Days 18 – 22, Sept 19-23

I had lots going on outside of school so was not doing my blog! I’m doing it now before other things so it doesn’t get put off again…

Algebra: this week we did 3 lessons on Functions from CPM. I really like how they approach it – the kids have a soda machine and are told what happens when different buttons are pushed, then have to determine if the machine is behaving consistently or not. They would talk about each problem in their teams, then I had them make a little input/output table for each problem. They were also introduced to function notation and used it to find different outputs for given inputs, and if given the output to find the input. I love how the kids can help each other in their groups when one person knows what to do and the others aren’t sure. The next two days were also on functions, first determining if the relationship was a function: “A relationship between inputs and outputs is called a function if the inputs and outputs behave like a soda machine that is functioning properly. Discuss with your team what it means for a relationship between inputs and outputs to be a function.” Wednesday’s focus was “if it is a function, what is the domain and range”? The last problem had the kids determine if the relationship was a function, and what the domain and range are. We didn’t get to write the domain and range that day, so we are doing as part of the review tomorrow – Tuesday is the test on this chapter. Thursday was the “chapter closure” day – and we began by determining if the relation was a function (last problem from Wednesday) then the kids worked on the problems – CPM not only has the answers for these problems with explanations, they have where the kids can get more help on the concept and additional problems they can do for practice if the kids decide they could use another problem or two. Friday they worked in pairs on the whiteboards making “concept maps” which is where they link the vocabulary words together from the chapter with an explanation of why they go together. Then we did a Gallery Walk with post-it notes – the pairs moved to the next whiteboard and wrote something they liked, and something they’d like to see improved (constructively) about the concept map. I gave them about 40 seconds per board, and they looked at 7 of the boards. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the post-its as part of the review before the test. I took a bunch of pictures and send them from my phone to my computer, and they’re still trying to send…it’s been 2 hours, so I’ll try and add them later!

Math 7: The kids had a partner quiz on Monday that had unit rate problems on it (like the Grocery Ad activity), and review problems:order of operations, fraction operations, writing expressions from phrases and three 3’s. Most did really well – problems were with fractions and writing the inequality for the graph given. Tuesday they finished the 7th grade readiness MDTP test they’d started the week before, and then worked on KENKEN when finished. I started them with a 3 x 3, but next time we’ll do 4 x 4’s.  Wednesday I passed back their quizzes – I had just written comments (usually in the form of a question) after reading/watching Ashlii’s post again. Go read and watch it now if you have a few minutes! I had written down the grades and put them online the next day, but I wanted to spend some time having the kids talk about the questions I’d written and see if they could help each other answer them and find out what they’d done wrong. Before I passed back the quizzes I had gone over a few problems with the class – everyone did them – how much did it help? Not sure. I had them do the fraction division problem using rectangles, but I don’t know if that was helpful or confusing. I was talking with Maddy yesterday about it and she isn’t sure if it helped the kids last year or just confused the issue more. We are going to do more division with fractions next week and I’m not sure how to do it so the kids understand why we usually multiply by the reciprocal… a lot learned “keep, change, flip” last year and I’m not saying those terms! After we spend some time on the quizzes we started our Integers Unit that I wrote a few years ago (it isn’t perfect yet…). We will finish that on this coming Tuesday. Homework has continued to be mixed, spaced review problems. Here’s this week’s

7 Accelerated had an interesting week. We have been solving multi-step equations for two weeks and it’s been a struggle. We used algebra tiles one day so the kids could visualize that x^2 looked different than x, which look different from a unit tile. The biggest problem is the – sign. A lot of kids seem to pay attention to it sometimes, and not other times. 5 – 2x = 15 can become 2x = 10 after the 5 is subtracted. What happened to the -2x! They also will distribute the negative to the first term very well, but often not to the second term… or just not distribute anything to the second term. And if it’s 4x – 8 – (x + 3) they’re often just ignoring the parenthesis and combining the terms as 3x – 5. So we practiced on whiteboards, in their spirals, with one person as the “player” and the other as the “coach”. I’m not sure why there is such a struggle this year – we will be doing a retake on the test for anyone that would like to take it next Friday – but they must have correct test corrections and a correct practice sheet that we’ll give out tomorrow (I need to make that ASAP!). And their grade on the retake is their new grade – higher or lower. I stapled my worked out key to the test before I returned it…hopefully they don’t just copy my work when they’re doing their corrections. Hopefully kids don’t have D’s at the grading period which ends on 9/30! We are going to start the supplementary text tomorrow – which has more equations with algebra tiles in it so That Should Help!!!


About debboden

I teach middle school math in Thousand Oaks, California. I love my job! When I'm not teaching, or thinking about teaching, I love to ride horses, read, take Zumba classes and be with my family and friends.
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One Response to Days 18 – 22, Sept 19-23

  1. Kim Michaud says:

    I love hearing what is going on in your class!! It’s like I’m not stuck in my office everyday!! 😃

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