8/12/18Dear Parents or Guardians:
This year I will be teaching 8th Grade Math. We have the same curriculum as last year. There are some changes to the current grading policy. Briefly: students will only have 4 days to retest major assessments; only grades below 90 can be reassessed; all assignments assigned must be completed before the reassessment; the reassessment grade will be no higher than a 90.Along with the Scope & Sequence set by the district, I will focus on STAAR skills as well as readiness for HS Algebra.
Grading Policy: Major Summatives (unit tests/projects/performance tasks): 60%Minor Summatives (quizzes): 40%
· Respect others and their rights.
· Respect all school property.
· Be in the room and in your seat on time.
· Come prepared for class (with all necessary material)
· Warning (often a student/teacher conversation is sufficient)
· If behavior continues, parents will be notified.
· Team meeting with student and parent contact
· Office referral
Serious discipline problems or classroom disruptions will be immediately referred to the office.
Agendas: All students are encouraged to use their agendas to keep track of assignments, tests, quizzes, etc.
Supplies Needed: Students will be required to take notes in this class as well as keep all their graded papers. They will need:
- Pre- Algebra consumable textbook
- single-subject spiral notebooks (for notes; may need several for the year)
- folder with pockets
- notebook paper
- pencils (all work is to be done in pencil!!)
- red pens for grading homework
Homework: We will do a lot of guided practice in the classroom. We will use Springboard consumable textbook/workbooks this year. Students will do some of the practice in the book as well as take notes. I do a lot of extra practice in class – especially when we are learning new concepts. This practice is what I expect in their spiral notebooks.
Our book is set up to give practice problems during the teaching part of the units – and I give lots of extra practice as well. These practice problems must be written in their spiral notebooks along with notes/steps I write on the board. At the end of each Unit, there is an activity. I always assign these activities – we begin them in class, and if they are not completed in class they are assigned as “homework.” We often grade the assignment in class; questions about problems are covered; assignments are turned in and recorded. Formative assessments (assignments ) will be entered in HAC and will have a zero weight. I often create quizzes (minor summative assessments) using selected problems from the activity. So, if the "homework" was completed - and questions asked - these quizzes should not be a problem!
Work: In Math, I stress learning concepts and processes. Students that try and do all the work in their head (and they are very good at this!) sometimes struggle when more complex concepts/processes are being learned. I am adamant about students showing their work, even when they are able to do a lot of the work mentally. Please know that this is not to be thought of as extra work. It is just part of learning the correct process - extremely important in HS! If a student hands a formative assessment in with just answers written down - and no work shown, I will record a "Missing" in HAC, and write "no work/no grade" on the paper. In order to qualify for a retest on a summative assessment, the missing work will have to be completed.
Correcting Work: Students must make corrections on assignments/quizzes in order to be able to retake a test (major summative). Corrections are to be made on a separate sheet of paper and stapled to the front of the assignment. Please do not erase the incorrect work and redo the problem on the original paper.
Tests/quizzes: There will be tests given over the material covered – with small quizzes given. I will give advance notice when tests/quizzes will be given.
Retake Tests: Students who wish to retake a test must turn in corrections before a retake can be scheduled. They must have also make corrections on any quizzes given, as well as having completed any assignments over the tested material. Most of the time, after a student looks over their quiz/test they can see their mistake(s). If they attempt to make corrections and are still not sure of the concept/procedure, then we will schedule tutoring, and then retest. (Please note that new material is being taught during this time in class). Retakes must take place withing four (4) school days. This starts from the day they received the test back. All students have the opportunity to retest; not just those that score below 70. They will receive the new score up to a 90 – not just raise it to a passing grade. (This is part of the Denton ISD grading policy – it is something I have always done). The new test score may also replace any low quiz scores over same material. Quizzes are not usually retaken - there are times when I will tell students a "retake quiz" is available - but corrections on quizzes/tests/homework must be made in order for a test retake.
Make-up Work Policy-Denton ISD: Make-up work is done following an absence from class. It does not matter if the absence is excused or unexcused, work must be made up according to the following policy: Students shall be permitted to make up assignments and tests after absences.
Field Trips: School field trips or early dismissal for school events do not count as absences. Students are responsible for requesting work for the classes missed before a trip and for turning in any work due that day before leaving for the trip.
Passing periods: During the passing period, students should collect materials necessary for class and take care of personal needs.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call and leave a message on my voice mail. My number is: 940-369-3378. Or, often emailing is a faster, more efficient way of communicating. My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org It is my sincere desire to see your child be as successful as possible - not only in Math – but in all areas of school. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call.
Mary K Overton
8th Grade Math