Dear 2019, before you go…


…let’s recap on our last few weeks from Middle School math classes and learning, as we wish everyone and their families and friends, a wonderful and safe break!

From Mrs. Cleveland:

If you don’t already know, November was a month of learning for me! I participated in three PD opportunities. That’s right, 3! One in Toronto, one at the school, and one virtually from the comfort of my own home. To read more about my learning, check out my blog post!

As a math leader in the school, I also have been working hard on my in-house learning this year. I’m focusing upon Personalizing math learning. After the break, I will be trying new ideas and activities that will be implemented into my teaching with the grade seven class; to prototype how personalization in math classes and learning can occur at the OJCS and in the middle school. Where am I at? Check out my post on my progress and thoughts so far!

From The Students:

Grade Seven has given me some extra homework for over the break, as I will be happily grading over 1400+ equations! Yep! 1, 4, 8, 9 was a huge hit! Everyone was engaged in learning and applying BEDMAS and Order of Operations, learning some fun concepts like summation and factorials to solve and evaluate 100+ answers!

Grade 8: This year’s graduating class took it upon themselves to organize and carry out a Mystery Maccabee celebration after they mastered a “two in one”unit on circles, circumference, surface area, and volume. The students took great thought and pride into choosing their gifts for each other. There may even be a future famous rapper in the group!

Grade 6’s and 7’s and 8’s: Math class the final week before the break, middle school students have been learning about circles and how to use the radius and points of intersection along the circumference to make a perfect equilateral triangle. Students learned how to use a ”mmArc” style compass, using radius arcs, to make six perfectly spaced points of intersection along the circumference. Thus creating a wonderful Math Chanukah Math Craft: a Magen David! Grade 6’s led the way with creativity!

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

See you all next year…make that next decade!

New Math Medium for Progress and Practice

Hi there and Happy Monday Middle School (and hopefully, Middle School Parents, as well)

Exciting news from your math teacher!

This week and next, students in grades 6 – 8 will be Beta Testing a newer online math platform called; Knowledgehook.

Knowledgehook is similar to Mathletics (if you remember those days) but has more in depth learning and opportunities for personalization and students creating a digital portfolio, where you (the students) will have to actually upload and “show your work” in an online question, through a camera lens, or uploaded file.

This week, parents (YES YOU PARENTS!) will be receiving an email from your son/daughters Knowledgehook account. This allows you to track their progress at home as well. Nothing more transparent than being right there to see what and how they are doing in their units!

Class codes are as follows for student logins.

Grade 6: boot2993

Grade 7: yam8524

Grade 8: yam8365


We will test out this platform this week for some in-class and homework activities. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s homework!

We look forward to this journey together, and as always welcome any feedback from the students and parents.

Here’s to a great week ahead!





Homework: November 27th (Grade 8 Only)

Hi Grade 8!

We are overlapping lessons, so we have begun our unit on Rates, Ratios, and Percents (Number Relationships)

Our pre-learning (refresher of last year to see what you remember) is to complete the following for MONDAY, December 2nd.

Do you Remember: Page 3

#1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (if you know), 8, 9, 10, 11

Don’t forget to show all of your work!



Homework: November, 25th Reminder: Tests Friday

Hello there Middle School!

Grades 6 and 7 have tests this Friday, and Grade 8, your test is December 9th. (the grade 8 test will overlap with our new unit)

Don’t forget to get all the information and study sheets from the blog.

Where? If you need a refresher from the last test/quiz…here you go!

You can find this information from two places:

  1. The google calendar. Click on the date, then click on the “Math Test” reminder, then blog link for more information.
  2. Or…from the blog directly! (how?)
    • look at the menu at the top of the page.
    • Find “Tests and Assignments”
    • hover over this tab and choose your grade
    • your most current test and/or assignment info will be right at the top
    • red links will take you directly to study pages for practice.

Happy Studying!


Homework: November 18th

Happy Monday Middle School!

Here is your math homework. Pay attention to due dates (a little different than before!)

Grade 6:

  • FOR WEDNESDAY (November 20th): complete decimal package (10th and 100ths and converting to fraction equivalents) – this is two pages (double sided) some may have been begun in class today.


Grade 7:

  • For MONDAY (November 25th): Small extension in 1,4,8,9 assignment (Read Carefully)
    • Just expressions and “showing work” is due now on MONDAY.
    • Reflection, and COMPLETE project due NEXT Friday, November 29th (or before)
        • Choose any 50+ expressions to “SHOW YOUR WORK” for a 4/4+
        • Choose any 30-40 expressions to “SHOW YOUR WORK” for a 3/3+
        • Choose less than 30 expressions to “SHOW YOUR WORK” for a 2/2+


Grade 8:

  • For Wednesday: Complete the TWO pages (handouts) for practice
    • page 51 (circumference)
    • page 115 (volume of cylinders)



The Grade 7’s…..

….Escaped from Math Class!

The grade 7’s experienced their first escape room on Tuesday and they LOVED IT! Groups were created randomly, and all students were engaged and on task to struggle and complete 4 math related questions around a “Dinner Party” theme. Questions involved finding recipe amounts for x amount of people, when to start each dish to ensure that they are all completed at the same time, use logic to find out what picky eaters will eat, find the area of pie left after a certain amount of people have eaten a slice, and also arranging tables using a given pattern with an algebraic expression to make sure everyone has a seat.

Bitmoji Image

…don’t believe us that we’re having fun in math class AND learning?

..take a look!




Bitmoji Image



Do you like π ?

Grade 8 is beginning to investigate the properties of a circle and then moving into properties of a cylinder.

Mr. Ray and myself (Mrs. Cleveland) have decided to work together and teach grade 8 the skills needed (side by side, science and math) for success with their Kiddish Cup Project! Students have to prepare, design, and then create a kiddish cup using Blender, the CAD program for our in-school 3-D printer.

One the first things about knowing and understanding the properties of a circle is knowing pi (π). Yes, we know it’s 3.14159…. ; however, do you know why?

Today the grade 8’s did a hands-on activity in Math class to figure out why pi is actually that… where does that number actually come from? What does it actually mean?

…if you’re curious…ask a OJCS grade 8 student… now they know and they can tell you themselves!

They were blown away by the activity and had a lot of connections and “a-ha” moments!

Math can be fun!



Math Escape: Grade 8 Dinner Party!

Grade 8 participated in their first Math Escape Room of the year on Friday.

They got a taste last year, and loved it so much, that I had to put together another one and bring it back to life this year!

October’s theme: a Dinner Party! How much food? When to start each recipe? How to set the tables? ….and picky eaters!

Students were “Trapped in Math Class” for 60 minutes in small groups. They had to beat the clock to correctly answer four tough and tricky questions that pushed them to squirm and struggle. Topics included logic problems, algebra, and area of circles.(had to figure this out from notes and clever resources-since we haven’t learned it formally yet!)

So with the room set, and the students eager with positive attitudes they took on the challenge…and as the struggled through, they came out on the other side all escapees from this month’s escape room!.

Here’s a peak into their “struggle,” and now thanks to my over using my “dontstealthestruggle”phrase, students are often heard saying back to me, “Mrs Cleveland, no, don’t help, don’t steal my struggle, I can figure it out.”

Could I be more proud?!  Let’s see what they got what it takes to escape in November’s room, I’m already preparing it! Bring it, grade 8! Show me what you’ve got!

…stay tuned….grade 7 takes on their first escape room tomorrow! They’re ready for the challenge!

Take a look…





Thinking Classrooms and 3-Act Lessons

Last Thursday and today (Monday) the grade six class, enjoyed participating in their second 3-Act Lesson of the year, in a “Thinking Classroom” format.

Their goal: How many cookies are actually in a large Girl Guide box?

Act 1: Spark interest, by showing the following video. What did you notice? What did you wonder?

Act 2: Focus in on the problem with only pictures and little information to guide their own strategy choices and next steps.

This included showing pictures with information that may be supportive like these…

ok…so you get the picture now….more pictures, more videos were displayed….and…

Act 3: Putting it all together, and reflection.

This portion is still up for completion tomorrow (consolidation and answer reveal.. they are on the right track, some have it and others are so close!

As students worked together to figure it out and #dontstealthestruggle, they worked in small groups in a thinking classroom format. Standing and conversing in a way that allows each student to visually see and provide input into the work displayed. Here are the students in action, and their work at the end of today’s class.

Looking forward to seeing them grow in our next 3-Act lesson in a few weeks time!

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