Mrs. Falla - Math

Guidelines For Success

Cubs value mistakes as opportunities to learn. They know to learn they need to:

🐝Be Prepared! 

🐝Be on Time! 

🐝Be Respectful! 

🐝Be and Do Your Best! 

Classroom Rules

Cubs know the rules and follow them.

🎯 Consistently make choices to help ourselves and others learn by staying on task and working with our team.

🎯 Understand and follow directions and the CHAMPS expectations

🎯 Bring and utilize binders to keep track of coursework and organize our thinking and learning.

🎯 Set & reflect on mathematical and classroom goals

7th Grade Math Class Syllabus

"Grades are a measure of progress, but not a measure of promise. Everyone is in a different place in their mathematical knowledge. You see the snapshot, but you don't see the trajectory. You can't know how people will flourish in the future. But you can help them get where they want to go. When someone has trouble in mathematics, we should bolster our support, not lower our expectations

Francis Su  

   Mathematics For Human Flourishing

Mathematics is a "standards based" subject. This means we have a clearly defined set of standards that we are trying to teach the students and within these standards some have been identified as "major clusters." This is based on the standards which Washington State has adopted. For us these are the Common CORE State Standards. This means that we are aligned with many other states in the goals that have been set for learning. At 7th grade there are 24 different Learning Targets that students are trying to reach. Each of these learning targets have multiple conceptual understandings and skills connected with them. These are broken into 5 math “strands" that have been adopted and financial literacy. Working collaboratively is an important part of math, and students are expected to work with each other.

This academic year, 2023-2024, we have been charged with identifying priority standards. We are aligned to this priority content for all 7th grade students when it comes to grading and focus. At the same time students through choice can follow SpringBoard's  Accelerated Pathway to meet the goal of entering Algebra at 8th grade.

All students start at different places in my classroom. 

Every decision I, as a math educator, make matters! I try to build my class with a Universal Design for Learning, UDL Framework, so that I have planned for a range of different abilities, strengths, and needs at the design stage- so that I have to "retrofit" the lesson less during instruction. Below are the outcomes of those decisions.

I BELIEVE in an inclusive classroom. ALL students are welcome and I BELIEVE in their ability to learn. I try to learn what strengths they bring, what scaffolding needs to be put in place to allow all students access to the work that they are being asked to do, and connect the math to their interests when possible. This allows me to make instructional choices and to help connect the learning to the individual students’ lives.

Grades and feedback to encourage student learning growth are my primary objective. My grading policies follow the student handbook. They are weighted to be as close as possible to where the students are in their own self-reflections of their learning which I REQUIRE that they submit weekly in the form the coversheet from the weekly graphic organizer. This is a parent, student, teacher partnership and parents are asked to view this reflection before the student submits it if possible.

Weighted Grades: (Grade weight changed on September 22, 2020)

  • 60% Assessment of 7th grade standards

    • Quizzes/Projects (Embedded Assessments from SpringBoard fall into this category, Students will have access to the problems prior to the quiz, they will cover multiple standards and CAN NOT be retaken. Technology projects also fall into this category and will have a "hard" deadline and will not be accepted late.)

    • Tests (3 questions per lesson that students will not have access to before the test. Students will have multiple opportunities to show mastery) This work must be completed independently. In this category I follow the schools Mastery Learning Policy for Tests.

  • 40% Class Work. Students will reflect on Before (choosing work) During (using strategies) and After (Goal setting and reflection) The weekly packet coversheet will be due the following Monday- and students will have until the following week's coversheet/reflection is due to turn it in- one extra week. Because STUDENTS have complex lives, I will at my discretion accept these late or "no count" them on an individual case by case basis.

    • MONDAY- Set Weekly Goal: Students will set a SMART goal at the beginning of the week after seeing the classrooms overall learning target for the week. On Monday of the following week they will self reflect on their own work and set next steps as they see the goals for the following week. Students will ONLY turn in their "peek of the week" page 1 and "goal setting" page 2 to receive credit they must have self reflected on their learning goals (page 2), get a parent/guardians signature (page 2). Self-set goal and reflection may be taken into account and entered into the gradebook. 

    • Daily/Weekly Learning Activities: This is your own original work but can be worked on collaboratively- not copied. Learning opportunities happen daily in class. (Grades are not assigned to this work as it is collaborative following the school policy - and allowing for students to know that it is okay to make mistakes, revise and learn. This is about learning and not copying to get correct answers.)

    • Check For Understanding: Daily home work is in the SpringBoard Course 2 book which ALL students will have. Students are encouraged to check their own work for reflective purposes. I sometimes include the answers in the weekly packet (room permitting, but they can also be emailed to families, and found in Google Classroom)

    • Checking Work and Deciding Next Steps. The "Peek of the Week" page 1 will be turned in after the week's work is done. Weekly students will answer the following questions- "Am I setting goals, engaged and actively thinking in class?" "Am I engaged in the class and my brain putting information out?" Am I taking responsibility for my own learning and spending the extra time to understand outside of class? Self-reflection may be taken into account.

  • 0% Odds & Ends. These are items noted in the grade book for communication with parents, but do not influence your grades. For example, returning progress reports or permission slips, signed syllabus, binder checks, and behavior reports.

All regular items are worth 10 points, and typically a breakdown of the scoring will be given on each assignment. Typically completed work showing effort ranges from 6 to 10 points.  Students self reflections may be taken into account when grading goals/reflection sheets.

  • 0 Missing (opportunity to complete)

  • 5 Missing (no opportunity to complete)

  • 6 No Understanding / Incomplete Work

  • 7 Incomplete Understandings

  • 8 Emerging

  • 9 Proficient

  • 10 Exemplary

3 question TESTS are worth 10 points, and they will be graded the following.  

  • 0 Missing (opportunity to complete)

  • 5 Missing (no opportunity to complete)

  • 6 (0/3)

  • 7 (1/3)

  • 8 (2/3)

  • 10 (3/3)

Projects are worth differing amounts (50 point example below) and are part of the 60% category like tests. They may be graded as the following example:

  • 0 Missing (Hard Deadline)

  • 30 Attempted (Turned-in by Deadline)

  • 31-50 points (Earned by criteria)

 Mastery Learning Policy ALL Student will be given opportunity to improve their TEST grade throughout the semester by striving for Mastery of the Standards on TESTS.

  • This policy is in place to allow students to master standards over the course of a unit, and so applies to only to tests.

  • I will progress monitor and may offer multiple opportunities to each class on the 3 question TESTS. This could range from one to three opportunities per standard. Students that have achieved 3/3 on the TEST will not be required to retake the TEST. Once whole class testing is complete students can use various methods to show mastery:

    • Error Analysis Reflection: Completing both the Tutorial Request Form (TRF) and Reflection- After the Tutorial form (AVID forms) and getting outside help to understand the standard.

    • Retake: Retaking the 3 question test on their own time by making arrangements to come in before or after school.

    • Khan Academy/Galileo : If parallel problem exist students will be given the opportunity to work through the problems to achieve mastery on-line.

Late, missing, or incomplete classwork, tests or projects. See grading criteria above.

Students will write notes to their future selves and these must be kept in your binder or file folder. Along with ALL their notes for the class students should keep their current weekly packet. (Animal names Semester 1 and plant names Semester 2)

Students are responsible to participate in all classroom activities and assignments, but this can look different for individual students. To ensure equity students evaluate how they are doing for 40% of their own grade (see above) and this self reflection is strongly taken into account when entering their grade into Skyward. This self-reflection does not allow students to "fail" their selves as the questions that they are asking are based on the standards and how they are taking on the responsibilities of class and growing. If they don't self-evaluate they receive a 0 and the assignments will be marked "missing". When the unit/chapter is complete the 0 will change to 5 or 6 (teacher discretion) out of 10 or  "Missing" or "Incomplete Work", and the missing tag will be removed as it CAN NOT be completed for partial credit.

Regular class participation, working collaboratively, and attendance throughout the quarter is necessary to receive a grade in this class, but attendance does not effect the grade, as you will be given the opportunity to make up missed assessments. 

Student responsibilities after an absence. You are responsible for learning so that you can master the standards. Take responsibility for your own education. Do not wait until the last minute to ask for help. 

  • For prearranged absences.  You are responsible for making sure that you understand the essential questions and the materials that are going to be covered in class. Assessments must be completed in a timely manner, and will be shown in the grade book as "missing".

For unexpected absences. Peers are responsible to help when you are absent, they can go over your weekly packet and talk to you about the learning targets for any day that you missed, you do not need to complete the material, just make sure there are no gaps in your understanding. Assessments must be completed in a timely manner, and will be shown in the grade book as "missing".

For extended absences, please have your family check in the office for materials that can be sent home. I am willing to work with you independently if you need it, please have your parents make arrangements. Once you return to school, if you missed a quiz or a test you must make arrangements to come in as soon as possible before or after school to make this up.

Our curriculum is produced by College Board and is their 7th Grade mathematics book: Course 2. All students are given a copy of the consumable workbook, for their daily homework- Check for understanding. The specific pages will be on their peek of the week. Copies are available on-line at SpringBoard, and here on my teacher page on the HMS website. (The accelerated pathway also uses SpringBoard's Course 3 book). We support this work with Khan Academy (mastery of standards),  Imagine Math (support tool & guided learning), Galileo (formative assessments), STAR Math (formative assessment/goal setting), Desmos (interactive lessons), Prodigy (practice problems) and Google Classroom (home base, interactive products and storage platform). 

1st Quarter: Our focus will be on building a safe learning community where mathematical discourse supports active listening, promotes diverse perspectives and insights, and allows students to consider others’ reasoning to advance their own mathematical understanding. By the end of the first quarter students will have a clear and accurate understanding of operations with rational numbers by engaging in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading activities in 7th grade math so that they can have the tools to tackle new material with precision and fluency while making use of problem solving strategies.

2nd Quarter: Continue to position students as mathematically competent by encouraging students to construct mathematical arguments and engage in the reasoning of others, such as when they are using the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions or working collaboratively to begin to emphasize equations relative to inequalities or such as when solving rich tasks involving geometric measurement that have a significant modeling component.  By the end of the second quarter students will have a clear and accurate understanding of writing and solving 2-step equations and inequalities, as well as area problems like composite figures including circles by engaging in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading activities in 7th grade math so they can explore how graphs can be used to interpret solutions of real-world problems.

3rd Quarter: Students start to take initiative in the management of instructional groups and formulate many questions, initiate topics, challenge one another's thinking and make unsolicited contributions and they explore the connections between models and share representations and make connections between these representations   (for example, tables, graphs, equations, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships).  By the end of the third quarter students will have a clear and accurate understanding of proportional relationships by engaging in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading activities in 7th grade math so that they can explore real world situations such as tax, commissions, interest, circles and similar triangles.

4th Quarter: Bring in students’ funds of knowledge by ensuring materials and problems have a connection with  learners while also providing opportunities to learn about the broader world, such as when collecting data and comparing two different populations. By the end of the fourth quarter students will have a clear and accurate understanding of simple probability and comparing data sets by engaging in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading activities in 7th grade math so that they can discern graphs that model concepts in the world around them.