Sunday, May 8, 2016

Day 154: Estimation, Cube Roots, SBAC Practice Items

Students estimated the value of a roll of pennies. Some students asked if I wanted the money value or how many pennies. Other students piped in that 1 penny was 1 cent, so you already knew the value. Monday will be the roll of nickels. I was surprised how many students were not familiar with a roll of pennies. One students parents owned a convenience shop so he had refilled the register with a roll of pennies before and saw the value on it. Some students asked if the pennies facing the camera were part of the roll behind it. I'm finding out about that.

Each period I asked students to give me an estimation, and hear from someone that did not estimate and used their background knowledge. Oddly enough, a student confidently said that both parents worked in a bank and they knew that a roll of pennies was worth $1.00. There were 2 pennies facing the other way in front of the roll. Students estimated that 10 pennies for each penny, and 4 pennies could cover the front so 40. One student said 12 per penny, and 12 * 4 is 48, and it had to be a round number so he rounded up to 50.
We had a special schedule for the Kaiser Permanente Nightmare on Puberty street assembly so classes were shorter. After recess, students reported to 3rd period and the 7th and 8th graders watched it together. It was a great performance and brought up issues all teenagers face.

In each class I gave them 5 minutes to review estimating a cube root between two perfect cubes, and then simplifying it. It was part of the new skill on the assessment. They were also assessed on raising to the 3rd power, simplifying a cube root, and finding the volume and surface area of a cube given a side length. This was all from section 10.1.1 of the text.

Then I gave students time to work on their Wheel of Theodorus they started yesterday. I noticed many students formed new triangles that were not right triangles. I asked them to fix that, and use a corner of a paper as 90 degree angle to check. I want all triangle side lengths labeled. Also the hypotenuse should be labeled R for rational and I for irrational. Lastly, I wanted them to decorate it after that.

Then students took their assessment.
This was quoted at a recent math conference and I ordered an engineer print of it off It's a beefed up version of the old "mistakes are opportunities to learn."
In accelerated students continued working on their function transformation posters. On Monday we will finish, do a gallery walk and then some closure notes talking about transformations of linear, exponential, and quadratic functions.

After work I tutored a 7th grader at BIS on 7th grade Math SBAC questions. I was surprised to see the following question. Interestingly this involves dividing by a negative on both sides of the inequality which makes the direction of the inequality sign change direction. I have not discussed this with 7th or 8th grade. Definitely with the Algebra I. This question is a bit more appropriate though because it is basically assessing if a student can substitute possible solutions from the number line to decide which graph it matches. Still fairly high level, since it assesses integer multiplication. I wonder how my 8th graders would do on this.

2 step inequalities.
It was funny to see this question on the practice test, because a student from last year asked me about this question.
The student I tutor substituted 0 for n after setting both expressions equal to each other. I thought that was clever. It assesses distribute property a bit the way I see it. To get the first term from 5 to 5/6, you divide by 6 or multiply by 1/6. Then it works for the 2nd term because 2 multiplied by 1/6 equals the second term, 2/6 or 1/3n.
I was surprised to see this dense question. Other teachers, namely Robert Kaplinsky, agreed this was a DOK Level 2 question. It is in the always, sometimes, never format that my 8th grade students have scene for equation solutions. 7th graders see this material a bit too.

I was disappointed that I have not been using the vocabulary "linear pair" for the most common pairs of supplementary angles. I'm making a note of bringing that up this year and next year. My students this year really struggled with naming angles that were vertical. I'm curious how we can reinforce the connections between these words and what they look like. Adjacent angles are definitely brought up in CPM Course 2, saying 2 angles that share the same vertex and are next to each other are adjacent.

Finally I was surprised to see the mention of an exterior angle. The students are introduced to exterior angle theorem in 8th grade, not 7th grade, so I believe the terminology will confuse a lot of 7th graders.

To end my Teacher Appreciation week and my day, a student gave me this word cloud. She is in 6th period, my accelerated section that I had last year, and interviewed a majority of the students in class to describe "MrJoyceInOneWord." It truly touched me reading this. I like how my "I don't embrace excuses, I embrace solutions" meme from Jon Taffer showed up as "excuses-and-solutions." Harrison claimed "red" (I'm Irish). Lucas claimed "prepared" because I have the assessments fairly consistent, organized, and allow for retakes. Nicholas obviously did "gameofthronesfanboy" because I asked his music teacher to teach them the Game of Thrones theme song last year and they did an awesome job performing it. "High-five" made it on there after Glenn Waddell a math teacher high fived his students every day and talked about how it improved the mood of he and his students as well as improved the classroom culture. I love it.

Stoked Taffer even replied! My hero!
I do many of these instructional strategies, but want to continue to do more and more frequently. Some I don't do enough.
Happy Mother's Day from my parents backyard with family !

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