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Electronic version of the Parent Letter

To the parents of Mrs. Weaver’s Honors HSCC2 students:

With the implementation of the Common Core, the Meridian School District chose to use the Mathematics Vision Project from Utah.  This school year, Rocky will be offering HSCC1 (Everyday, Regular, and Honors) and HSCC2 (Regular, and Honors), and HSCC3 (Regular and Honors).  Parents and students can view these materials online at:  http://www.mathematicsvisionproject.org

The MVP classroom experience begins by confronting students with an engaging problem and then allows them to grapple with solving it.  As students’ ideas emerge, take form, and are shared, the teacher orchestrates the student discussions and explorations towards a focused mathematical goal.  As conjectures are made and explored, teachers use formative assessment to guide students as they embrace effective strategies for analyzing and solving problems.  Students justify their own thinking while clarifying, describing, comparing, and questioning the thinking of others.

There are no textbooks.  In the past, I had the students either buy a copy of the MVP Materials or print their own from the website.  This year, I am not requiring students to make their copies.  I will make copies and distribute them.

If you would rather make your own copies, like stated above, the materials are assessable online at:  http://www.mathematicsvisionproject.org  or from my website: http://jsdno2.schoolwires.net/Page/9624.

Ideally, I would like the students to 3 hole punch the materials, buy some 3 hole punched graph paper and notebook paper, and insert the first module into a 1 inch 3 ring binder, along with some graph paper and notebook paper.  Each day they should bring their binder to class, a pencil, a red pen, and a calculator (TI 83 Plus or TI 84 Plus).

The MVP materials are set up in a cycle of tasks:  Develop, Solidify, and Practice Understanding (there is a Table of Contents at the beginning of each module that states the name and type of the tasks and the type of task is also noted under the title on the student’s workbook).  Just so you know, students may feel frustrated on the “Develop” tasks – during the “develop”, things are not mastered – that happens later in the “solidify”.  Another good thing to know is that the last task in the module is a review for the test.

Since the In-class Task is when the students’ ideas emerge, are shared, and explored, being in class every day is very important.  If a student has to miss class, they should work the task out on their own before returning, along with the “Ready, Set, Go”.

The learning cycle of the class will be:  Mrs. Weaver launching the task (giving ground work and direction), letting the students explore the task on their own for a bit and then working some more on it with a partner (this is when I will walk around, listening to their discussions, directing them, and asking probing questions), then discussing it as a whole class with students sharing their methods and strategies, and before they leave the classroom, we will summarize the lesson and I will encourage everyone to have the big ideas and examples in their binder.

The MVP materials also have a “Ready, Set, Go” homework section.  “Ready” is the math they should know how to do.  “Set” is supposed to reinforce the classwork, and “Go” includes problems to build fluency.

Just so you know, I will be doing quite a bit of supplemental materials with the students to be sure that they get the presentation and practice that I believe they need to succeed in math and to be ready not only for the SBAC test but also for the SAT/ACT.  I will print, 3-hole punch, & distribute all of these materials to the students.  These extra papers are also on my website.

This year RMHS is implementing some new grading policies to be followed by each department in non-concurrent credit classes:

1. Homework (Formative Assessments) will count as 10% of the final grade
2. All late work is accepted with no grade reduction and must be turned in prior to the next unit assessment (but, you and I both know that doing and checking things before the current Module Test is best for students!)
3. TWO reassessments will be allowed (the higher grade will be recorded) and must be completed prior to the end of the next unit

Since math is a skill that needs practice, I will still be going over it each day so the students can identify how much they know and see where they need to practice more. (I will also be encouraging them to re-do missed problems since redoing missed problems is the best way to learn math!  Of course, if they never do the “practice”, they will not know what they really know how to do on their own.)  I am also choosing to give at least one “Not-a-Quiz” in each Module, so the students can get further self-evaluation of their skills before test day.  (This grade will go into the Homework/Formative Assessment Category.)  Before Test day, I give students a review sheet and a self-evaluation form of “I Can” statements.

Grades will be calculated with the following category weights:

Homework (Formative Assessments, including “Not-a-Quizzes”):  10%

Module Tests:  70%

Semester Exam:  20%

To Re-Test, I am having the students fill out a “Re-Test Accountability” Form where they will identify why they got the original score, get extra help, identify the skills that they did not master and get help, and show me all notes and all practice assignments.  Since math builds on prior knowledge, I am encouraging the students to come in on their own time to re-test within a week, but the school rule says that they have until the next test to complete the retakes.

Retakes on Semester Exams will not be provided.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this.  I figured you would like to be informed.