I was absent the first 2 days of this week – I had a little R & R with my friends in Puerto Vallarta. The only problem with leaving school is preparing! I was working until 9:20 on Friday grading all the tests and quiz corrections but at least I didn’t need to do anything when I returned. I had forgotten to write my blog for that week though! It did get written though 🙂

Algebra CP – We had started rewriting equations, solving for a specific variable. We finished the lesson on Monday, then had a review sheet with more examples on Tuesday. I could tell on Wednesday that the review sheet was really worthwhile. On Wednesday we did a summary of solving equations – the kids were at the large white boards and I would put up a variety of equations for them to solve – they worked in pairs taking turns being the solver and helper. I think some of the helpers were really talkers with other helpers, but overall it was good. We did a few more Absolute Value Equations, then at the end of class I had them all write up “How to solve |4x – 3| = 12 for a person that had never seen an absolute value equation before, include WHY there are 2 solutions!” I told them I would like it on Thursday, but if they had a lot to do they could turn it in on Monday. I don’t have all of them in yet! One interesting thing I found in both classes is a few kids changed the equation to be |4x + 3| = 12 instead of writing it twice with the equations being 4x – 3 = 12 and 4x – 3 = -12. I’m glad I gave this assignment so I could find this misconception. Thursday we did a review of multiplying monomials and binomials, some kids used the generic rectangle and some are doing the distributive property twice. NO ONE is doing FOIL!

Math 7CP – While I was gone the class worked on the distributive property and combining like terms, and took a quiz on Tuesday. There are still issues with multiplying and dividing mixed numbers. Some of the kids want to multiply the whole numbers, multiply the fractions, then add the 2 answers together – so we’ve been doing MORE examples. I changed the fractions to decimals and tried to point out that they’d be just multiplying the “ones” and the “tens” if they did it the same way they were doing the fractions – maybe that clicked for some? I’ve also put problems on the homework that ask “what is the first step” in doing the problem (rewrite as a mixed number) and “what is the next step” (simplify!! if it’s multiplication) to hopefully help. We’ll also keep putting them on the quizzes and tests! Wednesday I had the class do quiz corrections – I had circled errors but didn’t put the score on the quiz so I could add back points for corrections. I discussed how to solve the mixed number problems, then gave another one for them to do to get credit for them. Some kids still aren’t simplifying first, so I’m going to put larger denominators on the test. I know they need to see WHY it’s beneficial for them to simplify first, I just though they would by now! Wednesday and Thursday we kept working on equations – writing down the thinking for what they were doing. So in the equation 3x + 8 = 32 I want them to think “what + 8 is 32?” 24! So 3x must equal 24. Now, “what times 3 is 24?” 8! So x = 8. I also what them to think about 4(x-5) =24 as “4 times what is 24?” 6! So x-5 must equal 6. We worked on the large white boards on Thursday solving these problems and writing the thinking.

Math 7 Accelerated – I made a worksheet for the lesson so the kids could more easily finish the problems without me being in class for questions – which they did on Monday. Tuesday I had another worksheet on patterns, they need to draw the 0, 4 and 5 figure, then find the rule, complete the table and graph the pattern. There were 4 patterns to do. On Wednesday we finished the lesson and talked about why it is important that the rule, or equation works for all numbers, you just can’t check it on one of the numbers. Thursday we worked more with patterns – this time the patterns were not linear!

Friday was November 11, Veteran’s Day, so we had no school.

Sounds like you came back from Puerto Vallarta “raring to go !” Way to go! Love, Mom