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									      GEM MATH 6
   Great Explorations in
     Ms. Betty Brown (B2)

Welcome to Open House 2009.

       Great Explorations in Mathematics
       This Year’s Motto

Rigor + Relevance + Relationships =

          Great Explorations in Mathematics
•   Required district-wide curriculum
•   Mandatory quarterly tests
•   High expectations
•   Questions requiring thoughtful answers
•   Emphasis on vocabulary and literacy
    skills as well as math

               Great Explorations in Mathematics
• No “busy work,” even if there’s a sub
• Everything connected to national
  curriculum standards
• Special activities (even the fun things)
  are related to math and today’s world

              Great Explorations in Mathematics
Character traits are to be demonstrated at all
  times. Our class is a model for others.
Responsibility           Citizenship
Kindness                 Respect
Honesty                  Self-control
Tolerance                Cooperation
“Students don’t care how much you know until
  they know how much you care.”

               Great Explorations in Mathematics
• Success is a journey, not a destination. The
  road to success is always under construction.
• It is not a failure not to reach your goals. The
  failure is in having no goals to reach.
• To live is to choose. But to choose well, you
  must know who you are and what you stand
  for, where you want to go and why you want
  to get there.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.

                Great Explorations in Mathematics
    GEM Program Benefits
• Opportunity to earn two math credits
  and begin high school GPA while in
  middle school
• Paves the way to more advanced
  courses in high school
• Exposure to high level mathematics
• Challenging program for students who
  have always found math to be easy
            Great Explorations in Mathematics
• This year: by FCAT scores (at least
  380 on FCAT Mathematics)
• Next year: To be eligible to remain in
  GEM a student must
  – maintain a “C” average or better in GEM
    Math and
  – average at least 75% on quarterly tests

              Great Explorations in Mathematics
          Diagnostic Tests
• Must be given; results must be recorded
• Used for diagnostic purposes only, even
  though grades are reported by Pinnacle
• Item analysis provides statistics to use for
  curriculum planning
• Mean score around 50% on both tests
• Low scores not a major concern
• High scores not a sign of guaranteed success
  in program
              Great Explorations in Mathematics
   Student Supplies: Must be
   brought to class every day
• Binder or divided spiral notebook with
  pockets (may also be combined with other
• Dividers, if using a binder (One section is for
  Enhancement activities.)
• Pencils, erasers, paper, graph paper
• Colored pencils and/or highlighters
• Duo-tangs are acceptable, but probably will
  not hold enough
                Great Explorations in Mathematics
          No Calculators!
• Need to develop skills before relying on
  “technological friend”
• Number sense develops better without
  them (and students will know when they
  have pushed the wrong buttons)
• Not allowed on grade six FCAT
• Basic “4-function” calculators may be
  allowed later in the year
             Great Explorations in Mathematics
    GEM Grading (Includes Textbook
    Assignments, Tests, and Quizzes)

•   Homework = 15%
•   Notebook = 15%
•   Quizzes = 15% (lowest is dropped)
•   Tests = 30%
•   Quarterly Exam = 25% (Mandated and
    developed by the Department of Advanced

                Great Explorations in Mathematics
            Study Guides
• List all assignments for each unit
• Provide students with specific directions
  (see reference sheet for description of
• Allow students to know what they
  (probably) missed when absent
• Allow students to plan ahead and to
  anticipate future test and quiz dates
             Great Explorations in Mathematics
Sample Guide and Directions

        Great Explorations in Mathematics
           Homework Policy
• Will be given almost every night
• Due the next day unless otherwise noted
• Will be given will be given full credit (100%) if
  (reasonably) complete, directions have been
  followed, and it is done on time
• Needs to be checked by student and/or
  parent using “Self Check” feature
• Incorrect problems need to be redone after
  questions are asked in class the next day
• Only three late assignments accepted per
  term          Great Explorations in Mathematics
      Chapter Self-Checks
• Should be monitored by parents at first
• Allow students to check themselves and
  see where they are having problems
• Develop responsible, mature work
  habits and enable students to take
  responsibility for their own learning
• Allow us to spend class time on the
  difficult problems only
• Give us more time to enjoy math!
             Great Explorations in Mathematics
           Pinnacle Tips
• “Zs” are zeros
• Blanks haven’t been recorded yet or
  student was absent and assignment
  hasn’t been made up yet
• “Xs” are excused assignments (things
  not required to be made up)

            Great Explorations in Mathematics
        Homework Points
• 4 points = full credit
• 3 points = late with late homework pass
  (reverts to 4 points when completed)
• 2 points = incomplete
• 1 point = directions not followed as
  modeled in class notes (i.e., the
  problems were not copied or steps were
  not shown)
             Great Explorations in Mathematics
               zip code 33314
• Allows parents and students to view the
  week’s planned assignments and activities
• Provides an automatic notification of any
  changes in planned activities
• Direct link to teacher email
• QUIA.com, another site with more student
  activities, is also used, but does not have
  automatic notification of updates (same
  information posted on both)

               Great Explorations in Mathematics

• Required for all GEM 6 students
• Named “Research” due to lack of
  choices for names in state Course
  Code Directory
• Is an extension of the GEM class
• Will include exposure to fractals, a new
  field of math and science

             Great Explorations in Mathematics
       Purpose of the Class
• To provide adequate time to complete
  mandatory curriculum, fill in gaps identified by
  results of diagnostic testing, and reinforce
  critical content
• To allow time for creative, challenging, and
  fun activities
• To take some of the pressure off the students
  by allowing them to learn one new concept
  per class instead of two
                Great Explorations in Mathematics
• Reinforcing activities from “Math by Design”
• Enrichment activities from our textbook
• Origami and other hands-on activities (just
  because they are some of the most
  motivating and enjoyable things we can
  do…and I love them as much as the students

              Great Explorations in Mathematics
…additional materials from National
  Science Foundation Grants…
                                       Developed by
                                      Mathematician, Dr.
                                      and Physicist, Dr.
                                        Richard Voss

            Great Explorations in Mathematics
 Students will learn about fractal
  geometry, the newest field of
These hands-on, creative activities
support Sunshine State Standards,
reinforce skills learned in students’
 math classes, and address some
   very high level mathematics.
           Great Explorations in Mathematics
      Enhancement Focus
       (as time permits)
• Term I - Spirolaterals, Modular Systems
• Term II - The Sierpinski and Pascal
• Term III - Polyhedra and the Sierpinski
• Term IV - Wall Hangings and the
  Heighway Fractal Dragon

             Great Explorations in Mathematics
  Expectations of Students in

•Clarity and Neatness of Work
•Appropriate Use of Class Time
•Cooperation with Peers and Teacher
•Accuracy and Completeness of Work
•Due Dates Met
•Quiz Scores

           Great Explorations in Mathematics

• Students will earn points for activities,
  projects, and quizzes.
• Full credit is given if directions are followed
  and work is completed on time.
• Shade-ins need not be colored, but they must
  be shaded to be considered complete.
• Grades in this class do not affect placement
  in GEM next year.

               Great Explorations in Mathematics
• Students will have the opportunity to see
  multiple representations of some difficult
  mathematical concepts.
• Students will participate in engaging, hands-
  on projects that reinforce the concepts they
  are studying in their GEM math classes.
• Students will learn that math can be exciting,
  beautiful, and fun!

               Great Explorations in Mathematics
Pascal’s Triangle

   Great Explorations in Mathematics
Sequence of Patterns P1, P2, P3,
                                                           Number of
… goes with Powers of 2

                  P2       P1                                 21
             P3                                              22
       P4                                                    23

P5                                                            24

                       Great Explorations in Mathematics
             Betty Brown
• BA from Stetson University
• Certified Math 5-9, Elementary Education,
  Gifted and ESOL Endorsement
• 41 years teaching experience (38 at Nova)
• Twelfth year teaching GEM Math
• Twelve years as Lead Teacher and
  Curriculum Writer for FAU/NSF Summer
  Institute: Pattern Exploration
• Published in The Mathematics Teacher
  February, 2005
              Great Explorations in Mathematics
        Contact Information
• New.schoolnotes.com zip code 33314 (Be
  sure to add your name to the “Notify Me” list
  to receive weekly updates of class plans.)
• betty.brown@browardschools.com
• Voice mail (754) 323-3701 #5605
• Preference is email for initial contact; will
  call you in the evening if you wish
• Planning Period 2 (9:25-11:00) “Even” days
  Period 5 (12:40-2:45) “Odd” days

               Great Explorations in Mathematics

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