Happy September and Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!
If you didn't make it to the Curriculum Night, we have linked out the presentation we used as a Math team. If you are new to STEM this year and this is your first time reading our newsletter, here are some things to know:
- We break down our monthly newsletter by each course and by teacher. So have that conversation with your student about with whom and when they have math.
- We share the previous, current and next unit of study.
- We share reminders and events happening in the math classrooms.
- We also like to share celebrations!
6th Grade Math with Mr. Burton (Cores 2 & 4):
To start off I just want to say how impressive this group of 6th graders has been to start the year! Thanks parents, you obviously have a done a great job with your children!! We spent the first two weeks reviewing basic skills such as multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals; we will focus on these skills once a week for 15 minutes, as they are essential to math success. There is a variety of ways that students can use to solve multiplication and division, but they must be proficient using the standard algorithm for both, so please stress this at home for practice off and on. We also practiced using some of the basic math tools such as ruler, meter stick, and protractor. The week of 9/18 we kicked off our first unit on Number Systems. This will work on GCF, LCM, fraction division, and decimal operations. Remember you can keep up on our class easily by either going to the school website, and under the math tab my Twitter feed is embedded; or, follow me on Twitter. My handle is #BurtonStem. I will always tweet homework, as well as pictures of the students in action, but will never use any names. Thank you to the 80 followers so far! Please feel free to give me feedback on this, as this is the first year I have used this to communicate with parents. :)
6A/7A Math with Mr. Burton and Mrs. Hemphill (Core 1):
Wow! Have we ever been impressed with the level of maturity, responsibility, and compassion from this group of students! Both Mr. Burton and Mrs. Hemphill, who co-teach this class together, have enjoyed getting to know your students so far this year! Throughout the beginning part of the year, we have focused on developing foundational skills, both socially and academically. Each day we try to incorporate the 4 TRIBES agreements in what we do (ask your student about these!). We begin class with a community circle or question of the day where students have the option of sharing on a variety of topics. We have also been using a variety of energizers that focus on developing teamwork and community-building. Class then transitions to station rotations where students work with both Mr. Burton and Mrs. Hemphill on a variety of skills. One station involves the use of a mathematical tool such as a compass, protractor, or ruler while the other station revolves around reviewing adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing algorithms.
Over the course of the next few weeks, students will be receiving log-in information for their TenMarks and ALEKS accounts. Both are digital mathematics programs that allow for more individualization for each student. ALEKS accounts are now up and running; students should be working on about 10-15 topics each week.
7th Grade Math with Ms. Grosskopf (Core 2):
We have been working with hands-on activities everyday in this class! So far, we have worked with protractors to construct angles and triangles with given conditions, a compass to construct circles with certain radii and diameters, straws to prove or disprove triangles, and cutting out triangles to prove the interior angle sum. In addition to this, we have been working on the four operations with fractions, decimals and whole numbers. This class is really growing together as a community and practicing mindfulness; they also impress me daily with their math knowledge and ability to share their thinking. Mr. Burton did a great job with them last year!
7th Grade Math with Mrs. Hemphill (Core 2):
Talk about a great start to the year - as Mrs. Carlson and I have led students through various activities, we have been continuously impressed with the drive and focus from this group of students! Throughout these opening weeks, we have been focusing on three main areas: 1) team-building; 2) tools practice (protractor, compass, ruler, etc.); 3) reviewing 6th grade adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing algorithms.
These skills are building the foundation for our first 7th grade units - constructing triangles with given conditions and using algorithms to calculate problems that include negative numbers. In the upcoming weeks, students will also be receiving log-in information for their TenMarks and ALEKS accounts. Both are digital mathematics programs that allow for more individualization for each student. ALEKS accounts are now up and running; students should be working on about 10-15 topics each week.
8th Grade Math with Mr. Wray (Cores 1 & 2):
We are off to a great start in Math 8 and our first unit is almost finished. We started the year with our solving equations unit. This has been a strong start for most students because it builds on our 6th and 7th grade expressions and equations standards. It’s also a very powerful unit because of the strong connection to real-life problems. These skills are foundational to many of our other 8th grade targets and for many of the standards in future high school math classes too. In addition to working toward proficiency in solving equations, we have also been spending time on our general math practices and problem solving skills. Two major apps that we will be using this year to help students build proficiency are, once again, Aleks and TenMarks. TenMarks will be activated soon, but Aleks accounts were activated this week and the expectation is that students are completing at least 10 Aleks topics each week.
8A Math with Ms. Grosskopf (Core 1):
We are off to a great start this school year! We have been working on building community, encouraging students to be mindful through the Habits of Mind, and working on expressions and equations. We have been working with the scary world of variables, distributive property and started equation solving. Some students are working at different paces and places within equation solving. Ask your student to show you what they’re working! Your student has taken their first assessment already, so look in For All Rubrics soon! Aleks accounts have been distributed so your student can always work on that at home and during Connect/Flex opportunities.
Algebra I with Ms. Grosskopf and Mrs. Hemphill (Core 4):
This Algebra class is co-taught with Mrs. Hemphill and Ms. Grosskopf. We treat all 44 students as our own and will continuously flex the students into different groups based on need and sometimes by interest. We are incorporating a lot of community building and practicing mindfulness. Ask your student about the Habits of Mind! We have some students finishing up Chapter 1 which is a nice review of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade content. Other students are working tirelessly on solving multi-step equations in Chapter 2. All of the students are embarking on the journey of LITERAL EQUATIONS, which are equations with at least two different variables! This may be scary at first for our learners, but they all eventually get it! We wanted to expose them to the idea of profit and how expenses and income play a role in that process, so we worked a couple of days on that concept as well. Hopefully Mr. Prothero won't have to front load too much information on this concept in STEM Biz!
Geometry and Beyond with Mr. Wray (Core 2 & 4):
Students in Geometry and Beyond have each selected their personalized learning path for the year. Some students are completing Geometry one unit at a time, while others are building their proficiency through Aleks and will be showcasing their skills through summative projects. Some students even started Geometry last year or over the summer, and other students are will be using eAchieve (Waukesha’s online school) to complete Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, or Calculus. It’s truly amazing to see students take ownership of their learning and progress through these high school math classes at their own pace. If you’re not sure what path your student has chosen, just ask them; if you have any questions about their path or expectations, just let Mr. Wray know. Regardless of which path students choose, one constant in our personalized learning model is ALEKS. Some students may have a higher Aleks expectation than others, based on their personalized path, but most students should be completing at least 10 topics each week.