Week #31 Updates (2018)

This short week was a busy one for us! In Pre-Algebra we worked on learning how to solve systems of equations 3 different ways. We started with graphing which served as a review of graphing and an intro to systems. Then, we moved to substitution and finally to elimination. The kids overwhelmingly agreed that this stuff is FUN! Some kids have been given a weekend assignment – self checking online assignment on Google Classroom as extra practice solving using elimination and substitution. They need to sign in to the site using google so that their progress is tracked. If they write their work on paper and struggle with anything, they can more easily seek help next week.

We’ll review this unit Monday and take our unit test on Tuesday. The unit test includes all things graphing! 

In Math 7 we finished up Module 4 this week. We had a bunch of fun doing real world math applications for percents. On Monday we used percents to help find out our recommended daily values of different things using food labels. We discovered how many grams of protein are in my son Xander’s favorite post braces tightening meal (an entire box of Stovetop Stuffing). It is surprisingly a pretty good source, but thankfully we didn’t look at the sodium content!! It is probably something better left not known. We also discussed the RDA of sugar and calculated what percent of our daily sugar is in 2 servings of pasta with jar sauce. Would you believe it is 167%? Wow!! I expect that from ice-cream, but … with an RDA of only 3 tsp of sugar, one can quickly see that Americans are WAY over that on any given day.

We also talked about percents in a more sobering way – health care, life expectancy, as related to income and neighborhood location as well as bias in America. We started this with a short news clip from this week where racial bias was a factor  and delved into the math involved. The period 9 class really enjoyed both of these real world topics and I think things went pretty ok in periods 1 and 3. Class dynamics and time of day can really drive a discussion. I am always grateful for the student who starts a discussion, helping draw others out.

If you are talking to your kids about what is going on in class, take the opportunity to discuss your own successful classroom experiences. Do you feel happier and more successful when you put yourself out there and ask questions and give answers? Or are you happier when you retreat into yourself and just hope to avoid being called on? I’m always happier in the former situation, though it takes courage to share and take risks. I think by talking to our kids about this we encourage them to take those baby steps of growth.

We concluded our week in Math 7 with a 2 day assessment. It consisted of 20 points of station work (5 stations – kids were grouped in their essential question groups) and an online self grading multiple choice assessment for 20 points. The stations were particularly awesome for most groups – I’m so impressed with how far each group has come in a short period of time. Most groups demonstrated true teamwork! My husband came in to join me for lunch on Thursday and was incredibly impressed to see how many groups came back at lunch/recess to finish up station work, and how quietly, respectfully and efficiently they were working. We had a full room of engaged learners at lunch time!! I assure you it is not a regular thing that they need to give up lunch, but the fact that they did so with a fantastic attitude is something to celebrate.

Happy 3 day weekend!