Our plans for December 17-21

It is almost impossible to imagine that the first 25 weeks of school has ended!! Wow. I just put in our home practice for the first 5 weeks and 66 of the 83 students that I have in grade 7 between the two classes (Math 7 and Pre-Algebra) completed all or missed only one home practice. That is 80% of the grade at almost 100% preparation. I was really so happy to see this data – sometimes when you are going over things in class it is easy to focus your head on the couple of kids who aren’t doing the work and get really sad about the people you aren’t reaching. The reality is that MOST of our 7th graders are doing their work! And our classes are really delightfully behaved. I’m proud of their efforts!! Thank YOU for all the support you are giving them at home. I know the Weekly Math Reviews are requiring some strong parent effort and I appreciate that effort.

National Gingerbread House Day

We were all set to eat the gingerbread house on Friday during the first 5 minutes of lunch. Then, we heard on the announcements that Wednesday was National Gingerbread House day! My family has a long history of making Gingerbread houses and this year our house came to school!! Ok … we had to change our day. Periods 1-3 did their best to spread the word and I shared with teachers as well. A couple of kids missed out, but most kids heard the news and came in. It was crazy fast!! I got a video of the kids filing in for the destruction that is about a minute long. Then, the 11 second smashing video follows. Don’t worry – when you see people running off with full roof pieces they all came back to have it split up except one student. And we heard that he took the big piece to lunch and shared it appropriately so there’s that!

Pre-Algebra

We’re in Module 5 which is a short intro to Probability. It is a short unit that is full of quick experiments and is really pretty fun. Thursday we were doing probability experiments with cup tossing and learning about sample space. I captured this quick video of the kids while they were working with their partners.

Next week we’ll either finish or get close to finishing our Probability unit. I will do some sort of assessment on this, and it could come in the form of a take home experiment or quiz just for time purposes.

After the break we’ll delve into our last grade 7 Module – Geometry with Module 6.

I hope to provide extra optional work from the textbook for the break. This is an extra assignment that will help students looking to raise their grade and get additional practice. It will be given over break but the time allowed will go well past break so that everyone who is interested in the extra practice has the time to submit the work.

Math 7

We’re about to finish up Module 2! We took a quiz on Friday on most of the module and we’re learning the last bit next week. Students went on a gallery walk after finishing their quiz. Students who didn’t finish before the period ended will have the opportunity to do a virtual gallery walk using our pictures online. We’ll culminate the week (on Thursday) with a short assessment on the last material. After the break we’ll move into Module 3 where we’ll really start our study of Algebra.

One thing that I’m noticing is that our kids could really stand to benefit from a refresher of multiplication facts. Check out the Resources page on our website for an interactive math facts practice. Not having this skill is holding kids back from being at or near grade level with their work. Your support with this is SO appreciated!

I will also send home optional extra practice for Math 7 for extra work over the break. We don’t have textbooks at home for Math 7, so it will be a packet of material for them.

Other observations

Just a few thoughts before I close this weekly update.

  • Kids are remembering pencils!! And if they are forgetting they are learning to rely on their peers to borrow and return. We still have our flower pot and it is getting use, but less often. I appreciate that the kids are really learning to be responsible.
  • Composition books are being brought back and forth with math folders now instead of being left in the classroom. Our portfolios are getting too large to hold the books and the books are smashing our papers so I’ve asked the kids to start to carry their books.
  • Parents are welcome to volunteer anytime. We had Helen Arco help us in period 9 the week after Thanksgiving Break as the kids finished their projects. She checked in on groups and walked around to supervise work. It was so helpful to keeping everyone on on task. Interested in volunteering on a specific day/class period – let me know and we can make arrangements. It is important to share that the kids seemed totally chill about a parent being in their midst. Earlier this marking period Nana Monaco helped out in pre-Algebra and the kids responded just as positively. Thank you for your help parents!!
  • Keep supporting your child by checking up on Home Practice (Homework Hotline and Google Classroom are the resources for that) and if your child is absent, encourage them to get caught up on the lesson online either before they go back to school or promptly when they return and feel well enough to do so.

 

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