7-8 Math Updates

March 2015

STAAR Review Resources

Here are some resources that I have reviewed that can help as you work with individual students (you will need to purchase one per student):

Measuring Up


Step Up to the TEKS

I have asked for samples for the new Motivational Math books on two occasions but have not received a sample to preview. However, in the past they have been good books.

A good book to use for spiraling (great for warm-ups) is the Algebra Readiness Builders for each grade level (the 8th grade book is titled as Pre-Algebra). This is a purchase by teacher rather than by student. I think all of the campuses have purchased this book. It is great to use for weekly warm-ups. You can use as a printed warm-up for each student, under the document camera, or have students use their technology with something like Infuse Learning. If you have any questions on using Infuse Learning, or any other resources, I am happy to help.

If you need help finding specific resources or activities, please let me know the learning target and I am happy to see what I can do.

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Please take a minute to review our Deep in the Math of Texas project. Although the sample SEs are for 3rd grade, we still need your feedback (survey is linked on the site) for Dr. Vinson to present to the SBOE in April in hopes that something similar can be created for all grade levels for math. Feel free to share with any teachers in Texas.
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Think Through Math

I am creating Think Through Math pathways for 7th, 8th, and Algebra 1 STAAR review for your students. The pathways, titled [Grade Level] STAAR Review 2015, will be based on readiness standards and bridge study TEKS. They will be complete by tomorrow.

Finish Strong

I have always talked to my boys about finishing strong. My oldest son had a goal he set in 8th grade to march with a particular drum corp. Last year, after auditioning the 3 years before, he finally had the opportunity to march with them. Unfortunately, he was sent home due to a back injury before the first show. It was heartbreaking. This year, he auditioned again and was offered another contract. Is he done? Absolutely not. He needs to continue to work hard to accomplish the goal of marching this summer. He has grit, the resilience and perseverance, to finish the race before him but he needs to finish strong. I will continue to encourage him and coach him. I will continue to talk to him about finishing strong.

Sometimes it seems we give our all for something but we hit a stumbling block as we work toward our goal. Don't let the stumbling block, the unknown of the test ahead of us, stop you from finishing strong. You and your students have worked hard this year. Let's have grit. Let's finish strong.

If you have about 4 minutes, please watch the following video. My hope is that it will encourage you to finish strong, regardless of the obstacles we have had this year. If you have time, I highly recommend McFarland USA. It is an amazing story of finishing strong as well as the seeing the difference teachers can make in a person's life. Let's have grit. Let's finish strong.

Finish Strong w/DVD by Simple Truths

Lead4ward has linked STAAR released questions with the new TEKS. Although they won't be perfectly aligned, it helps to get an idea what the questions may look like for each grade.

Great job, Betsy, using time during a class activity to work with a small group of students!

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