Week #35 Updates (2018)

We have just completed our 35th week of school!! That means there are only a few weeks left of 7th grade for your child. As the parent of an 8th grader myself, I’m definitely starting to feel how close the end of this year is. I hope you take time to enjoy these precious weeks filled with projects, year end review and hopefully more nice weather.

In Math 7 we are in the middle of a composite shape project. The kids learned how to apply their area formulas of geometric shapes to finding the area of a complex shape first and now they are constructing their own composite shapes. We have some really awesome things being made and a lot of measuring and calculating happening. Things that I’ve learned from this include the following.

  • A lot of kids really need help with measuring! Try to involve them in a sewing project or a construction project at home, or just pull out a ruler and measure things.
  • Many are only now processing the height of a trapezoid or triangle is the vertical from top to bottom. I have had a lot of kids thinking the sides are the height. This is something I love projects for – you are motivated to think a bit more!!
  • And the biggest thing is that when you merge math and art, sometimes the math gets lost. I have to remind the kids a lot that the point is the math project and the art is secondary. I am excited to see beautiful pictures but I need to see proper calculations first.

These projects are due Tuesday and then we’ll be moving into our last topic before the final – Volume of composite shapes.

In pre-Algebra our paintings are hung!! Thanks to my husband for putting the mounts on the back and to our custodian Dave for taking the time to hang these for me. Thanks to principal Hunkele and Buildings and Grounds Director Joe Magliocca for getting the canvas for us. Most of all thanks to the kids for sticking with this project! They did a great job.

We are working with functions right now in class and are also wrapping up volume. Today I gave them a problem involving volume of a wedding cake, cups of batter etc. We took the opportunity to learn the difference between a layer cake and a tiered cake and had a nice conversation about how vocabulary can be a big problem in math problems. If you don’t understand a word it is sometimes hard to solve the problem!! Kudos to the kids for sticking with this challenging problem and being super polite when I realized I had edited it so much I accidentally took off the main question. Don’t worry we fixed that pretty quickly.

Look forward to final exams soon in both classes – we’ll have a little over a week to prepare for these tests. It is a really good opportunity to review everything we learned this year, hopefully helping the kids feel confident as they enter grade 8 math and Algebra respectively.

Have a great weekend!