Middle School math

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by Aliceacc, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 11, 2006

    As many of you know, I'm new to 7th grade after a career with mostly Juniors and Seniors.

    The funniest thing I've noticed about this age group is the expectation that the rules can be changed just because "they're confusing!"

    For example, earlier in the year they saw the raised dot replacing the traditional multiplication sign. I mentioned that it would have been nice if that had been the symbol all along, but that, from this point on (and I gave them the date and the time for the sake of posterity) "x" was a variable, and a raised dot was a multiplication sign. That was at least a month ago, and they're so resistant. It's not that they keep forgetting, they just keep campaigning for me to change it back. ("Can't we just use another variable???")

    They're like that in other ways too-- it's so funny to see their persistance about something that will NOT be changed to accomodate them:p :p
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 11, 2006

    Aren't they funny? On this point (no pun intended), I acclimate my 5th graders to the use of the dot for multiplication so it isn't brand new to them all of a sudden. It works well. In fact, that's my general theory. Introduce new concepts and strategies in an unofficial way before they are officially taught. The top students will catch on and get a head start and the others won't be held accountable.
     
  4. pi lover

    pi lover Rookie

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    Nov 13, 2006

    I've taught 7-8th grade math for 13 years and I don't really remember having students who have resisted using the dot instead of the "x". Typically, my students are pleased they are starting to do more in math that looks "grown up". They tend to get excited when we do more equations, etc. because they feel like they are doing the same work as the high schoolers. They haven't quite realized yet how complicated/complex the equations get in high school math classes. :) I just keep bragging on them on how they growing up and doing so much more, etc. It works. :)
     
  5. musicbean

    musicbean Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2006

    Honestly, I've never used the dot in grade 7 math. Either there is no multiplication sign (as in 3x means 3 multiplied by x) or the variable is in brackets to distinguish it (as in 2(x+7) ). Also, the textbooks and myself always make the x variable in a more cursive style. You're completely right about grade 7s being resistent to change, though.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2006

    Today we talked about scientific notation. We took a brief stroll down memory lane to JFK's "man on the moon by the end of the decade" speech. We talked about how many of my kids' grandparents and neighbors probably worked on the Lunar Module at Grumman, and used scientific notation with their slide rules to put a man on the moon.

    Sure, it was kind of off topic. But they were really interested, both in the possibility that they might know someone who worked on the LM, and that someone they knew had actually used this stuff!!
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 14, 2006

    Brings back memories. When i was in third grade, my dad, who worked at Grumman, taught me how to use the slide rule.
     

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