Students have been putting in a lot of hard work, and it shows. They are getting much more comfortable using the Mathematical Practices, drawing diagrams and tables to help solve word problems, using tools like algebra tiles to help better understand the rules for solving equations, and fully explaining answers with justification from their work.
In Chapter 5, seventh grade students learned about the 5D Process, a “guess and check” strategy to organize your thinking that can help you solve problems. In Chapter 6, students used algebra tiles to compare two expressions on Expression Comparison Mats. They discovered the legal moves that allow one to simplify expressions. Then they learned how determine which expression was greater and what values for the given would variable would make the expressions equal. As a part of the process, students learned how to record their work, justifying each step along the way.
The third trimester will begin with Chapter 7. In Chapter 7, students will identify the relationship between distance, rate, and time and will use it to solve word problems. They will connect their work with percent and scale factors to solve new problems involving part-whole relationships. Students will develop strategies to solve equations with fractional and decimal coefficients. Finally, they will explore percent change and simple interest.
In chapter 7, students learned how to use scatterplots to find relationships between two different measures for a set of objects. For example, they learned how to analyze amounts of fertilizer and plant height to answer a question like, “If I give a plant more fertilizer, will it grow taller?" They learned how to measure of the steepness of lines, a concept called slope, for situations, tables, and graphs. Finally, students looked at how to make predictions about future events from existing data using trend lines and equations. Students have begun to learn about compound interest and use patterns of growth to write expression in chapter 8. They have analyzed the patterns in tables, graphs and expressions to compare linear and exponential growth.
The third trimester will begin with us continuing our study of chapter 8 concepts, specifically exponent rules and functions. Students will learn new ways to rewrite numbers and expressions involving exponents, and learn how to perform operations with these numbers and expressions. They will investigate ways to distinguish functions from other relationships by examining their graphs and tables and learn how to describe them completely. In chapter 9, we will move into a geometry unit in which we explore angle relationships and the Pythagorean Theorem.
If you have any questions about my grading policy, homework expectations or any other aspect of 7/8 Math, please do not hesitate to call (652-2635 x119) or send an email. If meetings are more favorable to you, I can generally meet after school on any day but Mondays (schedule permitting) to talk about the math program.
Tim Ahrens, 7/8 Math
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