Cheney Middle School

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FAQ - Algebra

What can be done to improve my son/daughter's grade? 
  • I do not give extra credit.  Students can do any missing assignments and retake any tests or quizzes.  In order to retake any tests or quizzes students must first correct their mistakes and come in at lunch (or before/after school) to go over their mistakes with me.  After doing that they can earn back up to half of the missed points on the test/quiz.  If that is still not a desirable score they can then retake a similar test or quiz for up to full credit.  
My son/daughter swears they turned in this assignment. Why is it not showing in the grade book?  
  • The most likely reason for this to occur is that it was handed in without a name or score on it.  Your son/daughter can look for it hanging on my front board and turn it in with their name and/or score on it.  

My son/daughter turned in a missing assignment 2 days ago.  Why is in not in the grade book?  
  • Any assignment that is turned in after the original due date is put into my past due box.  It is my habit to bring home that box and enter in grades over the weekend.  Immediately following updating the grade book I will send an emailed skyward report home.  This report will be the most up-to-date version of their grades.  

Why is my son/daughter getting an A in algebra extension and does not have an A in algebra?  
  • Extension is graded mostly on a participation basis.  All math content grades will be in their math class grade.  If you son/daughter is getting and A in algebra extension they are doing all that is asked of them and being an active member of the classroom.  If their math grade is not similar to their extension grade they may need extra help to grasp some of the concepts we are learning in their regular math class.  

When I was in school it was taught like this... why are you teaching it differently?  
  • Teaching, as well as math, is constantly evolving as we learn more about how people learn.  There have been many noticeable changes in several areas of algebra to increase the efficiency of communicating results.  There are also several instances where students will be asked to do a particular problem in a certain way.  In most cases this way will build to another way of doing the same problem that might be more familiar to you.  

When are we ever going to use this? 
  • If you don't learn it, then you never can use it.  However if you know and understand the concepts, they may lead to and efficient way of solving a problem in the future.  

My son/daughter is spending too much time on homework, why do you assign so much? 
  •  I try to assign only 20 minutes a night of homework.  Some days I am more successful at that than others.  I also give about 10 minutes in class to work on homework.  If you son/daughter is truly using their time in class well and they are still spending to much time on math homework, please tell them to talk with me.  I will try to help them come to a better understanding of the material in an effort to speed up their homework time.  

My son/daughter passed the SBAC/EOC* why do you want them to retake algebra?
  • The standardized tests are often not a measure of mastery; they are a measure of the bare minimum.  I make my recommendations based upon a variety of measures including grades, test scores, participation, learning style, and effort.  I want your son/daughter to be successful in their high school math experience.  Pushing them along faster than they are ready can have disastrous consequences.  Some consequences that I have seen are failing their freshman math class and needing to take summer school.  But perhaps the most disastrous consequence is the sense that they are bad at math.  My recommendations are what I believe is best for your son or daughter.  
    *The EOC no longer exists for current algebra students.  However, this answer also applies to the new testing regimes under whatever acronym it is known.  (MAP, SBAC, WASL, EOC, MSP, etc.)