Julie Jarolimek, our math interventionist, wants to share her program called Move Up Math. Please click this link to view the slideshow.

Core 1: 6A & 7A - Burton and Hemphill

We celebrated our first Math Auction on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break, and thanks to the overwhelming response of parent donations it was a huge success! Thanks soooo much for the generosity - both teachers and all the 6th graders very much appreciated it!

Students have been working diligently to learn all about positive and negative numbers over the course of the past 2 months. They have been learning how negative numbers are used in sports such as golf and football, to describe temperatures from around the world, and how to manage bank accounts (such a great life skill especially!).

Students who are currently working with Mr. Burton are finishing up their unit on adding and subtracting rational numbers. A summative assessment will be coming up soon on this topic, so be on the lookout for your student to be finishing their portfolio.

Students who are currently working with Mrs. Hemphill should have their adding/subtracting rational numbers and multiplying/dividing rational numbers summative assessments and portfolios submitted and graded on FAR. Please ask your student to share this information with you. In the upcoming weeks, we will be finishing up our unit on perfect cubes/perfect squares and will begin diving deeper into the world of Algebra as we explore writing equivalent expressions by combining like terms, using the distributive property, and factoring expressions.

ALEKS update! Students should now be at about 108 topics completed if their goal is to finish their 7th grade ALEKS pie by the end of the year and 225 topics completed if their goal is to finish their 8th grade pie by the end of the year. Please ask your student to share their progress with you.

Core 1: 8A - Grosskopf

Core 1 is all over the place! We have students working in Geometry and Number Systems. Some students are exploring all about the Pythagorean Theorem and how it connects to upper level geometry with the distance formula. We have some kids who are working on some hands-on activities with straws, post-its and protractors to construct triangles; these learners are exploring different kinds of triangles, their individual and shared characteristics, and will start to construct triangles based on given conditions. We have another group of students who are working on a vocabulary rich unit of classifying real numbers. Almost all 25 learners are working at their own pace, and it’s such a neat thing to see some students really take advantage of the personalization. If you want your student to work on math over break, his or her Aleks pie should be at 112 topics completed by the end of this Thanksgiving break (if they’ve been staying on track.)

Core 1: Math 8 - Wray

I can’t believe that the first three months of the school year is done! Math 8 Students in Core 1 and Core 2 have been making a lot of progress on the 8th grade standards. Prior to Thanksgiving break, we finished the 8th Grade Number Systems unit which includes a variety of topics relating to rational and irrational numbers. One of the main tasks that students completed was a Numbers Inquiry where they researched the history of numbers and learned about new ways that numbers and number systems are used. The big reveal for many students was that there are “Imaginary” numbers. Wow! This week, when we returned from our 5-day weekend, we began learning about exponent properties. Learning and understanding the properties can be difficult for some students at first, but understanding exponents builds a solid foundation for other math concepts and real-life applications, like interest formulas, computer programming, or even Scientific Notation (which happens to be our next unit). Some of the Math 8 students still need to demonstrate proficiency in our previous units and they have multiple opportunities to do that during Flex and Connect each week. You can check your student’s For All Rubrics assignment list to see if they are missing any assignments and see how they performed on each of our first four standards. If they have anything missing, please encourage them to come to Connect and Flex to get the support and extra time that they need. And don’t forget about Aleks. At this point in the year, Math 8 students should have at least 50% of their Aleks pie completed and they should be completing 10-15 topics each week. They are given some class time to work-on Aleks, but they should also be spending time outside of class to continue to build their math skills.

Core 2: Math 7: Grosskopf & Hemphill

Core 2 has been working very hard on multiplying and dividing rational numbers. They have been working with positive and negative integers, fractions, and decimals for the last two months! If all students have been on track with their work, they should have their Multiplying & Dividing Rational Numbers Portfolio Page and Summative Assessment turned in and graded by the start of Thanksgiving Break. If it’s not turned in and completed, then they should try to get that done in order to not fall even further behind. If you want your student to work on math over break, his or her Aleks pie should be at 112 topics completed by the end of this Thanksgiving break (if they’ve been staying on track.)

Core 2: Math 6: Burton (also Core 4)

We celebrated our first Math Auction on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break, and thanks to the overwhelming response of parent donations it was a huge success! Thanks soooo much for the generosity, all the 6th graders and I very much appreciated it! For both Cores 2 and 4 we are coming near the end of our Ratios/Proportions unit. Sixth graders will soon be having their summative assessment, which also means their portfolio page will need to be completed. Keep a check for these pieces on both Twitter and ForAllRubrics. ALEKS topics had another holiday bonus over the Thanksgiving Break, so hopefully your mathlete took advantage of this bonus money for their cash for math accounts. Each 6th grader should be at a total of 100 topics by this point!

Core 2: Math 8

Same as Core 1: Math 8: Wray

Core 4: Math 6 - Burton

Same as Core 2: Math 6: Burton

Core 4: Algebra - Grosskopf & Hemphill

We just wrapped up our functions unit before Thanksgiving break. The students worked on Chapter 4 Functions, Sequences, and dove deeper and explored Composite Functions. The latter was a challenging unit because it involved a lot of precision with negative signs and distributive property. After the relaxing break, we will be starting Chapter 5, which focuses on linear functions: slope-intercept, graphing lines, and applying linear functions to real world problems. Upon completion of Chapter 5, and before Winter Break, we will be preparing the students for the Mid-Year Exams. The Mid-Year Exams are required for all students in the district who are enrolled in Algebra 1, regardless of their age. This is their first time taking this kind of cumulative exam; this is a great opportunity for our students to strive for proficiency on the competencies that they are marked as Approaching Proficient; you can find this information on their Math Continuums, and in their ePortfolio in F.A.R. If you want your student to work on math over break, his or her Aleks pie should be at 126 topics completed by the end of this Thanksgiving break (if they’ve been staying on track.)

Core 4: Geometry: Wray (If your student is completing Geometry Independently, see the note below.)

I wrote a lot about proofs in our first couple math newsletters and I can finally say that all of our Geometry students have survived (I knew they would)! We will continue to see proofs throughout the year to continue the practice of thinking logically and making sound arguments, but we have finished the units that required the most formal proofs. Our latest endeavor is Compass Constructions. A lot of people think that the main purpose of a Compass in math is for drawing circles, but they can be used for so much more. It’s definitely a nice break from doing two-column proofs. Compass constructions are part of Chapter 5, which also includes other relationships in triangles, so we have been learning how to find the center of a triangle and the uses of finding the center of a triangle as well. The goal in the next month is to finish Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 before the long Winter Break. Chapter 6 is the last unit in first semester, which means that we will be taking the first semester exam after the break. Being more than three months into the school year also means that students should be making a lot of progress on Aleks to support their skill building. Geometry students who are not at least 60% done with their Aleks pie should be doing 10-15 topics each way. Keep Learning!

INDEPENDENT Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calc, Calculus: Core 2 and 4: Wray

As mentioned in earlier math newsletter, we have a number of STEM students who are working on High School Math Classes at an Independent pace. Obviously we have individualized learning in all of our classes and many independent students, but these students are taking it to the next level. Using Aleks, eAchieve, Blackboard, Portfolios, and other resources, these students are gaining proficiency on high school math standards and then demonstrating their proficiency in a variety of ways. We’ve been in school for three month now and they are learning a lot. Just this week, they were given an assignment on For All Rubrics to reflect on their progress. As a teacher, I monitor their progress regularly, but this is an opportunity for them to reflect on their progress and share that with their parents thought For All Rubrics. Over the next week, I will be conferencing with these students and talking about their goals, their progress at this point in the year, and setting some more short-term and long-term goals. I will comment on our conversation and these goals in the comments section for that assignment on For All Rubrics. If your student is one of our Independent math students, please look at the reflection they have provided to see all of the hard work they have done and look for my comments on the rubric sometime in the next week.