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​Middle School Math : Visual Representations and Problem Solving
​Middle School Math : Visual Representations and Problem Solving
Jen Pratt & Sue Merrill
Friday, October 25, 2019

Ask your 6th grader to show you how to find area and perimeter using base 10 blocks… ask your 7th grader how to simplify expressions using algebra tiles and expression mats… ask your 8th grader how to graph a linear equation using slope-intercept form, or  how to identify slope from 2 points.

During the first quarter, our middle school students explored concepts through visual representations and problem solving. The core concepts were: number and data representations, and area & perimeter of rectangular shapes (6th grade); combining like terms and simplifying expressions with positive and negative integers (7th grade); and identifying patterns, domain & range, and graphing with slope-intercept form (8th grade). Upcoming content can be found on the Middle School Math Syllabus 2019-2020 .

If you’d like to see a glimpse into our world, ask your middle schooler to share their padlet warm-ups or math binder with you. Ask them to choose a problem from their classwork or homework and explain the strategy they used to solve it (multiple ways to look at a problem are encouraged). 

Our goal is to have the math discussed and shared at home, not struggled over. We want homework to be meaningful and would like any struggle to be here at school where your student has the support of peer collaboration and teacher intervention. Homework is most often a review of past concepts or a brief exploration of “not yet mastered” material and corrections are made on a regular basis. 

How much time is your student spending on homework? Does your student confidently share their understanding of math skills with you? We welcome any and all feedback.,,

Stay tuned for student-created “How To” math videos in the next newsletter.