Day 17-18: Integers and square roots

Yesterday was day 17. It was an Early Release and the seventh grade met through social studies for the entire core time to discuss cyberbullying.  We had several discussions about students’ online experiences, showed segments from the ABC Family movie, Cyberbu//y and held discussions about the impact of poor choices, the bully, the bullied, and the bystander.

Day 18, today, was a block of standard and a block of pre-algebra. In both classes I had to repair and back pedal from Friday’s sub experience. Despite Friday’s disappointment I was in a much better mood and even told the class, “I’m not going to let what happened on Friday spoil my day.” The lack of progress was not their fault.

For standard, after students finished their foldables and reviewed the number properties homework, we defined integers.

number properties foldableinteger preassessment

I did a quasi pre-assessment by having students get on Shepard software to play a timed integer addition game. They recorded their results and at a glance I could tell that nearly all could solve the game’s level 1 problems (range -5 to 5), most were successful with level 2 problems (-15 to 15), but few had high percentages with level 3 problems (range -50 to 50). This tells me they lack conceptual understanding of the rule and how it is derived.

The kids then played spent a few minutes on Learn Alberta‘s integer game. I then followed it with paper and pencil  practice with number lines and counters.

integer game2

For pre-algebra, I started with Molly’s Locker Combo problem and  saw the students had very poorly structured arguments. The sub just handed them the problem without reading it aloud and focusing on the criteria for success. To fix it, I put them in groups to work for a bit, clarified my expectations, and told them the write up is due on Friday.

We then explored perfect squares and square roots using Julie’s Cheez-it activity. It was a great 20 minute activity that led to  square root estimation


and independent practice including problems like this:



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