General Math: Jen
Students in General Math are taking on the challenges of looking at how numbers compare to each other and are beginning to see that it is important to compare “apples to apples” instead of to “oranges” so to speak. Students are finding unit rates and comparing information from tables, graphs and algebraic equations to find the best price, mileage, rate, etc. Students have done an amazing job connecting their basic mathematical knowledge of ratios to algebraic equations. It is so exciting to see the growth that is occurring in our classroom and how students are learning to express their understanding in different ways and at their own pace.
Students have been hard at work sorting out fundamentals such as converting percentages to decimals, estimating a product by rounding the terms, double checking their answer by conducting the “smell test,” manipulating fractions, and identifying patterns. We’re also working on visualizing the problem rather than just working with numbers and applying rules. Misconceptions emerge daily and are addressed from multiple angles until understood fully. Students were under the assumption that two numbers when multiplied together will always be larger than either number so of course we began multiplying integers by decimals. We then related decimals to their fractional counterpart in an effort to understand that multiple representations of a single concept are all describing the same thing. This is paramount to mastery of Pre-Algebra and Mathematics in general.
Our Algebra class is moving along at full steam. We are solving equations, both simple and complex. In addition, students are finishing up the second unit in our book. We are doing a really neat project to analyze how the length of different bones in the body can help predict a person’s height. We will be taking measurement data, finding measures of central tendency (statistics) to determine how different genders and age groups compare to each other, and representing this information graphically. Finally, we will determine whether measuring different bones in the body really is an accurate predictor of height. Keep your eyes open in the lobby for the display on this.