MacKinnon Math Masters = M^{3}
The mathematics
faculty at
In order to aide
in the accomplishment of these goals, the MacKinnon Middle School applied for
and received grant funding through MATRIX, a program affiliated with the New Jersey Department of Education. For details
regarding the MacKinnon MATRIX grant and Wharton's year one abstract visit: http://www.state.nj.us/njded/techno/grants/matrix/year1.htm
.
Click here to
view the Year
Two Abstract which will be posted to the NJDOE MATRIX site soon.
Fall 2005 Update
The MacKinnon MATRIX Year Two Team is off to a
terrific start! The eight member team of mathematics
teachers have already engaged their sixth, seventh and
eighth graders in several of the technology enriched web quests and
activities planned during the summer '05 workshop. Teachers and students
have enjoyed several visits from IDE
Directors Tanya Boscoe and Sharon West. The
team also participated in a LoTi workshop
focusing on webbased multimedia projects. All look forward to a great
year exploring technology enriched mathematics.
The MATRIX Team
200506
The 20052006 MATRIX Team
lines up with all of MacKinnon's math
teachers. Michelle Freeman continues on the team as a seventh
grade math teacher. Betsy Riordan
teams up with three sections of this year’s sixth graders. Our bilingual students are led through the
MATRIX by their instructor, Karen Vaughan.
This year Tim McGrail is instructing one section of
grade six mathematics and one section of grade seven mathematics.
Colleen Silvestri and Amy Laudati are
new to the MacKinnon MATRIX Team this year. Both teachers instruct
special needs students in the Resource Room as well as in class
support. Also new to the team this year
are eighth grade math teachers, Ann Marie Cunha and
Carol Pillsbury.
We have a strong, knowledgeable
team of veteran teachers and we look forward to some very exciting lessons!
How
the West Was One + Three x Four
During the month of September Mr. McGrail's sixth
grade math class participated in a tournament for championship of
"How the West Was One..." The
"West" math game allows students to develop their mastery of the
mathematical order of operations through a challenging adventure game.
Students also used computers in the classroom and in the Tech Lab to write
letters to fifth graders explaining the order of
operations. The results of these activities are impressive and the
students look forward to doing more tech enriched math lessons.
Who's the Best?
The Data Tells!
In September, Mrs.
Freeman’s seventh grade math classes worked on a web
quest entitled “Who’s
the Best Player in the Major Leagues?”
This particular project was designed to go along with Chapter 1 in
the seventh grade math text; focusing on the use of several types of
graphs and measures of central tendency. The students had to come up with their
own definition of the best player. Searching varies websites on six current
major league players; they obtained several statistics to determine who might
be the very best. Once students gathered their data, MS Excel was used to represent
the information in a spreadsheet. The final product was displayed in
poster format, including pictures of players, hand written and computer
generated graphs, spreadsheets including the measures of central tendency, and
an explanation of the player they surmised to be the best in the MBL.
Create
A Graph Online!
Mr. McGrail's seventh graders used the mobile lab to
create one each of a bar graph, line graph,
and circle graph. The students enjoyed learning to use the Create A Graph
website tools to complete this task. Students were instructed to use
'amounts' for the bar graphs, 'change over time' for the line graphs, and
'percents or parts of a whole' for the circle graphs. Students will continue to
explore this complex topic in math.
Technology + Math
=Fun
MacKinnon eighth
graders recently completed the first of the MATRIX Math units created during
the teachers' summer workshop. In this math activity, Which Airline is Best?,
the students were able to create a table of solutions for various linear
equations; graph these lines; relate them to a point; and analyze the
results. In addition , the eighth graders used
the classroom computers to graph these equations on the Graphing Calculators Program.
Using a "How To" sheet, the students
were able to complete this task, save the screen to a clipboard and then to
their folders, and print out a picture of the screen. The students truly enjoyed this
activity!
PEMDAS
"Order of
operationsPLEASE HELP!!" This has been the phrase humming through sixth grade
classes in September for years. This year the students
in MacKinnon's sixth grade math classes helped other students with
this process by writing letters to different grade levels. The
overall project allowed the students to sharpen their skills on the computer by
making power point presentations, downloading graphics, finding examples from a
variety of web sites as well as discovering that in England "BEDMAS"
is the acronym used for remembering. The letters include a complete
explanation of the order of operations when evaluating numeric
expressions. Because this can be a difficult task, the students also
wrote mnemonic phrases to help others to remember PEMDAS. Many of the projects include web site addresses that can be
visited to help them with the procedure. Handouts and examples were added
for further reference. We are all anxious to see what impact this project
has on other classes who are studying the process.
Are
There Really Vampires?
With Halloween approaching, everyone is asking if Vampires really
do exist. Sixth graders used calculators to work on this problem.They determined that if Vampires were real
and had the ability to infect others by a simple bite, we
would all be Vampires in less than one month.
With the world population just over 6,000,000,000 people, students
proved that in less than one month one Vampire could have the ability to infect
the entire planet if they bit only two people each day. Well, we
certainly are not all vampires....so it must mean that the batlike creatures
are just for fun on Halloween!!!
Click here
to see the great rubric the teachers used to assess the students work.
Wecome, Mrs. Silvestri
New to our school
system and MATRIX Team is math teacher, Colleen Silvestri.
Mrs. Silvestri kicked off the new
year with some terrific technology enriched math lessons for her
MacKinnon students. Click the picture below to take a closer look at an
eighth grade lesson using the coordinate plane.
Fall Updates
Mrs. Riordan's
and Mr. McGrail's sixth graders
completed the "Vampire Project" shortly after working with
exponents. We discovered that if one
vampire were to infect two people, and those two people infected two more
people and so on; within a little more than a month the entire planet would be
infected! Since I am not a vampire and
you are not a vampire then they really do not exist!!
This project afforded the students the opportunity to browse Web
sites that kept statistics on world population.
We also did a lot of work learning how to solve equations with
variables. We are looking forward to our
shopping project this holiday season!
Mrs. Silvestri's sixth grade class
work included a unit on word problems,
patterns and sequencing. These students also are looking forward to the school
wide shopping project coming up next month.
Rumor Race
Mrs. Silvestri's 8th
graders have been working on a very exciting project:
Since Sydney and Ben were both born on December 21st, the date of
the winter solstice, they decided that it would be great not to have school on
that day. Therefore, they decided to start a rumor that school will be closed
to celebrate the winter solstice on December 21st. So, on December 1st,
Task
·
Make
a predication. Were the rumors started
in time? Whose entire school will know
first?
·
Make
a table or calendar to illustrate your calculations.
·
What
was your conclusion? Did Sidney and Ben
start the rumor in time?
·
Who’s
plan allowed for their entire school to be told first?
You will be graded as follows:
Prediction (20
pts) _____
·
Did
you write in complete sentences?
·
Is
your hypothesis logical?
Math
Calculations (60 pts) _____
·
Did
you show your work?
·
Did
you check your work?
·
Did
you put your work in table or calendar form?
Conclusion (20
pts) _____
More
Updates
During the month of October Mr. McGrail's seventh grade students worked on a WebQuest entitled Who Is the Best Major League Baseball Player? The students were given links to the Internet where they could study
statistics of their favorite players. Their research led them to create a
power point presentation to persuade their classmates of their choice.
Mrs. Freeman’s 7^{th}
grade PreAlgebra class was given a task to determine which airline would be
best to bring them closest to an amusement park. Each airline used different
algebraic equations to set up its flight plan. Students had to choose two
airlines and use the corresponding equation to try to reach the park with the
shortest distance remaining, since none of the airlines flew there directly.
They were told that after landing they’d have to rent a car and drive the
remaining miles. With that in mind, students had to determine which airline to
use. Seventh graders were responsible for creating a sheet of
solutions, plotting the two lines for each flight plan on graph paper,
graphing and printing points from a graphing calculator, and writing a letter
to a travel agent explaining which airlines
they chose and why.
An interesting
update from our grade six math teachers....
It is the holiday season and many of us are busy
shopping for wonderful presents for our loved ones. This year's sixth
graders are no exception. Beginning in the month of November the sixth
grade mathematics teachers introduced students to MacKinnon's "Holiday
Shopping Spree"! Each student will be putting together a booklet for
their family which includes a wish list of presents they would give if money
were no object. This is a great opportunity for them to dig deep into
their values and find the ultimate gift, explore the Internet to discover all
of the resources available to them and incorporate the mathematics skills they
have learned this year. We are all anxious to see the final result!!
Hmm, I wonder what they "pretend" bought
me!!!
Mrs. Silvestri Reports...
8th graders in Mrs. Silvestri's
class joined in the shopping project with an unlimited budget to spend on their
family. They had to figure out the discount amount and sales tax for each
item they purchased.
Mrs. Silvestri's 6th
graders are learning the metric system and participated in a metric scavenger
hunt. Her 7th graders are starting a project to determine if the weather
in one region of the
Grade Seven Likes
Shopping, Too!!
Not to be out done by grade six,
the MacKinnon seventh graders are also on a fantasy shopping
spree; however, some challenges have been added. The
older students have been given a budget! Seventh graders are finding out
just how far $5,000 will go and they are also required to apply coupons to
their purchases. Students are calculating the cost of their purchases
before and after applying those money saving coupons.
What a great way to teach
budgeting and cost cutting!!
Eighth Graders Shop With Class!!
Our 8^{th} graders are
taking the MacKinnon shopping project even further! They are formatting spreadsheets to calculate
discounts and sales tax and then creating circle graphs to categorize their
purchases. Students have been instructed
to complete all of their calculations by hand and with calculators prior to
making their spreadsheets functional. The functional spreadsheets enable
the eighth graders to check the accuracy of their mathematical
calculations.
Who knew that shopping involved
so much math!
Students
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With Math
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month the MacKinnon bilingual class
read different articles about Hispanic populations of the
The students also explored additional statistics on the data.
This was a great way to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month , to
learn about Microsoft Excel, and to use the web site Create A Graph from the National
Center for Educational Statistics.
En celebracion del mes de la herencia hispana
la clase bilingue de la escuela Mackinnon
leo varios articulos sobre las poblaciones de
hispanos en los estados unidos. El primer articulo identifico diez
estados con poblaciones de hispanos. Los estudiantes usaron esta información
para hacer graficas de circulos para analizar y
comparar aquellos poblaciones. Usaron la programa Microsoft Excel y el sitio electronico,
Create A Graph.
El segundo articulo identifico los paises donde
hablan español y han tenido el mayor numero de inmigrantes hacia los estados
unidos. Los estudiantes tambien exploraron mas estatisticas relacionadas con
la misma iformacion. Fue una manera maravillosa para
celebrar el mes nacional de la herencia hispana , para
aprender sobre Microsoft Word y usar el sitio electronico Create A Graph
del centro nacional de estatisticas educacionales.
Bilingual Updates
This month our
class continued working on learning to organize and display data on varoius types of charts and graphs. They have also been
studying the order of mathematical operations. They worked both in the
computer lab under the guidance of Mrs. Leary and in our classroom. Each student
wrote five interview questions to ask each other, and
then recorded responces on bar graphs
and pie charts. Their questions ranged from "How long have you lived in
the
Students were
also introduced to, and have been playing a computer math game called How the
West Was 1+3*4 which pits their own
mathematical skills against the computer while reinforcing order of
operations. Additionally a
few students enjoyed using Kidspiration to make
beautiful time lines about their own lives. They combined ESL, Social
Studies and Math in this activity. Links Math in Daily
Life http://www.learner.org/exhibits/dailymath/ The first
thing students need to understand about math is… IT IS USED EVERYDAY! This is a great site for ideas to help
students understand the connection from skills learned in the classroom to
daily life. Do We Need
Mathematics? http://www.cuttheknot.com/manifesto/need_it.shtml A great
resource for parents and teachers to explain to students the correlation
between math and why they need to know math in today’s society. Glossary of
Terms Math Glossary
– 6^{th} grade http://www.harcourtschool.com/glossary/math_advantage/glossary6.html A sixth grade
interactive math glossary. Easy to use
and gives examples of many functions that are defined. Math Glossary
– 7^{th} grade http://www.harcourtschool.com/glossary/math_advantage/glossary7.html A seventh
grade interactive math glossary. Easy
to use and gives examples of many functions that are defined. Fractions: Fraction Game http://standards.nctm.org/document/eexamples/chap5/5.1/#applet The National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics created this a great interactive tool
allowing students to understand size and equivalence of fractions. The site also provides suggestions for collaborative
work. Fraction Math http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/mmath/mmath_frac.html Harcourt
School Publishers provides this interactive tool for students to review basic
fraction operations. Graphing: Bar Graph


