Monday, November 7, 2011

Math Madness

Math class started this past week, and pretty much the only word that could be used to describe it is madness.  Don’t get me wrong...the kids were well-behaved, they were eager to learn, and they did an excellent job in their first week with a new schedule.  However, it was the teacher who experienced a little bit of madness.  Yes, that’s right.  Jill Rhodes went slightly mad due to her math class.
Why, you might ask?  Well, I discovered very quickly (within about the first 45 minutes of class the first day) that my wonderful students were no where near the level I needed them to be at to start Algebra I.  As frustrating as this was, I knew I could get them ready if I just allowed myself, and them, some time to review and, in some cases, learn the basics.  
Now we’ve entered into a stage that I like to lovingly refer to as “Back to the Basics.”  And we have literally gone just about as far back as you can when it comes to math.  This past week we covered addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  And I am proud to say after this first week that all of our students can add (even when you have to carry!), subtract (even when you have to borrow!), multiply (even numbers larger than what is on the times table!), and divide (with and without remainders!). This next week I’m hoping to wrap up our “Back to the Basics” review with number lines, fractions, fraction operations, percents, and decimals.  I’m hoping after all of this, we’ll be able to start in with Algebra I.  You may think that this seems like a lofty goal, but I know these kids are capable of this.  Will we have to go back and continue to review and relearn basic math skills?  Yes, probably every day.  But do I love these kids enough for the math madness to continue?  You better believe it.  So bring on the number lines, fractions, percents, and decimals!  Let the math madness ensue! 

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