Chapter 2 Math Update (Please Remind Your Students to Show Their Work as I Model it in Class)

More than anything, please remind your child that it is in their best interest to ultimately follow the instructions and show all their work on the board and in their notebooks THE WAY THAT MR. SANTERAMO HAS BEEN MODELING ANSWERS ON THE BOARD, to receive full credit.  Right now, students are choosing  to solve their work in a confusing manner, a style that will not help them when we encounter Algebra towards the end of the year.  Furthermore, it’s a style in which students can get easily confused with numbers mixed up and so please encourage them at home to work out their questions the way I show them in class.  While I certainly agree that it’s important to know more than one way to do something/solve a problem, in this case I’m so lost that I can’t even track the ‘work’ that is being done as all I’m see are (largely incorrect) answers.  Moving forward after the Chapter 2 Test, as with History, I will not let kids leave the room until they start copying the problems down the correct way- this format is exactly what is done for Algebra, so why do things differently, now?  Think about it!

Here’s an example of what I need to see from our original, standard, problems.  Rewrite the work step by step beneath using PEMDAS as your guide (revisit your notes if you need to).

  • (4 / 2 * 25 + 3) + 5                                 Unfortunately students are not showing their work
  • (2 * 25 + 3) + 5                                       this way and it’s been very difficult for me to check
  • (50 + 3) + 5                                              the work because I’m not sure what exactly they
  • 53 + 5                                                        are doing.  Even worse, while students are getting a
  • = 58                                                           handful of answers correct copying things down in                                                                 their own way, ultimately I’m seeing more and                                                                     more mistakes because their work-space is too                                                                     cluttered and/or does not show all of the details                                                                    needed to solve a given problem.   
  • I try to explain to the whole class innumerable times that I’m showing them how to solve problems this way because that is exactly how it is done when we cover Algebra later in the year as well as throughout the rest of their lives. Anyway, please keep an eye on these things at home, especially the more difficult order of operations with exponents, etc.   Thanks!
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