Middle School Math,
Mrs. Marie Vandecoevering
“To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love, For it is in giving that we receive. . .”
~ from The Prayer of Saint Francis
Greetings mathematicians, my name is Marie Vandecoevering. I graduated from the University of Portland with an Undergraduate degree in Education and got my Masters in Special Education from Concordia University. I lived in Oregon for most of my life but did get to experience the sunny life in San Diego for three years after I graduated college. This is my ninth year teaching and my sixth year at Holy Cross.
I love teaching math! I think it is such a fascinating subject that we use in our daily life. As a middle school teachers I think it is just as important to teach students life long skills that will help them in high school and also as adults. Teaching math is just one part of my job, we also teach organization, time management, how to advocate for yourself, teamwork, and so much more.
With great sadness I will not be returning to Holy Cross next year. The commute from Wilsonville to North Portland has taken its toll on family time. I am so excited for my replacement, Mary DeFrancia, to continue to cultivate curiosity and critical thinking. Here is a little note from Mrs. DeFrancia:
I am simply overjoyed to become a part of the Holy Cross community next year. Originally, I come from a small town in California just south of San Jose. I spent my childhood counting cows, cars, and clouds on my way to school. That love for counting random objects transformed over time into a love for math, and eventually, for teaching math. I studied Secondary Education and Math at the University of Portland, and later attended UP's PACE program with none other than RJ Tagorda and Marisa Veiga. I've spent the last 7 years teaching middle school math here in Portland where my students continue to bring me joy, laughter, and inspiration. Letting students discover the "whys" behind mathematics is my passion, and I look forward to seeing the many "aha" moments in the year to come.
We are introducing a new and updated curriculum to Middle School, but a familiar curriculum to our 6th and 7th graders. The entire school is now using Ready Classroom Mathematics (an updated version from Ready Mathematics) and iReady. Below are PDF's that give an overview of what content is being covered this year and roughly when it is being taught. Now, more than ever, we all need to practice flexibility and patience as this is a new curriculum and a "new normal."
A fundamental element of this curriculum is cultivating discourse. Rich discussions can happen in the math classroom just like in a Social Studies or Language Arts class. To achieve this, the structure of our days/weeks will follow the routine: Try It - Discuss It - Connect It. Click HERE to learn more information on this structure.
... use Google Classroom? This 6 minute tutorial video will address the following questions/topics:
- How to get to Google Classroom (0:13)
- How to view your work (0:26)
- How to see your grade (0:40)
- How to see what assignments have been assigned/graded/are missing (0:45)
- How to access the "To-Do" list (1:15)
- What to find under "Classwork" (1:57)
- What the icons mean (2:20)
- How to turn in assignments (3:15)
- Attaching a file (3:50)
- Rubric explanation (5:02)
Helpful Resources for Students to Avoid the "Summer Slide"
Multiplication Math Facts: It is essential that students know their multiplication facts. Accuracy and fluency are both important. No one likes getting stuck in traffic, taking time to think of these facts that students *hopefully* already know, can lead to that frustrating feeling of be caught in a traffic jam.I expect all students to be fluent in their multiplication facts 1-12. There is nothing wrong with the good old fashion flashcards. Students can make their own and practice for 10-15 minutes a day with a friend or family member. For more practice click HERE, increase the levels as you become proficient.
Khan Academy: Most students have made an account on Khan Academy so they (and I) can track their progress. I challenge you to complete as many skills as you can. You can either complete the skills from the grade you just completed (great way to review and make sure there are no gaps) or you can preview what you are going to learn next school year.
- 5th Grade Math Skills (7 main categories: Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication & Division, Fractions, Place Value & Decimals, Measurement & Data, Geometry, Algebraic Thinking)
- 6th Grade Math Skills (8 main categories: Ratios, Rates, & Percentages, Arithmetic Operations, Negative Numbers, Properties of Numbers, Variables & Expressions, Equations & Inequalities Introduction, Geometry, Data & Statistics)
- 7th Grade Math Skills (7 main categories: Negative Numbers - Addition & Subtraction, Negative Numbers - Multiplication & Division, Fractions, Decimals & Percents, Rates & Proportional Relationship, Expressions, Equations & Inequalities, Geometry, Statistics & Probability)
- 8th Grade Math Skills (7 main categories: Number and Operations, Solving Equations with One Unknown, Linear Equations and Functions, Systems of Equations, Geometry, Geometric Transformations, Data and Modeling)
Practice for the High School Placement Test