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Good Afternoon Students and Learning Coaches,
I have moved a few students around in regards to Class Connects, in order to make sure classes are relatively even since we have had 6 new students since December join us. I also want to make sure students are in the best groups for them, so I moved a few students around.
Please double check that you are in one Class Connect with me on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. If you have both ELA and Math in one day, please let me know, as I try to avoid that.
Also, please be aware for those that have NML sessions: my class connect is the priority and should be attended rather than NML on that day. Please do not miss or come late to my class because of NML.
Attendance reminder: Excused absences are for the following reasons only:
1. Family emergency
3. Major computer issues
You must contact me by phone or kmail the day of the absence so that I can excuse you and send you the make-up work. If I am not contacted it will be an unexcused absence.
If you miss class connect and it is not excused, you are always able to watch the recording for that day's class so that you are at least aware of what was covered that day.
Tardies: I have noticed that students are coming later and later into class connect sessions and I feel like I have been too lenient in marking tardies. I already have a 5 minute window to allow students to log on, so please make every effort to be on time. Beginning this week if a student is more than 10 minutes past the 5 minute window, they will be marked Tardy. If a student logs on after the 30 minute mark, they will be marked as absent. If a student is in class but does not make any attempt to complete the exit slip at the end of class, they will be marked tardy for the day.
Attendance in general for 6th grade has not been as good as I expect or our administration expects this past semester. Remember attendance is a combination of the following:
1. Learning Center
2. Class Connect
3. 25 or more hours in the OLS each week (MUST be entered by Sunday night)
Please make every effort to meet these attendance expectations, because we want your student to be successful at CVCS, but if they are not coming or doing the work it is hard for us as teachers to help.
In grading the extended responses for math from December, I'm noticing something quite common for all of the samples, and I want to address it here to see if I can help.
When it comes to writing out the explanation of how you solved the problem, many of you are doing a great job of listing out the steps that you took, but then stopping there. The explanations of why you took those steps are still unclear. But this is probably the most important part of the response so I want to make sure that we get it right. :)
During class the last week of school before break in December, when we were working on these in class, I showed you a sample of how I would solve a similar problem. I want to post that here.
The main thing that I want you to focus on is that in your explanation, you need to include the specifics of the problem. You need to make sure that you include the important information that you need to know in order to solve the problem. Include the what the problem is asking you to solve for. And most importantly, include how you solved the problem. Walk the reader through every step of the way. Explain all of your computations.
The problem that I solved was: Henry is building a skateboard ramp. He went to the hardware store to buy 1/4 pound of screws and 2/5 pound of nails. What is the total weight of screws and nails?
Remember: ISLAP the ISAT? The ISAT part of the acronym is for the written explanation.
I Important Information in the Introduction
S Say what you are solving for
A Always explain what you did and why
T Then answer the question in a full sentence
I = Important information in the introduction
S = Say what you are solving for
A = Always explain what you are solving for and why
Notice how for each step, I give an explanation of why I did that step. And notice for Step 5, I explain the way that I solved the actual problem. First I found the LCM that both denominators share; the LCM of 4 and 5 is 20. Etc. THIS is what is missing from your work samples, and this is what the ISAT test is looking for you to know how to do.
T = Then answer the question in a full sentence
If I were to write out my response not using the guiding sheet I provide you at the back of the packet, it would look like this:
After reading the problem and underlining the important information, I know Henry bought 1/4 pound of screws and 2/5 pound of nails. I need to find out what is the total weight of the screws and the nails. First, I read the problem to understand the information given to me. Second, I found what I need to solve for - what is the total weight of the screws and nails - so I can figure out how to set up the equation. Third, I identified the important information that I need to use to solve the problem - 1/4 pound of screws and 2/5 pound of nails. Fourth, I set up an equation to solve: 1/4 + 2/5 = ?. I used addition because the problem is asking me what the total weight is. I know to find the total weight of something, I need to add the parts together. Fifth, I solved the problem by finding the LCM that both denominators share. I found the LCM of 4 and 5 by listing the first few multiples of each number and looking for the lowest number that each number shares.The LCM of 4 and 5 is 20. Once I had a common denominator, I made equivalent fractions by doing to the numerator what I did to the denominator to get the common denominator of 20. To find an equivalent fraction for 1/4. I multiplied by 5/5 and I got 5/20 To find an equivalent fraction for 2/5, I multiplied it by 4/4 and I got 8/20. I added the two numerators together (5+8) and I got 13/20. Sixth, I checked my work to make sure that my answer was reasonable and free of errors. After working out the problem, I now know the total weight of the nails and screws is 13/20 pounds.
Below is my full example of how to solve an extended response problem:
My dear students ...
As I mentioned in class when going over my example, I can appreciate more greatly how difficult this task is. I did not have to do this when I was your age. That being said, as a teacher, I understand why they are asking you to do this. But I can appreciate that this is not easy to do. We don't normally think about math in this way, and it is even less common for us to write about math in this way. I am a firm believer that practice makes perfect (or as one student put it, practice makes proficient). So we will continue to practice this skill. Keep in mind: I don't expect perfection, but I do expect that you will try your best.
Hello, 6th graders! Happy New Year! Learning Center is closed tomorrow, due to the weather, but, as you can see in the Kmail above (that was sent to each of you, too), you are still required to "do school" tomorrow. You need to log in at least five hours of coursework. Stay warm! See you next Monday!