Math News from Room 216

Fall Information

Welcome to Room 216 for Math

As most of you already know, I am your student's math teacher. I am thrilled to have a great group of eager learners ready for a challenge. The class currently has 28 students made up of students from across the grade level. We are learners who thrive with challenges and have assessments and records that show we readily master grade level material with minimal repetitions. This year should be filled with opportunities to enrich our mathematical thinking while solidifying our understanding of fractions, decimals, percents, multiplication and division of higher numbers, and most importantly, multi-step problem solving!

While I am the primary instructor of the class, I work very closely with Mrs. Dettmann and Mr. Humphrey throughout the planning phases. We anticipate keeping the groups fluid with opportunity to expand our learning through collaboration. If you have any concerns about your student's math instruction, please notify me directly. Thank you.

Routines

One of our goals for the year in math is to become great communicators. This begins with each student organizing his or her math binder and keeping it neat and complete. Daily assignments are placed in the agenda. There is typically a short homework kept in a folder. Throughout the year the color and contents of the folder will change, but the routine stays the same. One assignment per night--Monday through Thursday. We try to review the homework each morning, but at times we will keep a few assignments to check over in bulk. Homework is expected to be complete each night. If homework is not understood, but an honest attempt is given, please just jot a note in the agenda (or on the homework) to let me know to give special attention to the topic.


Weekly problem solving assignments are distributed through Google Classroom. These are affectionately termed, "POWs" and are due each Friday morning. A sample POW is introduced early in the week (generally Mondays) that will highlight the strategy being taught. Students are expected to work 10 - 15 minutes per night on the POW in addition to the 10 - 15 minutes for the nightly assignment. Done a little at a time these assignments are manageable. Students who procrastinate and attempt the entire POW assignment on Thursday night are often dissatisfied with their efforts and the amount of time required for completion. It is best to look over the homework on Monday and prepare any questions to bring to class on Tuesday.


Lastly, each student received a graph paper spiral notebook to take notes in and read nightly. Given the makeup of the class, and their collective ability, I ask each student to review the notes each evening. If they have questions, they need to compose them in their minds (or on a notecard) to ask the next day. The pace of instruction is determined by the level of understanding of the students. We work on bravery in math class. Each of us needs confidence in question asking. It takes bravery to ask what you may feel is a "silly" question. Please help me support your child by encouraging him or her to ask questions. If they don't understand something, the chances are that there are several of their peers that are a tad confused as well.

Technology in Math

Throughout the year we will be using several math websites and services such as Splash Math and Khan Academy. These products allow students to work on basic computation and simple problems OR they allow students to review more complex concepts at their own pace. Once the accounts are setup, you will be invited to participate and track their progress. There will be time in school for them to use these, but most students prefer to spend some time online at home honing their skills. Please know that I support your prerogative as to appropriate amounts of screen time. It is never the intent to give homework that interferes with family time.

Topics

Currently all math classes are working on the characteristics of even/odd/prime/composite/square numbers. We have progressed to divisibility rules and order of operations. We introduced prime factorization today. To know what is new in math, please talk to your student. They are all pumped about math and share my opinion that it ROCKS!