Seventh Grade Mathematics
Mr. Choi ([email protected])
Ms. Postema ([email protected])
Ms. Wu ([email protected])
–What is algebra? What is pre-algebra?
–Is zero important?
–How does a culture’s number system affect its mathematical development?
–What are dimensions? Why do we stop at 3?Topics of study will include:
An introduction to algebraic thinking through geometry
All operations with rational numbers
—-emphasizing negative numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages
Order of operations
Operational laws (commutative, associative, distributive laws)
Exponents and roots
Introduction of linear and non-linear functions
Number lines and graphing
Data collection, data analysis & presentation, statistics
Cartesian plane and graphing
Traditional and Metric measurement systems
This class meets six times a week for periods averaging 50-55 minutes.
There will be daily homework. Assignments are geared to take approximately 30 to 45 minutes, understanding that students work at different speeds.
A class rule is that students may stop work after 45 minutes of solid effort. If a student cannot complete an assignment in that time, she/he should:
–Make sure that the writing in the graph pad reflects 45 minutes of effort.
–If the student has not made much progress, then a couple of thoughtful sentences should be written in the graph pad: What have you tried? Where do you get stuck? What questions do you have?
–A parent signs the graph pad confirming that the student worked for 45 minutes.
Tests occur at the end of each unit of study. This generally happens every three to four weeks, so there are about three tests during each marking period.
When tests are graded and returned, students do a review sheet to analyze their work. Questions are posed to help students reflect on their learning: What types of problems did you miss? Were these calculation errors, or was the concept confusing? What additional support would be helpful?
A student’s grade will reflect understanding and mastery of the topics covered. During each marking period, students have many ways to demonstrate their understanding:
Class participation: both questions and answers are important
There will also be a math homework grade. This is an opportunity to recognize a student’s faithfulness in doing nightly homework. It is one way to reward the noteworthy effort many students put forth when they do homework to the best of their ability.
This course is guided by a series of “packets” drawn from a variety of textbook resources. We have found this to be the most effective way to help students move from the K through 6 curriculum at Mustard Seed to the 8th grade algebra year.
One of the texts for this course will be Pre-Algebra published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. In addition, some units will be drawn from Real Math by Willoughby, Bereiter, Hilton and Rubinstein published by Open Court. We will also introduce some topics using early chapters in Algebra I by Paul A. Foerster published by Addison-Wesley. This is the text used for Mustard Seed School’s algebra course in Eighth Grade, and it treats some pre-algebra topics particularly well.
Building a “mathematics culture” …
A continuing opportunity for students and for Mustard Seed School
The work was very successful and supported Mustard Seed’s continuing efforts to help students find joy and meaning in mathematics studies. We persist in this work, focusing on creative problem solving, I Love Math Day events and eighth grade exhibitions.