Days 58-62, November 14-18

This year (and apparently this year only) we have a week off for Thanksgiving. And this is the week before that week, it’s the end of Trimester 1, and the kids are READY to be out of school. So of course EVERYONE is giving tests this week! Lucky kids.

Algebra 1 – Monday we had the Group Quiz – which was too easy I think. I had looked it over, but didn’t do it (why won’t I learn??), and then when I did the key I thought it was too easy. But, that means all of the  grades were good! We did the closure problems on Tuesday, and the kids had the option of doing them on the large white boards, then whatever they didn’t finish in class was homework, to be done in their spirals. Most of the kids did them on the whiteboards, and I walked around. I liked it a lot because they could pick how they wanted to work – sitting or standing, alone or with a partner. It went really well. Wednesday we went over some of the closure problems that they wanted more help with – a LOT of exponent work. Thursday they had their chapter 3 test (which I haven’t looked at yet so have no idea how they did) and today we worked on graphing parallel and perpendicular lines. The kids that had Math 7 Accelerated (had the 8th grade standards already) remembered they’d done it before so they could help the kids that just took Boost Camp and got to be in Algebra instead of Math 8CP. I collected the papers as One More Grade.

Math 7CP – We were finishing up our equations unit – we aren’t done with equations, but we really worked on ones that they could figure out “by thinking about it”. I was a little sad yesterday when the kids took their test and one of my kids had no idea what to do to solve the equations – I’m going to ask him if he can stay after school on Wednesdays and work with me for 1/2 an hour. He needs some 1 on 1 time I think. We will do more equations that have division in them, and ones that have fraction answers next trimester. So Monday and Tuesday we did more work with equations, and Wednesday we reviewed. Maddy (my awesome fellow teacher) had made a list of the topics that would be on the test (study guide for her website, I don’t put one up) and assigned each table one of the items to create a problem on that topic. After we had gone over the homework (That is working SO well. I’m still assigning the problems to the different tables and then a student from the table goes up and presents how they solved the problem, they answer questions from the class, then they “get a clap on 3”. This is another thing I got from Maddy – she does hers on white boards and I used the document camera, but it’s really working well – I think one of the reasons is all of the problems are on different topics so it’s not 12 of the same thing!) I assigned (yes, I’m still on the original sentence) each table one or two of the topics and had them work together to make up a question. Then with about 10 minutes left each table sent up one person to write down their problem in my spiral – and these problems were the homework for the test review. (there were 8).equation-test-review

I collected them on Thursday before the test, after we went over the correct answers. Thursday we had the Equations Unit Test, and today we are going to go over the homework (Wednesday’s since I hadn’t planned on the Awesome Review Homework), then play MATHO (yep, Bingo but to get the number they have to do a math problem-the link is for the book). The book is cool because it has a bunch of games with the problems already made, and the problem number is the answer.

Math 7 Accelerated – We decided to give the Math 7 Accelerated Benchmark to our classes even though we are using supplemental material (CPM). There were 3 questions we changed because they were on inequalities which we haven’t done yet. So, we worked on chapter 3 – completing tables, drawing graphs, finding the equations for the tables for Monday and Tuesday, then reviewed on Wednesday. We talked about a few things that they hadn’t done but could figure out – consecutive integers, how to write an inequality from a situation (which I’m pretty sure they did in 6th grade) such as “you must be at least 16 years old to get your drivers license” and a few other things, then I put up the list of topics and assigned each group a topic. They had about 4 minutes to work in their groups, then they read the question aloud and I wrote them down (we didn’t have as much time as Math 7CP did) and these questions were their homework. Number 5 below is 1) not a good question because it doesn’t work out to whole cookies, so that group didn’t do the problem and 2) has shown to be really hard for the kids because my TA is checking their problems and they’re not doing it correctly. So, we’ll be doing a lot more of these problems!


Thursday they did a short performance task and started the Benchmark (most of them) and today they finished the Benchmark and worked on a KenKen (did you know you can subscribe to KenKen and get puzzles emailed to you each week? They had a choice of a “no-op 7×7 puzzle” or “twist 6×6 puzzle”) or a HUGE dot to dot puzzle.

I’m definitely looking forward to next week – even though I have a lot of tests and work to grade! Happy Thanksgiving!



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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