Algebra II News Stand

Building a community of learners

A New School Year

Hello and welcome to the Algebra II class News Stand. Ms. Schiavone is your student's teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. Each month Ms. Schiavone will update the New Stand. She will share information on the class's progress, upcoming events and assignments, along with fun math facts and games. If families wish to receive more information about the class or their student, Ms. Schiavone happily takes emails and calls. Her contact information is listed at the bottom.

Teacher Spends Time on Community Building

During the first weeks of class Ms. Schiavone will asked for student input on creating policies and routines. She believes that asking students for their thoughts will build a stronger community of learners. Together the class talked about:

  • Group work roles
  • Rubrics for problem solving
  • Tardy policies
  • Homework policies
  • And, starting routines.

So what was decided? The students and Ms. Schiavone put in writing that:

  • Groups of 3-4 students is best. Each week one person in the group is the material collector, one is the spokes person, one is the documenter, and one is the conversation prompter. The roles will rotate through so each student will take on every role multiple times during the year.
  • Every group math problem will be graded on correct steps taken, organization, and clarity.
  • If a student is late to class, they are asked to sit in an empty chair quietly. If the teacher is not teaching, they may ask a neighbor what they are working on. If a student comes late and the class is in small groups, they will the teacher which group to go to.
  • Homework should always be completed to the best of the student's ability. Ms. Schiavone will collect homework at times. Homework can help a students grade. Twice a month there will be a homework quiz where students are asked to write down four problems from past homeworks. This shows they have worked assignments.
  • Each day students will walk in quietly and complete the warmup. They are not to talk to neighbors until Ms. Schiavone gives directions. When students leave they are to turn in any activity papers into the class's box. Students who have the role of materials will return all materials for their group.

Ms. Schiavone believes that sharing these policies with student's families will help the success of the class. She often studies Vanessa Siddle Walker's articles when it comes building a community in her classroom. Siddle Walker wrote about joining the community of her students' families to help her own teaching methods. She believes in communicating often with parents on what is expected of students. It has shown to ease classroom management and success of the students especially in a diverse classroom (Siddle Walker, 2001).

Siddle-Walker, V. (2001). African american teaching in south: 1940-1960. American Educational Research Journal , 38(751), Retrieved from

Upcoming Projects Taking Center Stage

Ms. Schiavone is joining Mr. Cregg's science fair unit in November! Because of the large overlap of students in Mr. Cregg's Earth Science class and in Algebra II, Ms. Schiavone is going to teach a special unit on data analysis. During that unit students in Mr. Cregg's class will learn all the skills they need to measure results for their science projects. Those students who are not in Earth Science will create a math centered project with the guidance of Ms. Schiavone. All students will share their projects in the Science Fair hall the second week of November. Family and friends are welcome to come and support the students during the judging of the projects Wednesday, November 12 at 6:30.

Pacing for the Month of September

Four units will be covered in the month of September. Parents should expect students to have homework three nights a week. Homework should take no longer than 40 minutes. Most instruction and homework will go hand in hand with the chapters in Prentice Hall Mathematics: Algebra 2 text book supplied by the school. Listed below is the pacing schedule week by week.

Week #1, September 1-5:

Chapter 1

  • Properties of Real Numbers
  • Defining Algebraic Expressions
  • Basics of Solving Equations (First group activity in class)

Week #2, September 8-12:

  • Solving Inequalities, both algebraically and through graphing
  • Working with Absolute Value equations and graphs.

Chapter 2

  • Probability part 1 (In class Problem Based Learning Assignment with write up completed at home)
  • Probability part 2 with Chapter 1 and 2 review discussion

Week #3, September 15-19:

  • Chapter 1 and 2 test on Monday, September 15th. Prior to test all students must turn in review sheet they created.

Chapter 3

  • Related Functions
  • Linear Equations
  • Real world applications of linear equations group activity

Week #4, September 22-26

  • Monday, September 22, No school
  • Direct Variations
  • Using Linear Models with Line of Best Fit
  • First Homework Quiz Friday, September 26

If any changes occur in the pacing, Ms. Schiavone will post changes. Please contact if there are any questions. All pacing will be covered in Back to School Night, September 25th.

Teacher Uses of Active Instruction and Collaboration

Ms. Schiavone is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). NCTM shares research on instructing the common core in math. This year Ms. Schiavone's goals are to teach actively and use small group work as highlighted by NCTM. The 2004 NCTM issue of "Empowering the Beginning Teacher of Mathematics" explores the pro's of student participation and group work. Ms. Schiavone wants to be an active teacher by calling on students often to share thoughts and ideas. Using group work allows students to practice skills needed in the future. NCTM shares that teachers need to gives students alone time to work with their peers. Doing so will give them time to discover the topics. This gives them ownership of the content, as studied by NCTM researchers. Ms. Schiavone hopes to be an instigator of questions to push her students to their bests.

Chappell, M. (2004). Empowering the beginning teacher of mathematics in high school. Manuscript submitted for publication, National Council of Teachers in Mathematics, Print.

Using a Game to Improve All's Mental Math

Want a fun math game to play with the whole family? In Algebra II we play Krypto whenever we have an extra five minutes. The rules a easy and can be followed by a fourth grader and up. The perks are your mental math will get faster! Here's how you play:

  • Pick 5 numbers at random between 1-25
  • Pick your target number, between 1-25
  • Using the 5 numbers only once, use any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to reach the target number. Take score if you want!

For Krypto on the go, visit:

Families Can Contact Algebra II Ms. Schiavone in Multiple Ways

Hello! Thank you for viewing the Algebra II News Stand. My goal is to update the site monthly. If a change occurs in the pacing or due date of assignments, they will be change immediately. If there are any questions or concerns about the course or your student please contact me at any time via email. I will respond within the next day. If you wish to call me, you can reach me on Mondays-Thursdays between the hours of 11:00am-1:00 pm.


Phone: (765)-234-5678 Ext (2110)