May/June 2018

Secondary Math

Steve Hiner * Greta Robertson, PhD

Final Exams

Our final exam policy has changed this year. Teachers of high school courses have the three options below:

1. Use the district final exam

This test can be administered on paper/pencil or through CiMS. Principals will be instructed to ask teachers how many copies of tests to order from the print shop. Make sure you talk with your principal if you want copies. The tests will be available in CiMS by May 18.

2. Create your own final

If you wish to create your own final exam, please make sure it covers the entire school year. You can refer to curriculum documents such as our Timelines, Clear Learning Targets, etc.

3. Edit the district final

You can receive a copy of the district final in a Word document that you can edit and use as you wish. Department chairs will receive the files.

Please contact the math office if you have questions.

Reimagine Me - Call for Presenters

Have an idea you want to share at the Reimagine Me Conference this summer? We'd love to have you present! You can fill out the form right in this newsletter below.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11!

There are several websites out there with some great deals (is it finally time to get that Costco membership, now that there's $60 in coupons?).

Be sure to check out each site carefully, as some have different offers for similar items.

50+ Best Freebies from Bored

52 Teacher Appreciation Week Deals

Inspiring Savings

Gimme Freebies

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Middle School Content Experts Meeting #5

The Middle School Content Experts Series wraps up on May 15th, 4pm-6pm at Linmoor Education Center. Our topic will be Depth of Knowledge.

This series has been very popular across all content areas. Hopefully we can bring it to you again next year. Watch your emails!

Math 7 Prep Summer School Course

We are very pleased to be able to once again offer our advanced middle school students a Math 7 course over the summer. Here's how that works:

1. This course is only open to students who took the Middle School Accelerated Placement Test in March and scored 60% or higher.

2. Students will work the entire duration of summer school on Math 7 material.

3. During the last week of summer school, students will take a Credit Flex test in ALEKS for Math 7. If they score 75% or higher, they will earn credit for Math 7 during the summer. Then, next year they will only take Math 8 as 7th graders.

Students were given information on their results letter they took home. They can apply online at: or by visiting our website at the link below.

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Math and Science Design Challenge

We've had a blast going out to schools and judging student presentations of their mini challenges for the Math and Science Design Challenge! Great job everyone! Our final challenge will be held at COSI on May 15th. Wish them luck!
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ALEKS Summer Contest

We are planning an ALEKS Summer Contest to encourage students to keep working over the summer. Students will receive one 'entry' for every 10% of mastery in an ALEKS course they engage in over the summer. They can qualify for a prize even for just completing the initial assessment. But of course, the more entries they get, the better their chances of winning one of our giveaways: a book bag stuff with school supplies! Please encourage your students to enter the contest. We will be sending a flyer out soon!

DESMOS Workshop

Using DESMOS As An Innovative Instructional Tool (Grades 6-8)

June 1, 2018


$69 registration fee (includes lunch)

Sorry, our office cannot provide payment

Register at:

Location: Fairfield County ESC

955 Liberty Drive

Lancaster, OH 43130

Roman Numeral Fun!

Check out the video below, sent in from Mary Barber, Columbus North. Make sure you watch it till the very end!
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Summer Activities

Be sure to visit the CCS Math website at the link below to find information on fun and educational summer opportunities for kids.

Steve's new tie - hang in there!

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ALEKS Training

We still have dates available to have Mr. Kevin Thuman from McGraw-Hill to come to your building to personally work with you in ALEKS. Principals received a form to complete and submit to Steve (middle school) or Greta (high school). If interested, please talk with your colleagues and your principal. You can also contact us and we will work with your principal to schedule a training session.
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SMART Notebook Tip!

Did you know SMART Notebook provides a complete 32 page guide on how to use the Math Tools? Download a copy here.

Literacy in Math

Here are ten ways to use writing and speaking to help your students develop a deeper understanding of math:

1. Have students present problems to the class. When it comes time to go over homework or classwork, choose students to present their work on the board. Each student does only one problem, and they write their work as well as their answer for the class. Then, the students take turns telling the class how they solved their problem. If anyone has a question, you can choose to answer it yourself or defer it to the presenting student to answer.

2. Ask students to write down how they solved a problem. After students solve a problem, ask them to write down how they solved it. Teach them how to give a great explanation. The best ones include step-by-step instructions, how the steps apply to the problem, and the why behind them.

3. Ask students to explain a mistake they made. After going over a set of problems, ask the students to take one problem they missed and explain why they missed it. The explanation should include what they did wrong as well as what they should’ve done instead.

4. Have students create quizzes for each other. Start by asking the students to write a quiz (and answer key) over the topic you are covering. You can be specific about what types of questions you want or leave it more open. Once the students have written a quiz, they exchange them with a partner and take each other’s quiz. Then, they grade each other’s’ quizzes and discuss any mistakes that were made.

5. Have students write down how they would explain this concept to a friend. Give students 5-10 minutes to write down what they would say if their friend asked them for help.

6. Have students tell each other how they solved a problem. Give students a couple minutes to explain to a partner how they solved a problem. The partner can then ask questions or give feedback on the explanation.

7. Use exit slips. As outlined in Content-Area Writing, exit slips are a great way of gauging understanding at the end of class. Students write an answer to a question and turn it in on their way out the door. You can ask a specific content question such as, “Why do you need a common denominator when adding fractions?” Or, you can ask a reflective question such as “What questions do you have about today’s lesson?” or “What do you need to do to prepare for our upcoming test?”

8. Require students to take notes. Have your students write down formulas, key concepts, and the steps used to solve each type of problem in a math notebook. Not only will writing this down help them concentrate better, but it will also produce a great resource for them to use later when they can’t remember how to solve a problem.

9. Allow students to ask each other for help solving problems. While you probably don’t want to do this all the time as the conversations can quickly digress, allowing students to discuss math problems serves a dual purpose. Not only does it allow more questions to be answered than you have time to answer yourself, but it also helps the student who’s giving the explanation to develop a deeper understanding.

10. Moderate written discussions either online or in the classroom. If you’re able to, use a class website, Facebook page, or Twitter to ask interesting questions and spark discussion among your students. Even if you don’t have this capability, you can post a question on a poster board in your room and allow students to comment below.

From the website:

Math Website of the Month: Math Playground

Give your brain... and your students' brains... a workout! Check out Math Playground.
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ALEKS Water Bottles

We have had a great response to our water bottle giveaways for students working hard in ALEKS. We recently ordered a large quantity of additional bottles and they have just arrived. If you have someone you think who deserves one, let us know. Or, if you are planning a contest (maybe something for 4th quarter?) and want prizes for winners, we can provide them to you.

Math Puzzler

Have you seen this one floating around the Internet? Of course, we all know the importance of following the order of operations. But it's hard to resist the urge to want to distribute the 2 outside the ( ). Lesson learned? It's best to avoid writing a problem this way.
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Have a wonderful, restful, relaxing summer!!

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