Hall Math Department

Winter 2020 Newsletter

Course Recommendations

During January, all teachers will be making and speaking to students about course recommendations for next school year. Math teachers review assessment data from semester 1 as well as standardized assessment data to make thoughtful and appropriate recommendations. Given the sequential and cumulative nature of mathematics, it is best to follow your teacher's recommendation. There can be significant challenges in choosing a course different from the one that the teacher recommends. If you are considering choosing a different course than the recommended one, we strongly suggest that you talk with your math teacher and/or department supervisor so that they can best advise on the potential challenges and impact of that choice.

Additionally, math teachers will be recommending a computer science (CS) elective in addition to a core math course. The computer science electives are a great way to expand your logic and problem solving skills. You should not plan to take a CS course in place of your math course, but it is a great supplement to your mathematics pathway. For an interactive tool that helps you choose the best CS course for you, go to this site.

For more detailed information, please review the Program of Studies on the school website and the Presentation below.

Math Midterms

As we approach midterms for all courses, remember that studying for cumulative mathematics exams can require a different approach than other courses. Listen to and follow your teachers' advice on how and when to study and practice to be best prepared. Remember that you can access the Math Center independently or as a small group to work on studying/practicing for your exam. Reviewing your teachers' Google Classroom and/or videos and skills from Khan Academy can provide an excellent refresher on topics that may be "rusty."

For 9th grade students, participating in Cocoa and Cram is a great opportunity to prepare for your first time taking exams.

American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 2020

The Math Department will be sponsoring the AMC10 and AMC12 on Thursday January 30th and Wednesday February 5th. The AMC is a 25-question, 75-minute, multiple choice competitive examination in high school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills. If you are interested in participating in either or both days of the competition, please sign up directly here by January 22nd.

PSATs and Next Steps

October PSAT scores have been posted to College Board and students received their individual score reports and a copy of the test book from their counselor.

For all 9th -11th graders, there are two important ways that you can utilize your results to improve your math proficiency:

1) Go to www.khanacademy.org/sat and follow the steps to connect your Khan Academy account to your College Board account. This will link your scores to provide you with individualized practice. Make sure that you also share your SAT progress with your math teacher so that they can support you. Practice on a regular basis.

2) Using the paper report and copy of the test booklet, go through your mistakes and work to understand these problems. See your math teacher or attend the math center if there are problems you still do not understand.

Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II Students

In our core course sequence, students will be participating in Benchmark Assessments throughout the year. These will assess students' ability to apply understanding of current concepts in open-ended and SAT-like problem solving contexts. It is important that students work diligently to prepare for these assessments and demonstrate their knowledge as they will become one option for students to demonstrate proficiency on the high school graduation competency requirement for mathematics (more detailed information on this to follow as the district finalizes these requirements).

Math Challenges

In Semester 1, students participated in the "Four 4s" challenge, posted on a bulletin board in our new math wing in the portables. Students were challenged to write expressions equivalent to each number 1 to 100 using exactly four 4s in any configuration and using any operation. You can see the beginning of the challenge below, but the board was filled pretty quickly with creative expressions. Students from Mr. Steele's classes ended up winning the competition, completing the most expressions correctly.

Keep an eye out for our next department challenge coming Semester 2.

Big picture
Real Numbers Web Series

Bringing math to life

Whats Going on in this Graph?

An interactive opportunity to better understand the graphs and infographics used in media