Monthly Archives: November 2013

Quiz-Patterning and Algebra, Monday, December 2

The quiz is postponed until Monday due to Anti-Bullying Day.
There will be a short quiz on the learning goals that we have been working on in class. Today and tomorrow we will work on a review

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Tools of the Math Trade

In the Math Academy we are starting to use some new tools for math. While we still use the industry standard number two pencil and lined paper, there are some new tools that are being used in the classroom.  Students have been asking me to post about some of the tools in hopes that they might receive some in their stockings this holiday season. Besides pencil and paper her are a few items I think may be helpful for the 21st century math whiz.

1. A calculator

Each student should have their own scientific calculator. As students move from grade 7 to grade 8 they need a calculator that has different functions such, as square root, exponent and pi buttons. Basic scientific calculators  are available from staples at $10.96.

Scientific Calculator

Scientific Calculator

2. Earbuds with a microphone

Earbuds are not just for listening to music anymore. In class students are creating screencasts about their learning and sharing with other students. Earbuds with microphones give students an opportunity to record their thinking and listen to the playback without being disturbed. I use Apple earbuds, but any earbuds with a microphone will do.

3. A stylus pen

A stylus pen works just like a pen, but captures your pen strokes digitally on an iPad. You can use your finger when writing on an iPad, but a stylus mimicks the way you would write with an actual pen. Working with a stylus can make your digital work neater. Stylus pens can be found for $10.00 at most office supply stores.


4. iPad
At Cardinal Heights we are up to about 80 iPads school wide. We try to make iPads available whenever students require them; however,  some students have opted to bring their own iPads from home. Having your own iPad is not a necessity, but if you want to send your child with their own tablet I do support it. But, please make sure you have a proper case and that your child always has it in a locked, locker when not in use.


As always I open to your thoughts about new tools for math. If you have any other ideas, please send them my way and I will post them.

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Parent-Teacher Conferences


Thanks everyone for stopping by. A number of parents have asked me in the past what they can do at home to help their son or daughter with math. Here are some quick tips:

1. Have your child show you the Math Academy Website once a week. Often there are tutorials that your child can review and you will get a sneak preview of what we do in class.

2. Contact me by leaving a reply on the website if you notice your child is having difficulty. Often times students are too nervous to ask for help. If you let me know they are having difficulty I will intervene right away.

3. Be patient.I believe all students have the capacity to do well at math. Sometimes it takes a lot of practice before becoming proficient in math. If you notice your child is struggling, but they are working hard to complete all of their work continue to encourage them throughout the year. I’m sure you will begin to see improvements

4. If you are looking for your child to have extra practice under your supervision one of the best at home math tools is JUMP math. I use many of the JUMP concepts in my own class and in my own home. You can order JUMP material at their website.

It is always a pleasure to continue an ongoing relationship with each one of you.

All the best,

Jeff Child

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Algebra Show and Share

grey cup

Today we are going to capture and share our learning about algebraic expressions. Here is your task:

In honour of the Hamilton Ticats and the Grey Cup experience, Cardinal Heights is going to set-up a flag football tournament at McMaster University. It cost costs a flat fee of 200 dollars to rent the stadium and 50 dollars extra each hour. Write and solve an expression for the total cost to rent the stadium for, 2, 3, 4 and 5 hours. If we have 500 dollars to spend what is the maximum number of hours we can rent the stadium for?

Before beginning please check the learning goals and success criteria so you can do your best on this task.

Learning Goal:
-We are learning how to use variables and constants in algebraic expressions
-We are learning how to communicate and share our mathematical thinking

Success Criteria:
-I can represent an unknown number or a variable with a letter
-I can recognize that a flat rate is a constant number
-I can create an algebraic expression with a variable and a constant
-I can use a t-chart to show a constant rate
-I can use a device (ipad or laptop) to show my thinking
-I can post my work to my blog

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Iron Chess Club Starts On Day 5 Nutrition Break 1


Iron Chess is back in action. Today we started getting our teams together. Please come up with an appropriate team name. Leave a reply with you team name and the members of the team so I can input the names on to our ranking list.

Iron Chess Etiquette

1. White always moves first. Use rock, paper, scissors to decide who goes first
2. Once you take your hand off a piece that you’ve moved, you can not take the move back
3. Be patient and allow people to think through their moves no talking or taunting
4. If you are watching a game you must remain silent, no suggesting moves
5. Respect your opponent whether you win or lose, each game should end with a hand shake or a “thank you, well-played”
6. All boards and pieces should be put back properly
7. If you run out of time you must use the chess points system as seen below

Chess Piece Value


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Patterning and Algebra Quiz

test charlie brown

It’s quiz time again. Do you ever get a test and freeze up? Do you ever get a quiz and think, “man, I don’t remember learning that!” Well here is your chance to teach the teacher.

You are going to create your very own quiz based on the learning goals of extending patterns and describing patterns.

1. Make a 3 page, 5 question quiz

2. First page: you need to outline our two learning goals and have success criteria that will help you achieve those goals so that we can highlight what we are progressing well with and what we are having difficulty with

3. Second page: you need to have your five questions. Three questions should be on extending patterns and 2 should be on describing patterns. You can use your independent work as a guide, but have to have original questions

4. Third Page: you need an answer key so that you can assess the work quiz

5. You may create the test with pencil and paper or use google drive

6. Share your test and have a friend complete it

7. Assess the test and share the results with me!

Have fun Teach!

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Patterning Sequences

This unit we are learning…
-how to extend patterns by finding the gaps between terms
-how to describe patterns that are increasing and decreasing by using a written rule
-how to represent linear growing patterns with graphs, t-charts and models

So far we have come up with some Success Criteria to help us…
-I can use mental math to decide whether to add, subtract, multiply or divide for a pattern sequence
-I can use my digits to find the gaps in a pattern sequence
-I can use a calculator to find the gaps and terms in a pattern sequence
-I can use a ruler or a number line to help me find the gaps and terms in a pattern sequence
-I can use manipulatives such as interconnecting cubes to create models of patterns
-I can use t-charts to show a term number and terms

Check out some of the student tutorials we are compiling for this unit…

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Problem of the Week: Pascal’s Triangle


At the age of 13 a young Frenchman named Blaise Pascal was sitting around his house one day. He didn’t have an iphone, he didn’t have a computer, he didn’t have an xbox, he only had his mind and a pencil. Can you continue Pascal’s Triangle? What patterns do you notice? With an elbow use a piece of newsprint to show your thinking.

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