EXTREMELY proud of how far everyone has come We will be announcing details about the final exams early next month but so far, I can tell you the following: Exams will be held Wednesday-Friday (January 25-27), with 2 exams per day in the mornings. This schedule is exactly how exams are run at almost all public schools. To avoid having separate schedules for our lower and upper schools, the upper school students will be required to participate in a 3-day art seminar in the afternoons of the exams. It is important to remember that proper preparation for final exams will very likely require a few days of study/work that extend beyond our usual schedule of approximately 2 hours of homework per night. This extra preparation should not become all consuming for students, however. Your child should not be staying up until 3AM memorizing every line from every item read in class!!! Now is the time to start talking with your child about the difference between studying and memorizing, and how important practice is in the progression towards mastery.
I hope you have the most restful, happy and safe holiday season!!! Happy new year!!!!! -Mrs. Kent
We are so close to our long winter break, I am so excited!!! All classes are currently scheduled to have a test/quiz on the last day or second to last day before break. This does not excuse students from all work over the break. We will be picking up exactly where we left off upon our return in January. This may mean that your child may have to do some optional review work over the break to ensure they do not lose their math skills! If you have any questions about what kinds of problems your child should work on, please let me know!
The pre-algebra green and blue classes have started chapter 6, working with ratios and proportions. There is a reduced focus on algebraic skills, but they are still present. Please remind students to focus on the details, and watch out for those negative signs! The pre-algebra purple class is taking their test on chapter 6 tomorrow and will begin chapter 7 which covers percents. This is a great chapter to discuss real life math you use every day such as caluclating the final cost of an item on sale or how much tip to leave a waiter at the restaurant. The algebra one class is continuing their work with equations with a strong emphasis in story problems. Please tell students to be confident, even when dealing with older versions of the English language!
Have a great (shortened) week!
I am hearing that many parents did not receive the welcome email from Teacher-ease. I will be resended the welcome email to ALL families today. If you do not get this email, please let me know and I will try to address your email issues individually!
I am noticing that many students have fallen into the habit of actively listening and watching the lesson, but are not taking notes of any kind. I put between 5-12 examples, worked out, on the board each day. The students who are not writing these examples down are the ones that are not doing well on the homework assignments, and often come to me during seminar to ask questions that would have been resolved by simply looking at the examples had they written them down. Please encourage your child to take active notes during class. These examples are a guide to solving the problems independently on their homework.
Parents: please check your email for a sign-up link for Teacher-ease. This is a free online grading system where you can view your child's grades as they are posted throughout the quarter. Please email me if you have any questions!
Please feel free to pass this along to ALL parents of LCA:
LCA will have a "Teacher of the Semester" award each semester. LCA will also have a "Staff Member of the year" award, which includes all official LCA staff! Please use the link below to share your nomination about ANY LCA teacher or staff. We appreciate your input as we adapt and grow to provide the best education possible for your child!
The second quarter is now in full swing! Now that the students have finished 25% of the school year, students are fully acclimated to school policies and procedures and we can progress to enforcing the student handbook. I will be following the handbook and the syllabus regarding the attendance policy and late assignments. If a student is in class and does not hand in an assignment when the assignment is being collected, it will be a zero in the grade book. I will, however, correct (mark right/wrong, but still maintain a zero in the grade book) the assignment for them if they chose to turn in the assignment late, so that the student has feedback on how they performed.
All students are given the opportunity to redo homework assignments if they score poorly. It is more important to me that the students achieve mastery, but I also recognize that students need incentive to take on this extra work which is why I offer a grade change. During the first quarter, I was flooded with redo's the last week of the quarter. To avoid this problem again, I have started putting deadlines on the paper to indicate when a redo must be submitted. If the redo is not submitted by this date, the original grade stands. The deadline is written at the top of each homework assignment, and is usually 2-3 days after I return the graded paper to the students.
Holiday breaks will begin to play a role in the timing of our math classes. I will be working hard to try to schedule our math lessons so that students do not have math homework over the the holiday breaks. HOWEVER, this means I will have no extra time in our schedule to have a review day upon the students' return to school. Students will be expected to maintain their math knowledge over the holiday breaks, and pick up exactly where they left off when they return. They may mean that some students will need to practice their math over the breaks to stay fresh. I will not be accepting "oh I forgot it over break" as a valid excuse.
The algebra 1 class has their test on Chapter 3 this week. We will begin working on Chapter Four: Formulas. This chapter will be cut short a bit, to account for the lost time at the beginning of the year. None of the material cut will be needed for later chapters in this book, so it will not create a deficiency for later work.
The pre-algebra (purple) class finished chapter 4 and will be starting chapter 5 on Monday. This new chapter will introduce students to the concepts of equations with variable and how to solve these equations. We have also spent some time incorporating logic and reasoning, which this class seems to really enjoy!
The pre-algebra (blue) class is making their way through chapter 4, and will begin factoring polynomial GCF's this week. They did very well with distribution laws, and should continue their success in factoring.
The pre-algebra (green) class is also making their way through chapter 4. They will finish up learning about distribution, combining like terms, and simplifying expressions. They have given feedback that they much prefer working with letters over the arithmetic we started the year with!
I am looking forward to the upcoming quarter. Tests have shown drastic improvement in all classes as students have become adapted to the intense rigor and challenge of our math program. I am proud of how far they have come and can't wait to see where they go next!
The first quarter ends on tomorrow (11/4)! I can't believe how fast this year has gone so far. Before you know it, we will be planning our Spring Breaks and deciding summer plans! I will be working diligently this weekend on compiling final grades and report cards will be sent out on the 16th for all students.
The Pre-Algebra Green and Blue classes are finishing Chapter 3 this week. They have worked very hard with their introduction to using letters (variables) in math, and have done very well! The Pre-Algebra Purple class started algebraic manipulation, learned about terms, and started using the distributive axiom. The Algebra 1 class worked on translations and story problems, which I know are not always everyone's favorite part of math class, but they are hanging in there and mastering the material. They will have their chapter 3 test at the end of next week.
Next week, we have no school on Tuesday for election day. This is a great time to have discussions with your child about the election process!
Lastly, as a lifelong Red Sox fan, I have to say congratulations to all the Cubs fans out there! I remember exactly where I was and the excitement I felt on the day the Red Sox broke their drought in 2004, and I am so happy that the Cubs fans that finally get to experience that same joy! :)
Have a great weekend!
Hello! We finished up chapter 2 in all math classes this week. Students seem to be getting in to the groove of math class, and excelling in many ways! I am looking forward to speaking with you all individually about your child's math progress next week at Parent-Teacher conferences. If you have not signed up yet, please let me know so we can arrange a time that works! If you have questions about specific assignments, please bring those with you to the conference, as I do not keep copies of student work.
Please remind students that they are required to write out the original problem and show their work in order to receive full credit on any assignment or assessment.
Pre-Algebra notes: We spent time in the last week learning how to use our high-tech calculators. I will not be testing students on how to use them for a while, because I want to encourage them to get to know these devices for a bit longer. This next chapter, 3, is shorter than most chapters, but it is definitely a challenge! We are beginning to use letters/variables in our math, which is a big step for students! Please encourage them to attempt the optional suggested problems if they are struggling.
Algebra 1 notes: We will be transitioning to a new chapter that focuses heavily on word problems. While these seem daunting to some students, we will be approaching them as a translation problem, no different than translating a sentence from English to Japanese. Each word in English can have corresponding symbols, instructions, or values. My goal is to have students no longer fear word problems, but instead be comfortable tackling them head on.
See you all next week!
Don't forget to check out the student handbook for details on dress code and attendance policies! It is important as the weather turns cold that students have winter uniform items, as they cannot wear jackets or sweaters that are not compliant. Also, when a student is absent for any reason, it is the student's responsibility to follow the attendance policy in regards to turning in missing assignments within the guidelines of time. Please let me or Mr. Merante know if you have any questions!
A reminder to all students. We have just finished the 5th week of school. I have been telling students since the beginning of math class that they need to include the following items on their homework: 1. write the problem number 2. write out the problem as written in the workbook or textbook 3. show work 4. identify their final answer.
I am no longer accepting work that does not follow this pattern. Problems that are not written out or show work will receive no credit, no matter what their written final answer is.
Thank you to all that made it to Curriculum night!! It was great to speak with you! If you still have any questions about class procedures, expectations, general math questions, or something specific about your child, please email me!!
We have determined that LCCA will be running three sections of Pre-Algebra this year, along with one section of Algebra 1. The three Pre-Algebra classes will cover the same materials throughout the year, but may occasionally get off schedule from each other by a day or so. This could happen because one class misses a day due to an assembly/fire drill, students one class need a little extra time to master a concept, or I might need to reteach a concept in one class but not another. Because of this, I will be distinguishing between the classes by identifying them as the "Green", "Blue" or "Purple" Pre-Algebra class. Please be sure to check the correct pages here on my site to confirm homework assignments, and class specific messages!
2nd Period: Pre-Algebra - Green 5th Period: Pre-Algebra - Blue 8th Period: Pre-Algebra - Purple
I can't tell you how excited I am to officially begin the math curriculum!!!
We have made it! The students have completed their assessment portfolios for math placement!!! I will be working hard this weekend to evaluate each student's portfolio in its entirety, including today's in-class assessment, to determine the most appropriate place for your student to be placed for the year. I will be communicating with the students on Monday about their new schedule.
No homework this weekend for students!! :)
Greeting LCCA students and parents!
We are approaching the end of our mathematical assessment portfolio. On Friday, students will be taking an in-class assessment which will be combined with their work over the first two weeks of school to assemble their assessment portfolio. This entire portfolio will be used to determine where your student will be placed for their math class this year.
It is important to remember that there will no longer be "7th Grade Math", etc. There will be Singapore 6, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Geometry. If your student is placed in Pre-Algebra, they are NOT being placed in "7th Grade Math", they are being placed in "Pre-Algebra" which will have students from various grades in the class.
We will be communicating with students on Monday about their new placements and new schedule.
Hang in there guys and gals! We are almost there!
Thursday, 9/8/16 Special note to parents and students:
I spoke with each class extensively today to reexplain the math process and the expectations. My hope is that the students better understand what I am looking for from them. There was never an intent for any student to take more than an hour on these nightly assignments.
In the 7th grade, I am presenting material from 5, 6, 7, and 8th grade math. For the 8th grade students, I am presenting material from 6, 7, 8, and 9th grade math. For the 9th grade, I am presenting 7, 8, 9, and 10th grade materials. I went through each of these curriculum and selected the essential elements that are crucial for students to know before advancing to the next level. As you can imagine, covering four years of material in two weeks creates a very fast paced and intense environment. I arranged the worksheets carefully so that they go in sequential order, from 5th grade - 8th grade level for example, and so that students have 32-36 problems per night. Although they may be spread over several worksheets, it is never more than these selected problems. For any worksheet, there are three situations:
1. Students who know a given topic/process should complete the worksheet successfully in a way that communicates to me that they not only can arrive at the correct answer, but can also show me how they arrived at this answer.
2. Students who recognize a topic/process but don't remember all of the steps should write down what they do remember or recognize and make an honest effort.**
3. Students who do not recognize or have never seen a topic/process should make a note of what they see, what they are thinking and make an honest effort.**
** I have included pictures of two examples below that I would consider an honest effort and would mark these as 100%. These examples are hypothetical answers a student could submit that may not have the right final answer but does communicate an immense amount of information to me. In each problem, I can see the student's strengths or weaknesses with arithmetic (notice the addition error and the successful partial factoring of 48) and their notes tell me information about their thinking process. Even if the final answer is incorrect, it lets me know how the student approaches problems. These assignments are meant as a communication tool in order to decipher what students have been previously taught, what they remember, and where they need remediation.
Students should never respond by writing "I don't know this" at the top of the page and leaving the rest blank. Students should also not just write a random number next to the problem and claim that the random number is their attempt at answer. This does not communicate any information to me about the student's math abilities. I am requiring students to make some form of attempt using the background they currently have in order to
Sorry to be so long, I find I can talk forever about math! Based on feedback from the students today, the classes seemed to have a better understanding of what I'm expecting and that I am in no way asking them to sit at a table for hours on end staring at a paper with no progress. If they know it, great. If they don't, they should not be stressed! I just want them to try something and move on. I cannot utilize blank papers because I can't learn anything about the students from these, and I am concerned about placing students in a class that is too difficult or too easy if I don't get a good handle on their current knowledge.
Once students are placed at the appropriate math level, the pace will slow to a traditional 1 textbook per year pace and homework will reduce, with a target of 5-10 problems per night.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!
I am Mrs. Kent and I will be teaching all of the upper school mathematics classes this year. I am excited to get started with our new school and I can't wait to meet everyone at the Student Orientation on September 1 at 7pm!!
My classroom is located in the media center. If you have any questions before the first day of school, you can email me at email@example.com