Welcome to Seventh Grade Mathematics
Dear Parents and Guardians,
My name is Lisa Rosenkranz and I am writing this letter to introduce myself as your child’s seventh grade mathematics teacher. Since communication is a vital component of the educational process I wanted to take this opportunity to give you some information about myself and our math program for the 2011—2012 school year. I am a 2005 Maryville University graduate with honors from the College of Education. In addition, I am also a 2008 Maryville University graduate with honors for achieving my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. I am currently in my 7th year of teaching for Hazelwood; I have taught both 6th and 7th grade mathematics at East Middle School and am now looking forward to my 5th year at Central Middle.
The Hazelwood School District’s mathematics program has undergone progressive changes in the last four years in order to meet the new guidelines and standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Empowering all students with the ability to construct mathematical knowledge will be emphasized throughout the year. We have chosen the best available materials to promote conceptual math achievement in our students. The program we have adopted is Connected Mathematics Program II (CMP 2). We believe students need to be proficient in basic computation skills and will be reinforcing those skills on a regular basis both with and without calculators.
As a parent / guardian you are your child’s most important role model. As a teacher I will also be acting in your child’s best interest. Together, we can provide many positive learning experiences for everyone. Please do not hesitate at any time contact me by note, telephone, or e-mail if you have any questions or concerns throughout the year. My telephone number is 314.953.7436 (during school hours) or 314.953.5203, mailbox #37436 (to leave a message) and my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be sending e-mail updates about your child’s Math class, including assignment sheets, assessment notifications, as well as be informed when progress reports have been sent home; please look for these to be sent 2 – 3 times per month. I am looking forward to an exciting and productive school year with you and your student.
Mrs. Lisa Rosenkranz
CHANGING ROLES FOR LEARNERS OF MATHEMATICS
Each of the roles played by mathematics teachers, students and parents has changed in some ways. Teachers no longer take the role of “sage on the stage” as conveyers of knowledge and rules for solving problems. As teachers we facilitate the learning process with provoking investigations and questioning techniques that demand a higher-level response. Students are no longer passive receptors of information, but instead are given rich experience settings to create knowledge with conceptual foundations. Parents can now relate their own experiences with mathematics to encourage their child’s growth and understanding.
COMMON CONCERNS WITH THESE NEW ROLES
It is common for most students to come home with various levels of frustration as they struggle with concepts’ creation. Since our classroom provides an atmosphere of collaboration and sharing, it is difficult to recreate that setting for homework. The premise is that when homework is assigned students have had the opportunity to gain enough from the in-class experiences to make the translation with a new problem setting. Some students need a longer time to make the translation and it would be helpful to work with a team member. That opportunity is available each day during resource period for all students. I also encourage students to exchange telephone numbers with at least one other student who has my math class any hour. Finally, if your child is coming home saying, “I don’t know.” Most of the time students need to have the question re-phrased or a word within the question defined to get them on the right track. If you can respond to your child with questions rather than answers you will be modeling my mode of operation in class. Questions that require your child to think more about the problem are much more productive and helpful than giving them a strategy or rule-driven shortcut. Referring back to the problem completed in class that day will give you the foundation of their in-class experience.
Please contact me if you have specific comments, questions, or concerns about the program or your child’s experiences with it. With cooperation I know that all students will have a rich mathematical foundation to support themselves as they reach adulthood.
ORGANIZING YOUR MATH NOTEBOOK
We will not have a hard cover math textbook this year. Students will be given individual soft cover units as we progress throughout the year. It is very important that each student have a notebook for math only so that I can collect it for grading purposes. The notebook must be a 1-inch 3-ring binder. Students will be able to use your notebook during quizzes and tests; therefore, keeping it organized will be a key to success! Your notebook will have dividers, which will arrange your notebook in the following labeled sections:
Front of Binder: Math Name Sheet (will be given to students)
Section 1: Math Book
Section 2: Spiral Notebook for Investigation Work and HomeworkAll current Investigation work & homework (IN ORDER) will be kept in this section of the notebook. The work will be collected after each Investigation. I require students to have a spiral notebook with them in class EACH day. Please plan for your student to use 4 – 6 notebooks per year.
Section 3: Lined PaperLined paper will need to be kept in the binder at all times throughout the school year.
Section 4: Graph PaperGraph paper will be used during Units 1, 2, 4, 5, 8. It is best to keep graph paper in the binder throughout the school year. I will be providing each student with a Graph Paper packet in the beginning of the year, however, that is for class work only and your student will need graph paper for homework in each of the units listed above.
ORGANIZATION WILL BE KEY TO SUCCESS!!!! J
In-class Problems from each Investigation: Students will work individually, with partners, and in small groups (depending on magnitude of problem) to complete an exploration of each day’s problem. Students are expected to demonstrate diligence and effort toward solving the problems individually and collaboratively. During the whole class summary following exploration time, students are expected to contribute to the class discourse and take summary notes on their papers.
Homework assignments from the Application, Connection, and Extension problems in each investigation: Students will typically have homework assignments 4-5 days per week. The assignments are problems that align with the daily in-class problem(s). Therefore, students should refer to their summary notes when working on homework problems. Students are expected to attempt all the homework problems each day. Homework will be graded daily upon completion of the assignment—each assignment is worth 5 points. If a student spends 30 minutes of quality time working on the assignment and still is not done, he / she should write down a question about what was confusing or not understood.
Investigation Problem Summaries At the conclusion of each day, students will participate in a whole class discussion regarding the “big ideas” of the particular problem worked on. Students will then be required to write a 3-5 sentence summary discussing the mathematics of the day. This summary will be graded as a separate assignment from the in-class problem.
In-Class Problems from each Investigation:5: Demonstrates task completion, all evidence of problem solving strategies is recorded 4: Demonstrates task completion, some evidence of problem solving strategies is recorded 3: Some of the tasks are incomplete; some of the problem solving evidence is missing2: Many of the tasks are incomplete; most of the problem solving evidence is not shown1: Some attempt is made at the completion but the problem solving evidence is vague or missing0: No attempt is made to complete the tasks.
Homework assignments from each Investigation:5: All ACE questions assigned are completed prior to class 4: Most ACE questions are completed prior to class 3: Some ACE questions are incomplete 2: Most of the ACE questions are incomplete 1: Some attempt was made to complete some of the ACE questions during the class summary but the questions were not attempted as homework.0: No attempt is made to complete the assignments.
Investigation Problem Summaries:5: Students discuss the problem using proper math language, with no opinions or comments4: Students discuss the problem using some math language, with one or two opinions or comments3: Students discuss the problem with no math language2: Students simply give opinions or comments on the ease / difficulty of the problem1: Students do not discuss anything related to the problem of the day0: No attempt is made to complete the problem summary
Weekly Computation Assignments:10: Computation assignment is completed on time, with work shown (calculators are not to be used). All answers must be completely correct – students will have several opportunities to correct mistakes 0: Assignment is not turned in (or) no work is shown – calculator has been used (or) mistakes are not corrected
Literacy Packets:Each month, your student will be receiving a literacy packet to ready. Generally, these will be 10 – 15 pages long and student will have the entire month to complete. The scoring guides will vary for each of these assignments. If you would like a scoring guide – please ask each month. Literacy packets are a 90% grade.
MAP Prep PacketsEach month, like Literacy, your student will receive a MAP prep packet. These are designed to review concepts taught all year so students will find success on the MAP. The scoring guide for these will vary for each of the assignments. Please ask each month if you would like a scoring guide. MAP prep packets are a 90% grade.
Quizzes & Unit TestsThese rubrics are created by the District and follow a strict 4-3-2-1 guideline. Unfortunately, I am unable to give you an exact breakdown of what is expected for each number of points – it varies per assessment.
Tutoring will be offered every Thursday beginning the second week of school. If you think your child may need to stay for tutoring at any time during the year, please complete the tutoring permission form sent home. Students are required to sign up for Thursday tutoring by Wednesday afternoon. Each tutoring date is on a first come, first serve basis and is only open to the first 10 students who sign up. The tutoring dates will be posted at the beginning of each unit so students may make the appropriate arrangements. Make-ups for unit assessments will also be given on the tutoring dates. Students staying for tutoring will be able to ride the activity bus or will need to be picked up at Central @ 4:15pm.
MATHEMATICS SUPPLY LIST
Connected Mathematics 2 Mrs. Rosenkranz
1) 1-inch three ring binder
2) 6 spiral notebooks (2 per trimester)
3) Pencils (please send your student with several No. 2 pencils)
4) 3 packs of looseleaf paper (must be lined & in math binder)
5) Graph Paper—this will be used throughout the year
6) Erasers (pencil cap or other)
7) Personal pencil sharpener—optional
*No calculator will be needed – we rarely use calculators in my class; however, when we do, I will provide them for students to use*