Days 59-61: estimation assessments and one step equations

My standard students were assessed on decimal estimation and scientific notation. As a math committee we’ll need to re-write the directions to make them more clear. Several students ended up estimating scientific notation instead of being precise and putting the number in standard form.

Earlier in the week I gave a pre-assessment on equivalent fractions, ordering, and comparing. That helped me to differentiate the class on Friday. About 8 students needed a re-fresher so I worked with them while the rest of the class worked on some fraction problem solving.

In pre-algebra the students are getting ready for an assessment on the distributive property, combining like terms and one step equations. Friday was an abbreviated schedule so the students got a glimpse of where we’re headed with linear equations along with no solutions, one solution, and infinite solutions. I used an 8th grade cell phone plan task from this Walch Education resource. It was challenging.


Day 58: a zany pre-algebra day along with a fractions pre-test

I was a little weird today. We reviewed the homework for combining like terms and a couple of students asked to have some problems put up on the white board. One student began explaining by capping several Expo markers together to create a pointer. Instead I offered him a light saber–a gift from my husband while on a business trip to Disney World. As I passed it to the student I demonstrated a pretty mean sound effect of a saber twirling around. One thing led to another and soon I was imitating Yoda, and telling the students that I played  in a heavy metal band called Armored Car.

We finally got to one-step equations and closed out the class by singing “Up in the Air Junior Birdsman”.

In standard much of the time was spent reviewing decimal estimation and scientific notation. The kids took a pretest on fractions and that’s helped me to determine who I need to work with. I didn’t get a chance to introduce the Farey Sequence to this class, but will do so after their assessment on Thursday (we’re on a block schedule.)

I also stumbled upon the Peaches, Today Peaches Tomorrow task from NRICH that I’ll use with those who’ve pre-tested out of the lesson.

Day 57: ordering fractions

I had my standard class today and I gave a pre-test on equivalent fractions, comparing and ordering. There were extra subs in the building so I was lucky enough to have the sub do a quick sort to determine who gets what. Most can write equivalent fractions and simplify. Ordering fractions and comparing fractions to decimals is where I’ll spend my time.

They took the pre-assessment seriously so there was not a whole lot of time left in the block to explore this interesting  task on ordering fractions from the NRICH site. It’s called Farey Sequences. Students worked to find the sequence for F5-F7.

farey sequence

The next time I see them, they’ll have a quick assessment on decimal estimation. And we’ll continue our work with fractions.

Days 55 and 56: powers of ten and distributive property

Now that parent teacher conferences are over I hope to be more timely with these post-its. On Thursday and Friday I set up a five station activity for the standard students on the powers of ten. The pre-algebra kids worked on the distributive property and combining like terms.

Conferences were Thursday and they went well. I don’t know why I woke up so early on Friday. I was up at 3:30AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I fired up the laptop and created new seating charts.

Days 53 and 54: compatible numbers; power of a power

In one of my standard classes I began the lesson with this visual pattern.

I asked the students to “read” the pattern and determine what’s important  in order to solve the problem. I wrote about it in depth here.

The standard students are working on decimal estimation using compatible numbers. I have a few students who won’t be able to get through the topic without the aid of a calculator.

The pre-algebra students are finishing up exponents and are learning the distributive property and combining like terms.

This week wraps up parent teacher conferences. I’m hoping to write more after the week is through.

Days 51 and 52: decimal estimation and scientific notation

It was a short, but long week. Thursday afternoon and evening was parent teacher conferences and Friday was Institute. On Wednesday and Thursday standard students worked on decimal estimation. I need to do more work with compatible numbers.

Problems were posted around the room. One student had fun with this problem.

decimal estimation

He accidently wrote 2000 instead of 1200 when doing his calculation. Nonetheless, he had fun with it.

a devil of a problem

Pre-algebra students worked on scientific notation. Students are working on the monitoring reading strategy and it was enlightening that they blew right over the key concept regarding the mantissa and the formula.

sci notation

Days 49 and 50: assessment day

The standard students are being assessed on adding and subtracting rational numbers (decimals). I broke it up into two assessments and the students who are having difficulties are having trouble with adding when the signs are different. Most are doing well, but a few will need to reassess. I made up a study packet with problems and an answer key.

The pre-algebra class retook the negative and zero exponents assessment. We corrected it in class and while I haven’t looked closely at their work, I’m sensing success for most of the kids.