Algebra – This has been a fun week (for me at least!) because the lessons are all about slope: as a rate of change; writing equations of a line in different situations; finding “b” in y=mx+b by putting in the values for y,m, and x; and finding the equation of a line when just given 2 points. We are going to finish that lesson (finding the equation of a line when given 2 points) tomorrow (Monday) by using the iPads and Desmos to create the “logos” in the lesson using domain and range restrictions. Three days of the lessons were on a Competitive Tricycle Race – first we had the heats, then the finals and the kids had to graph the lines based on the situation of each rider – their rate, head start, time delay of start – to see who was the winner. Then they had to find the equation of the line for each one. It was pretty fun.

I’ve been spending a little too much time going over homework at the beginning of each class – I don’t really think the kids are using the CPM Homework Help link to get help on the problems – so I think I’m going to start “taking questions” after school via email and not in class. Read this blog by Lane Walker for my inspiration.

Math 7 – We worked on dividing fractions different ways for a couple of days. First we compared dividing using a common denominator and multiplying using the reciprocal. Most kids like to multiply with the reciprocal. We did some work on WHY it works – using whole numbers then fractions – I’m not sure how much it helped, but I do think it helped a little. Then we did division of whole numbers by fractions on the large whiteboards (on the walls) by drawing rectangles and dividing them up. I think this went pretty well – the kids were seeing that when you divide BY a fraction the answer is a larger number. Thursday we had a review day with 3 different stations. We had only made copies of the papers at each station for pairs, but next time I think we should have one paper per person. One of the stations had a Maze Game where the kids had to start at 100 and do the operations on the maze to get the smallest number they could (calculators needed) – some got a big surprise when the first thing they picked to do was divide by 0.6! Their number didn’t get smaller! Friday we had a quiz – I’ve gone through them and highlighted things that need to be corrected (some things I’m not taking points off for, I just want them to fix – like always simplifying their fractions!). Monday we’ll work on corrections in class at their tables for a while.

Math 7 Accelerated – We have now finished chapter 1! We finished talking about proportional relationships on tables and graphs (to be proportional the graph needs to go through (0, 0) and go up (or down) by the same amount each time. We had a group quiz on Thursday and some of the kids said the relationship in the pattern was proportional although in figure 0 there were 6 squares – I passed those back before the test so hopefully they didn’t make a similar error on the test, which was Friday. I haven’t graded them yet so I don’t know! I’m going to implement the emailing with homework questions in this class too (they need to include a screen shot of the homework help site with their question), we’ll see how it goes!

A former student, James, came by on Friday. He’s from Korea and is now going to boarding school in Ohio because his family had to go back to Korea for work. He was here for a visit on his Fall Break. It sounds like he’s enjoying school, but it’s hard! He is also on the soccer team and is the student council vice president – he’s super busy!