Weekly Update from Ms. Rodgers
Math Specialist | firstname.lastname@example.org
My wee mathematical warriors bravely climbed the subtraction-with-borrowing mountain this week. There were moments that they doubted their skills, and moments where they wondered why we were even doing this hard task in the first place, but they triumphed. I was so proud of their tenacity. They all learned a rhyme to help them along the way.
"Numbers the same, Zeros the game. More on Top, no need to stop. More on the floor, go next door, get ten more."
The Exotic Zebras (4th):
This week we dusted off our multiplication skills. We began by reviewing multiples of 10's, 100's, and 1000's. Students learned shortcuts so they could quickly solve these types of multiplication problems. They also practiced the practical application of these skills by answering questions about money such as "How many dollars do you have in a stack of two hundred 100-dollar bills?" Then they reviewed their multiplication facts by filling out a multiplication table. We will have weekly timed multiplication quizzes until everyone quickly and confidently knows their multiplication facts. This is an essential skill that is absolutely necessary for fourth graders to master in order to move on to the higher, more complex mathematical concepts. Please quiz your child on these facts at home and encourage the use of flashcards, apps, and online games to practice.
Here are a couple of great sites to get you started:
The Golden Phoenixes (5th/6th):
This week we began tackling algebraic expressions. We used pan balances and scales to help make the concepts more concrete. The students were enthusiastic about this new unit and thought of the equations as "puzzles" that they had to figure out. Long division was required to solve most of these new math problems so we took a break to review the steps in long division. This was a new concept for some students so we spent time cementing this new knowledge.
Math with Ms. Cody (6th/8th):
Students are now applying the distributive property in PEMDAS, and Letters have officially made their way into our math. While looks can be deceiving, the variable is not there to complicate the process. It's simply a marker of an unknown value. Students are gaining more confidence and exploring the natural challenges of unknowns, letters in math (the nerve!), and the new phrase "like terms".
7th & 8th Grade Math:
We spent the first part of the week reviewing single step equations, multiplication properties and working with algebraic expressions. We then moved on to 2 step equations. I was so impressed with how students took on the challenge this week! They are transitioning from individual math studies last year into a supportive and collaborative community. When we return from the break, we will continue to continue our work with equations and work with rational numbers and expressions to prepare students to tackle more complicated equations. I hope you all have a wonderful break. See you in December!