This past year, we have followed the Holt McDougal math curriculum for 7th grade. Iâ€™ve checked in with AJA teachers who have taught middle school math curriculum to check pacing and assessments to make sure weâ€™re on track. This year in 7th grade, weâ€™ve covered Unit 1-5, which is a good pacing and right where we should be.
Middle school math curriculum is designed to revisit topics each year to ensure students have a good foundation before algebra. With the repetition, many students are asking for more challenge and weâ€™ve addressed this in several ways.
First, some students are utilizing a self-paced math curriculum called ALEKS in addition to the core instruction they receive in class. Â This program allows these students to move at their own pace, and provides data for teachers so we can track their achievement.
Second, Iâ€™m doing a check-in at the beginning of new units to look at the skills that will be covered and give the class a choice to receive the 8thÂ grade version of the unit. We started this in Unit 5 (proportions). In doing this, Iâ€™m also working in small groups in class to make sure all students feel confident in their mastery of their math skills.
Third, we will also be supplementing units with math projects and core focus units offered on Summit Personalized Learning, which tracks Common Core Cirriculum. I believe itâ€™s important to receive instruction in different ways to reinforce skills.
To make practice fun, we regularly use online games such as Quizlet and Kahoots to reinforce skills throughout the year, such as working in negative and positive integers. Â Also, I plan to add a unit in the Spring that emphasizes Â word problems in a mixed format. Â Students will be allowedÂ to use calculators in this unit because the focus will be strategy and best practices in approaching word problems.
In AJA, algebra is offered in 8th rather than 9th grade.Â In late spring, I will give students a pre-assessment for pr
e-AP algebra that covers skills needed to thrive in Algebra. Through this, we can address any lagging skills in a timely way to make sure our students are ready for next year.
Also, one last thing thatâ€™s important for our students, if we make good progress throughout the week, a portion of our Friday is devoted to chess and other fun math games! Students really look forward to this and I love seeing them play strategy games. Maybe chess club will be an elective soon!
If you have any questions, please reach out to me. I really want to push students where they need to be pushed, and support them where needed too!