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Math - Problem Solving 101 - 7th Grade - Curriculum - Calendar - Assessments - Syllabus - Contact - Announcements
Math touches our lives in a myriad of ways. We use it for cooking and cleaning, for making purchases and in our jobs. We want to know we’re receiving the correct compensation for hours worked & jobs completed and we want to be able to make the correct change if we’re cashiering. We might love math and eventually want to be a teacher or an engineer or a doctor or inventor. If a sport is our passion, we might want to keep track of our performance stats – or our fantasy league stats.
Problem Solving 101
Beyond examples like these, being successful in mathematics uses the same skills necessary for solving any kind of problem in life. I think of math classes really as, “Problem Solving 101.” With that perspective, the state of California follows the “California Common Core” approach. Rather than memorize math facts and learning math skills in isolation from each other, like many of us were taught, concepts such as measurement and geometry are introduced for solving problems as early as in Kindergarten. These concepts grow through high school where the students are finally prepared to enter adulthood with the tools they will need to make good choices for themselves as they enter adulthood.
GROWTH MINDSET: There is no such thing as smart people and not smart people. Anyone can work to high levels. When you believe in yourself, your brain works differently. Mistakes grow your brain. Struggle and challenge are really good for you. It is not important to be fast in math. It is important to think deeply and creatively.
In 7th grade, we help the students to better develop their “Number Sense” in five domains: Ratios & Proportional Relationships, The Number System, Expressions & Equations, Statistics & Probability and Geometry. In addition, at Mills MS this year, we have a, “Math Lab,” (listed as Math Support on your students’ schedule) where we focus on helping the students whose i-Ready assessment results implied that they may be at risk of not being fully prepared to successfully progress through the standard curriculum.
In keeping with the Common Core mindset, the curriculum we’re using is based on the 7th Grade Mathematics Framework adopted by the CA State Board of Education in 2013. It details specific learning targets for each of the five domains listed above. As a tool to help make the material more engaging and thought provoking for the students, Mills MS is employing MidSchoolMath.
Using MidSchoolMath, each week’s lesson begins with a video that immerses the students in a real life scenario that presents a problem to be solved. The students are asked to both consider what information they’ll need to solve the problem and then, with available help from classmates, to resolve the problem. On that same day, or the next, the students are also shown a resolution video where they can compare their own solutions to the one presented – this also gives them the opportunity to correct any misconceptions they may have originally had. All of their classwork is completed in math journals (that they were or will be given at the beginning of the school year) that are kept in the classroom and become tools they are encouraged to use as a primary resource on assessments.
Skills are practiced and enhanced using the Practice Printable and the Simulation Training (students’ FCUSD login and password is used to access individual MidSchoolMath accounts) associated with that week’s lesson. The Simulation Trainer (click here for example) has the student work through several examples repeatedly until they show mastery. Once achieved, the assignment drops off of their MidSchoolMath assignment menu. These are the classwork assignments the students are graded on in PowerSchool.
The 2019-2020 school year is divided up into three trimesters.
- Trimester 1 (Aug 12 – Nov. 8)
- Trimester 2 (Nov. 12 – Feb. 28)
- Trimester 3 (Mar. 2 – May 28)
Work will only be accepted up until the deadline for each trimester. The first deadline is Nov 1st; the second deadline is Feb 21st; the third deadline is May 15th.
Written assessments are developed based on the weekly learning targets. The students are given questions based on the last three or four week learning targets, consistent with the math framework discussed in the Curriculum section, above.
They are graded based on a 6-point rubric with a scale that runs from Novice to Expert. Based on their responses to all of the questions in a particular Learning Target, students will be awarded 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 points. A 6 is given for expert responses with no mistakes and a 1 is given for responses that indicate the student doesn’t grasp any concept of the Learning Target. The corresponding grades entered into PowerSchool are 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% and 100%. Each Learning Target shows up in PowerSchool as a separate assessment.
The only way to score less than 50% is to refuse to take the assessment or to violate a test taking rule. If a student was given 0% for the refusal to take the assessment or for violating a test taking rule, the student need only schedule a test retake.
Students who wish to raise the score awarded on any of the Learning Targets have the same opportunity to schedule a retake of that specific Learning Target.
There will be no penalty assigned for late assessments. A 100% on a retake is worth the same as a 100% received on the original assessment. Deadlines for retakes, however, are the same as discussed in the Calendar section of webpage.
Mills Middle School
7th Grade Math
916-294-9045 ext 710233