Week 4: Writing Workshop, Surface Area & Table to Equation

I did not write about week 3, and I don’t remember what happen that week either, other than I’m extremely exhausted and stayed home almost all weekend.

Week 4 is a weird week. Classes were interrupted due to MAP Testing, assembly and writing workshops with visiting authors.

Writing Workshop with Visiting Authors

The workshop was about writing a scene that includes a specific time, a specific place and a change. The students did a great job in general, and this one is my favorite:

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I have no idea how the students came up with Flatland-like idea, but I do know he just watched The Matrix for the first time not long ago. This 6th grade students’ mind is going to be a little messed up for the next few years. That happened to me when I was in his age.

7th Grade – Proportional Reasoning

The 7th graders have been developing proportional reasoning in the last few weeks. In week 4, they are moving from representing proportional relationships using tables to equations. Most of the students were able to relating the quantities with an expression. Some students struggled to make sense of the equation. Hopefully next class would help.

I noticed that OUR and Chinese Math utilize the same problem and context in different lessons to further develop new ideas. I wasn’t a big fan of this at first, but my students seemed to ease into new ideas a little quicker.

6th Grade – Polygon, Polyhedra, and Surface Area

Unit 1 of 6th grade OUR is amazing! My students were able to develop their own definition of polygon and polyhedra, and identified the properties of prism and pyramid. The structure and the tasks in OUR helped me to fulfill my personal goal for this year: “Students tell me before I tell them”.

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Examples and non-examples are such powerful visual to help students refine and develop their understanding. My students were able to engaged in meaningful debate on the definition of polygons too (let’s not forget that they are ELs).

Math in Russia

I learn that Russians use “,” as their decimal separator. For example, 1.75cm is 1,75cm in Russia. Apparently the number of countries that use decimal comma is more than the ones who use decimal point. It’s quite an interesting read.

The long division in Russia looks a little different too. I’m excited to learn new ways to express the language of math.


Math in Week 3

Thanks to this photo, I remember something from week 3. Upon looking at this very long pencil from my student, it got me thinking, “how long is this pencil, and how long will the pencil last?” I told my class what I was thinking and they got interested. So we measured the pencil each week, wrote it down on a small piece of paper and stick the paper to the wall.


Unfortunately, one of his classmates broke his pencil. We continue to measure of the pencil anyway. I learned that this student uses 3cm of pencil in one week. And now I’m wondering how many centimeters of pencil do most students use on average.

Keep noticing and wondering……



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