Lots has been going on in Middle School Math even through our distance learning platform!
I have been posting a lot on my personal professional blog about my experiences with Distance Learning. If you haven’t checked them out, and if you are interested…you can take a read through my last three (latest) posts here!
As for grades 6, 7, and 8, here’s a snapshot of some things we’ve been doing!
All Middle School math students have been learning through various online platforms along with live experiences each day with me. For assessment and practice, students have been using EdPuzzle, Knowledgehook, and Quizziz. In addition to those we began an IXL and I had the students work on self-diagnostic as their “recommendation wall”. The kids loved it, but unfortunately my free trial ran out in the end of May. Perhaps something to look into for next year. It was great as the students were able to complete and navigate their own abilities with a personalized “playlist” of next steps and grade levels that they were able to complete with independence. Nothing more I love hearing than- “Mrs. Cleveland can I do more diagnostic to raise my math grade level?”… YES, YES,You can!
In Math (generally in school) we mostly focus our attention on our “Left Brain”. We took time in May and now into June to explore what “Right Brain” Math would and could look like. It was a great and is a great way to engage all students, at various entry points and perhaps push some to a place where it is more challenging, and on the flip side to some, more accessible! Are you left brained or right brained?
To get students moving around more at home and looking for math in their everyday lives, we have been using GooseChase to find and write and answer math questions and examples in teams! Also extra bonus points for getting a laugh, being creative, and putting in effort! I always comment with a supplementary math fun fact or funny quote. Grade 6 has taken off with this format and has enjoyed very much the connection between math and real-life. Here is a small small sample of the LOADS of submissions that came in… below.
Along with that, students have been using Geometry and their learning this term of 3-D shapes and rotations, flips, and translations, volume and surface area by experimenting with isometric paper. (dotted triangular paper that is able to to be used to draw perspectives of shapes) Students created and navigated how to make their names using this paper, as well as draw some 3-D mazes! Take a look! I even gave it a go myself!
Students also explored how empty space is meaningful in Geometry with the help of fun toothpick riddles. Some had some students wanting to keep the struggle going, while others may never want to look at toothpicks again. It was great to see the students “dontstealthestruggle” and keep with them. Here is a peek into some samples from the students themselves.
Also in personalization mode: students have had opportunities to work on weekly tasks that include either an enriched Waterloo format from the University of Waterloo, or “Weekly Tasks” personalized for student needs. Here are some examples of the different forms of work that displays their understanding through these concepts.
Grade 7 students are in the beginning stages of creating their own “Math Genius” slides and booklets that display all their knowledge of math facts so far from this year. This will be a great tool for them to keep to refer to next year, and in years to come, as they are required to write detailed steps with examples to how to solve math equations :multiplying decimals, adding/subtracting and multiplying fractions etc. Here’s a sneak peak to what has been started so far…
The grade 8 class, is almost completed their 2020 Pool Project which uses all grade 8 concepts in unison as a cumulative practice and review, as well as learning the features of a spreadsheet and formulas to add to create automatic sums and differences. As we paced ourselves along, the students have also been exposed already to grade 9 concepts that will support them even more next year in High School. We have explored simplifying expressions with 2 variables, the use and concept of distributive properties, and how to solve for two unknowns, while giving y a 0 value to find x, and then substituting x in the original equation to find y. Even if come September, they forget most of what we did, it’s a great head start; seeing it multiple times already, so next year a refresher can dust off their summer math brain! 🙂
As we get ready to head into summer, and with school winding down, there is still a lot of more fun that will take place in Middle School Math. Small adjustments will be made in the quantity of work, but the learning will continue to happen!
I continue to be amazed each day by how the students are eager to learn, try new things outside of their comfort levels, and reach their full potential. Plus… their conversations and smiles are something you can’t beat!
Whether in the classroom or together from a far online, Math IS FUN!