Monthly Archives: September 2016

Homework Due 10/4 and 10/5

Math for the Middle Grades – Lessons 9, 11, and 12.  Lesson 10 is NOT assigned this week. We might do lesson 10 next week, or we might save it for later.

Be sure to continue practicing the multiplication facts assigned each week.  This week we’re focusing on 5’s and 10’s.  To multiply a number by 10 move the decimal point to the right one place.  To multiply by 5 you could count by 5, but there are faster ways.  One way is to remember two 5’s make a ten.  8 x 5 is the same as 4 x 10; 9 x 5 is 4 x 10 and one more 5. Think: [some number] of 5’s is half of [some number] of tens.

Math 76 – Lessons 13-16.  For lessons 13-15 complete the odd-numbered problems.  For lesson 16 complete the practice problems (do not complete the odds).  We did practice problems n and o in class; do practice problems a-m.

Be sure you complete one lesson at a time.  That means do the problems, score the lesson, correct all errors, email Mrs. Sands for help if you need it, write your score at the top of the first page of each lesson.  There are 20 points possible on each lesson. Five points are for the practice problems we do in class.  The other 15 are for the odd-numbered problems in the problem set.  A problem is correct if you got it right the first time, or if you got it wrong then corrected it, or if you had to get help with a problem to correct it.  Write your score as a fraction: number correct over 20.

Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 – Lessons 16-20.  To maximize learning, be sure you complete one lesson at a time. That means do the problems, score the lesson, correct all errors, email Mrs. Sands for help if you need it, write your score at the top of the first page of each lesson.  There are 20 points possible on each lesson. Five points are for the practice problems we do in class.  The other 15 are for the odd-numbered problems in the problem set.  A problem is correct if you got it right the first time, or if you got it wrong then corrected it, or if you had to get help with a problem to correct it.  Write your score as a fraction:  number correct over 20.

Geometry – Lessons 3:2, 3:3, and 3:4 and Test 2.  That’s a lot of work.  If necessary, you may finish 3:4 by 10/12.

Do You Like to Eat?

While I was working with a student, the student’s mother was keeping an eye on my children. Toby, who was six years old at the time, got hungry.  He cracked a couple of eggs into a bowl and scrambled them.  When he started the gas stove the visiting mother told him he couldn’t do that.  She was quite concerned for his safety.  I must have heard what was going on and stuck my head into the kitchen to reassure her Toby was safe and often cooked for himself.

Another day, another family, and Toby was hungry again.  This family included a boy Toby’s age, so Toby asked him if he would like some eggs.  Toby proceeded to prepare scrambled eggs for his new friend and himself.  Hearing the familiar sounds of Toby cooking and wanting to avoid worrying the visiting mother, I stepped in to let her know Toby could cook.  It wasn’t necessary.  She was a bit surprised, but not worried.  Her comment to me was, “I don’t expect enough from my children.”

About a year later I realized I didn’t expect enough from my children either, so I stepped up the cooking instruction and gave each of my five older children the responsibility of cooking dinner one night a week.  Each child cooked the same, or a very similar, dinner once a week until that meal could be prepared without great thought.

I don’t remember what the other children cooked in those first few weeks, but I do remember what Toby made.  Starting when he was seven years old, every Thursday evening Toby placed hot dogs in a covered casserole, baked beans in another covered casserole dish, and popped them in the oven.  While the hot dogs and beans were heating Toby prepared a simple fruit salad of canned pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, and banana slices.  Sometimes he would ask for mini marshmallows to add to the fruit salad.  Variety!

Eventually some of the children learned to use the grill, bake excellent cookies, follow and modify recipes, and, most importantly, make delicious coffee. They also became fans of Alton Brown and occasionally tried making some of his recipes.  (Alton Brown’s show “Good Eats” is a wonderful combination of food, chemistry, history, and humor.  It’s available on Netflix.)

Ten years later, we’ve been through many seasons of meal planning (or not), and our schedule is more complicated than ever.  I have returned to the schedule I implemented years ago. The four children still at home, plus my husband and me, gives us each one night of dinner prep per week and one night for leftovers or Jets Pizza.  Sometimes we help each other in the kitchen and sometimes the cook is the only home until dinner is ready.  Sometimes the cook sticks to the plan and sometimes he or she finds a recipe online, requests ingredients ahead of time, and we get to try something new.  No matter what, the food is always better when someone else cooks it!

 

 

 

 

Make Change

My son and I were waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store when I observed something that made me want to take action.  The customer in front of me got her total and handed the cashier a $100 bill.  The cashier thought she pushed the right buttons, but the register did not display the amount of change to give the customer.  The cashier asked the bagger, who was also a cashier, what to do.

At that moment I had to turn around and compose myself.  I had to resist…

After a moment I was able to turn back in the direction of the cashiers.  The bagger grabbed a calculator and began entering numbers.

I had to turn away again.  I couldn’t watch.  Resisting the pull to act was so difficult!

The second cashier finished using the calculator.  The first cashier gave the customer her change.  I was still resisting.  All through my transaction I was biting my tongue.

I so badly wanted to teach that cashier how to count change.

Counting change from the purchase price to the amount given is relatively simple and involves little more than counting skills and familiarity with the values of coins.  The goal is to count up from the purchase price to the amount the customer presented using the fewest coins and bills possible.

Here’s an example:  the purchase total is $2.89.  The cashier says “That will be $2.89,” and as the customer hands the cashier a $10 bill, “out of 10.”  The cashier places the $10 bill on the register, not in it, counts the change from the drawer into her hand, then from her hand to the customer’s hand.

From the cash drawer to the cashier’s hand:

“The total is $2.89

out of 10

(picks up a penny) $2.90

(picks up a dime) $3.00

(picks up a $1 bill) $4.00

(picks up a $1 bill) $5.00

(picks up a $5.00 bill) $10”

The cashier then counts the change into the customers hand in the same way.  There is no need to subtract.

When the changed is calculated by the cash register, counting the change back to the customer from the purchase price up to the amount given is a good way to check your work and demonstrate to the customer they are getting the correct change.

In Math for the Middle Grades at  WEST  we’ll be learning this skill and practicing it a few times this year.

 

 

 

 

Homework Due 9/20 and 9/21

This post will be the routine each Thursday.  Each WEST Math class and the homework assigned for this week is listed.  Before we get to that, a reminder: Parents and Students, please email me with any questions about assignments, supplies, etc.  Students, email me when you need help with homework.  Students, if you want me to have your email address email me and I’ll add you to the list.

Math for the Middle Grades – For daily work, students should complete Lessons 4-6.  We stopped just before the last part of lesson 6.  Students wrote “Stop” at the top of the page.  If your student is able to finish lesson 6 they may.  If your student wants to wait until our next class to work on that page that’s fine, too.

Parents, please score this work every day if possible.  If your student is mature and responsible and you are busy, let your student score his or her own work.

Homework this week is working on 0 and 1 multiplication facts.  We’ve begun reviewing the basic multiplication facts.  Students were given a multiplication table and a list of activities to practice this week’s facts:  multiplication by zero and multiplication by one. These are relatively easy.  We’re working on speed and accuracy.

We played a game called Greedy Pig.   I love this game.  No prep, and everyone seems to enjoy it.  We started with everyone standing.  I rolled a die, called out the number, and everyone added that number to their score.  If a student chose to sit down the current sum was their score for that round.  If I rolled a six any student still standing got a score of zero for that round and the round was over.  It was great to have some time to move around a bit in class!  I have games lined up so we’ll have one almost every week!

Math 76 This week’s homework is lessons 4-7.  We completed the practice problems in class. Students should complete each lesson by working the odd numbered problems for each lesson, scoring the problems, and correcting any errors.

Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 – This week’s homework is lessons 6-10.

Geometry –  The first two parts of Lifepac 2 are due next week along with the final test for Lifepac 1.

Are You an Mathlete or a Weekend Warrior?

A weekend warrior, according to Merriam-Webster, is a person who participates in a usually physically strenuous activity only on weekends or part-time.

Because of the sporadic participation in a sport, and the enthusiasm for the game, weekend warriors are prone to injury.  Medscape.com lists the following as common weekend warrior injuries:  Achilles tendon rupture, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, ankle sprain, shin splints.  Once injured, the weekend warrior is temporarily, or sometimes permanently, unable to participate in the sport she loves.

To improve athletic skills, increase endurance, and avoid injury, an athlete will practice almost every day, sometimes for hours each day.  Athletes will also take breaks between workouts to recover from the exertion.

Math is like a sport.  There is a muscle in our brains called the Math Muscle.  When it is exercised only on weekends, or only on the day before a weekly class meets, it is prone to exhaustion or injury.  Once exhausted or injured it is unavailable, at least temporarily, for further exercise.

Of course the Math Muscle is fictional.  But the results of being a weekend warrior math student are not fictional.  How can the Math Muscle be strengthened?  How can we keep it in shape and learn more?  How can we increase our mental endurance?

Math is a set of skills that develop best when practiced many times a week.  Math students benefit from a training schedule similar to that which is effective for athletes.  Focused work time nearly every day and plenty of time for other activities will yield greater math skills with less exhaustion and fewer injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Common Weekend Warrior Injuries

Brian Hamzavi, MS, MD; David A Forsh, MD  |  July 13, 2015

WEST Math Homework Due 9/13 or 9/14

This first week of WEST classes has been a treat!  Seeing returning students show up for math with big smiles on their faces, and meeting new students, most of whom were smiling at least a little by the end of class, was wonderful!

This post will be the routine each Thursday.  Each WEST Math class and the homework assigned for this week is listed.  Before we get to that, a reminder: Parents and Students, please email me with any questions about assignments, supplies, etc.  Students, email me when you need help with homework.

Let’s get started!

Math for the Middle Grades – Student materials were distributed.  Each student received a 3-ring binder containing the worktext we’ll use for the first semester. Take care of the binder and it should last all year.  We’ll replace the contents of the binder at the beginning of spring semester. Students also received a pencil bag of pencils, pens, and other supplies they should bring to every class.  Pop your calculator into the pencil bag and you’ll have everything you need for math class in one place.

In the first section of the binder are a letter to parents and a list of the assignments for the semester.  Please read the letter to parents with your student, sign, and keep in the binder.

There are two lists of assignments.  The green list is daily work.  These are the lessons we start in class. Parents, please score your student’s work each day. Students, once your work has been scored, correct any errors.  If you have trouble with any problems email me and let me know the page number and problem number.  Parents, record scores for the homework (or not) in any way that is useful to you.

The pink list is homework. Homework assignments are mainly review and tests. Homework is to be completed independently by each student and turned in unscored.  These assignments will be entered in my gradebook at trackmygrades.com.

This week’s daily work is lessons 1-3.  We started these lessons in class.  Most students should be able to finish the lessons, but if your student is struggling with some part have them email me with the page number and problem number(s).

This week’s homework is getting the parent letter read and signed, customizing 3-ring binder, and being prepared for class next week.

Math 76 – Students received a list of assignments for the semester, a document titled “How to Do Homework”,  and a parent letter.

Students should read the parent letter with at least one parent.  Sign the letter and keep it in the student’s 3-ring binder.  Finally, students should organize their binders. This week label the tabs:  info, lessons, tests, notes, other.

This week’s homework is lessons 1-3.  This is a change from the assignment list.     We covered lessons 1 and 2 in class.  I’ll be sending instruction for lesson 3 in a few days.

Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 – Students received a list of assignments for the semester, a document titled “How to Do Homework”,  and a parent letter.

This week’s homework is lessons 1-5.  A detailed description of how to do each lesson is included in the “How to do Homework” document.  Students should read the parent letter with at least one parent.  Sign the letter and keep it in the student’s 3-ring binder.  Finally, students should organize their binders.  This week label the tabs:  info, lessons, tests, notes, other.

Geometry – Students received a pamphlet that includes useful information about how to succeed in geometry.  They also received a list of the assignments for the semester.  Please be sure to bring supplies and Lifepacs to class.  Bring the current Lifepac, the next Lifepac, and Lifepac 7 each week.  We’ll be working through much of Lifepac 7 in class over the next few weeks.  It is not necessary to bring the answer key to class.  Lifepac 1 is due next week. That’s just the lessons and self-tests.  The final test will be due on 9/21.

Be Prepared

Classes start soon!  Be prepared!

Besides packing your backpack with lovely new supplies and books, packing your lunch, and picking the perfect outfit for the unpredictable Minnesota weather, please pray for a great year of learning.

NOTE:  Supply lists can be found on the WEST website.product-30xa-feature-image

Students in Math for the Middle Grades should simply show up for class.  If you have your Texas Instruments TI-30Xa calculator bring it.  This calculator, shown here, is the only calculator students will need for all of my WEST math classes.  It is widely available and costs $10-14.

Students in Math 76, Algebra 1/2, and Algebra 1 should be sure to have all the items on the supply list.  Students in these classes must read lessons 1-5 before the first class.  Just read through the lessons.  There might be a lot of review in those lessons.  Watch for unfamiliar concepts or concepts presented in new ways. We’ll go over the information and concepts in class, but having an introduction before class will make learning easier.

Besides bringing all items on the supply list, and reading lessons 1-5, Algebra 2 students must complete lessons A and B before our first class.  Read through a lesson, complete the practice problems, complete the odd numbered problems in the problem set, score your work, and correct any errors.  Email me with questions.  Then follow the same steps for the other lesson. Be prepared to turn in lessons A and B at our first meeting.  .

Geometry students should read LifePac 1.  There might be lots of familiar information, and there might be some new information.  You don’t need to completely understand the concepts.  Just read it.  Try reading a few pages a day, or try doing a dramatic reading of the lessons.  If you need an audience read to your dog or teddy bear.  For our first meeting you will need only Unit 1.  You may leave the rest at home.

For all classes, the practice of reading the lessons before class is required all year.  Reading the lessons before class helps students become familiar with new terms when they have time to think about them and look up meanings if necessary.  During class new terms will be reinforced.  Pre-reading is also an opportunity to form questions about the material, participate in classroom discussions more easily, and be prepared for a pop quiz.

The following is a suggestion, not a requirement:  Try reading the lessons before and after class.  Once the concepts in the lessons are explained in class the text will be easier to understand.  Also, reading the lessons after class is an opportunity to fill in details that might have been missed in class.

[Happy Labor Day!  No post on Monday, 9/5.]