Our plans for October 23 – 26

Anyone can cook but only the fearless can be truly great.

– Chef Gusteau, Ratatouille

We are getting close to delving into our projects in both Math 7 and pre-Algebra. Math 7 kids have been working on scale drawings. They spent the last two days working on comparing the scale drawing areas to actual areas. In anticipation of designing their addition, I’ve asked them to look for floor plans over the weekend and email them to me. Some kids are excited to bring in paper copies of their real home floor plans! Pre-Algebra kids are getting more comfortable with finding the areas of irregular shapes (figures composed of multiple geometric shapes) in anticipation of starting the design portion for their shape project next week.

Proud of Pencils

It is a small thing, but sometimes the small things are the things that matter most! We are starting week 8 of school and I have not lost a single pencil from my teacher loan supply. At the start of the school year I was brainstorming ways to provide pencils to kids who forget, while still maintaining integrity in a classroom. Last year I tried a pencil bank (give a pencil and take a pencil) and it was moderately successful, but not really where I hoped to be. My breakthrough – make a flower pot with 6 pencils in it. The pencils have lovely duct tape roses on them that I made. Kids may borrow a pencil for the period and they need to walk up to return the pencil at the end of the period. Ok so we lost one for a day .. I posted on Google Classroom that it was missing and asked the kids to search. Later that day a student came into the classroom shouting, “Mrs. Dawson I found it in room ….!!” I didn’t think I could get so excited about a pencil, but really more about a student searching to make our pencil bin whole again. I figure two things: if you forget a pencil the least you can do is return the pencil you borrow AND it is so great that a student cares about the class enough to go looking when something is missing and I ask people to look.

On that note – some kids are starting to run out of their supply of pencils. If you can, take some time to talk to your child and check in. Do they have pencils, paper, erasers and all the basics that they need for success each day in school? Are they getting the rest they need to be productive? I spoke with one 7th grader last week who shared that she had been up very late reading and was so tired. I suggested that she would have more fun in school if she tried to have a reasonable bedtime. The next day she popped in to see  me and said she had gone to bed earlier. She was still tired. “It takes a couple of days,” I replied. Don’t give up. You’ll get into a good pattern. I was thrilled she was willing to try it out.

Some key things for next week

We have a short week next week and I need to be out on Wednesday. My dad is having surgery and I have to drive him to the hospital and be with him. It is spirit week next week! Our days are: Tuesday (Twin Day), Wednesday (PJ Day), Thursday (Throwback), Friday (Blue and Gold). There is a dance on Friday evening – it is $5 to attend. It runs from 7-9. Encourage your child to go. They are always a lot of fun!!

Math 7

We’ll be diving into our project. Because of the timing of my dad’s surgery we’ll probably really get into things on Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday offering an opportunity to focus on the final pre-project math to help us be fully prepared for success. Kids are working in self-selected groups of 1 or 2 students.


We lost a class period on Friday for a community survey, so we’re seeing each other on Tuesday after a gap of 4 days. We’ll use Tuesday to work more on composite shapes and to get introduced to the project. Wednesday the kids will work more on composite shapes in their group while I’m gone and Thursday we’ll begin design work. The kids are working with their in class table groups on the project.

Have a great long weekend!