Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Math Unit and More

We began our new Math unit, Unit Three, today. The topic is multiplication and division and it will include work with word problems (a.k.a. number stories) and some introductory algebra skills. Yes, algebra!

I've updated the Math Central page of the class website with an overview of the Unit. Also, today I sent home the Family Letter for Unit Three. It includes some great explanations of the work we'll be doing, along with an answer key for all the Study Links. Check the class website often; I'll be letting you know when I add some helpful math content. As for now, there are two links to sites that tie in to our math program, Everyday Mathematics. Hopefully they will help you.

Since the main topic is multiplication and division, we'll be spending a lot of time talking about facts. Now is a great time to get into the habit of practicing facts every chance you get. By the end of fourth grade, students should know multiplication and division facts up to 10. Make your own flashcards and help your child to memorize them. Mastery of math facts really helps students when the topics get more challenging (fractions!).

As for some other notes...MEAP testing starts next week. We only test on three days, which is fewer than in the past. BUT, students are taking more tests each day. This rule change was mandated by the State, so it's out of our hands. I'm sure you've heard this before, but please make sure your child gets a good night's sleep, eats a good breakfast, and gets to school on time during MEAP testing. I always hesitate to say this since it's something they should do even when it's not MEAP time (and since you probably are already making those things happen) but it's just one of those things teachers are "programmed" to say this time of year. No matter how you feel about standardized testing, it can't be denied that the tests are tremendously important. Your support, as always, is appreciated.

Thanks again for keeping up with the blog. I hope you're enjoying it. Have a great weekend.

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