## Days 119-127, March 7-17

Algebra CP – We finished our chapter on exponential functions and had our test. Most of the kids are doing really well, some are better at finding the constant multiplier (b) when given a table than if they are reading it in a situation. They just want to say, “Oh, 6.25% increase? That means b must be 6.25.” What? No! Add that to your 100%, then change it to your decimal. We’ll still work on it, and the homework still has them finding the exponential functions so I think it will be okay.

Our current chapter is on Quadratic Functions. We’ve started factoring, and everything is through the generic rectangle (we did use algebra tiles initially, then moved on to the rectangle. I’ve used the generic rectangle before and the X to help factor before, but 1) I had never thought about the diagonals in the rectangle (see picture below – Casey’s Pattern) and 2) had never included the x’s when thinking about “what multiplies to this and adds to that”. CPM really ties everything together so well, so the generic rectangle and the X make sense, and there are patterns in them… honestly when I used them 8-10 years ago they were just “a trick”, or way to help factor, we didn’t explain any of the Why, just the How!

Math 7CP – Last week we did a couple of days review then took the Trimester 2 Benchmark from our district. We aren’t going in the same order as the book, and haven’t taught inequalities yet, however there were 5 problems about inequalities on the Benchmark. So, we gave the kids those answers, then calculated their scores out of 20 questions instead of 25 questions. Overall our kids did really well. Unfortunately, most of the questions were DOK Level 1 on the test, and we’ve really been trying to do more DOK Level 2, and even some Level 3 questions with our kids. But that’s why they thought it was pretty easy and did so well. We also looked at the Grade 7 Math Performance Task on the CASSPP Released Questions so we could talk about everything that is looked for. The kids are getting better at reading the questions to make sure they’re answering everything, and they really need to do that on the Performance Task! Hopefully the one on the actual test is as interesting as this one was so the kids get into doing it.

Math 7 Accelerated – We also started a new chapter! Last week we finished Ms. Pac-Man on Tuesday (I was out at the UCSB Math Leadership Cadre) and then used grade 7 TEAM UP! cards to do review for a few days. We’re learning the 8th grade standards so the kids can be accelerated to honors algebra 1 next year but they are still going to be tested on the 7th grade standards so we need to review/teach some more before the testing starts at the end of April.

This week we started on our Data Analysis and Slope Chapter. The first couple of days we made and talked about circle graphs, categorical data vs. numeric data, and reviewed Box Plots (AKA Box and Whisker Graphs). Yesterday and today we started slope, revisiting y = mx + b and comparing and finding slope on a graph today. The groups worked pretty independently today and I walked around and joined a few of the groups. I think it was a good day for them because they got to work at their pace in their groups. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here’s a picture of what my backyard looked like this morning. We’ve had so much rain and now it’s warm so there are flowers galore!