And We're Off!

A big thank you to parents/guardians for filling out the Subscription Form and Photo Consent Form on my website - your support is so appreciated! We've completed the first five days of school and, after setting up and organizing ourselves, are now officially in the math curriculum. Please find the first updates of the year below.

Standard Math Class Update:
We begin this year with the Statistics and Probability unit. I love this unit because it has so many connections to the real world and lends itself to such rich classroom discussions. Today - Wednesday, Sept 9 - was our first day in the unit: a great exploration and discussion on mean, median, mode, range, and (briefly) mean absolute deviation. Our lesson focused not so much on computing these values, which students did in 6th grade, but on interpreting and deciding which statistical values are appropriate to use in a particular situation. For instance, students quickly uncovered that although most teachers use the average (also known as the mean) to calculate their grades, it may NOT always be the best representation of their performance - some were quite intrigued by this! We inspected a data set of (fake) quiz grades that proved just that. We will continue to explore these topics in the coming days through other activities - personally, I'm looking forward to the "Super Bowl prediction" statistics lesson.

What you can do at home: Ask your child, "So, is the average always the best way to represent data? Can you explain why or why not?" These are not easy questions (even for adults!), but talking through the big ideas will only strengthen your child's grasp of the concepts. I thank you in advance!

One more thing: homework will begin next week when late buses start on Tuesday.

Accelerated Math Class Update:
We began Chapter 1, Section 1 today: Integers and Absolute Value. This chapter is a very short chapter, and the first test is already scheduled for next Wednesday (that may change, please check Edmodo for an updated calendar of events.) Class was disrupted due to student pictures for ID badges. We only got to briefly review the definitions of integer and absolute value and later, after some students took their ID badge pictures and returned to class, we began work in the book as the remainder of the class finished with their picture taking. The rest of the chapter consists of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers as a foundation for later work in the course. I look forward to a full class period tomorrow!

What you can do at home: Encourage your child to try the "Enrichment" problems in their chapter math packets (they will get the first one tomorrow, Sept 10) - these exercises are meant to extend their thinking beyond what's required. They are great to try during the "easy" chapters.

Thanks for reading. See below for the results of a quick poll I took last week (this includes all classes). Lastly, please remember to email me at or via the contact page if you have any questions or concerns.

-Ms. Vila