# First Two Weeks in Middle School!

6th
Week 1

• Measured each other!
• Exponents, including negative exponents and scientific notation (Powers of 10 Video was a big hit)
• Learned how to submit onto a Google Form for my Homework Data survey

Week 2

• Order of Operations (GEMS)
• Properties (they loved THE CLAW)
• Turning WORDS into MATH

7th

Week 1

• Growth – measured each other
• Evaluating Algebraic expressions
• Evaluating Algebraic expressions
• Properties

Week 2

• Integer Operations
• One and Two step equations (showed them Hands On Equations)
• Population Density

## 4 thoughts on “First Two Weeks in Middle School!”

1. What did you do for order of operations?

I just did order of operation races where kids do one step of the problem and then pass it up. They didn’t do too hot and I was hoping that this would just be a review. Any ideas?

• My kids don’t want to show ANY steps and are really messing these up too! Tomorrow I am going to give them all white boards and really complicated problems. Then, I am going to have them hold up ONE step at a time for me to see before they move on. I am making them write EVERY step! I tell them RIGHT over write. Which means YES it is worth it to WRITE every step out in order to get the problem RIGHT!

2. I thought about that but why do we give them long ugly problems when we don’t actually use those in solving equations. I’m thinking about just leaving it at that and moving on to solving equations. If I see a problem then we can go back to it.

And how do you really teach it other than just practicing all the time?

• Elissa,
I feel like the Order of Operations is a big umbrella that so much of mathematics falls under. Yes, in solving simple equations, the do not use it much. However, for evaluating most algebraic expressions they always need it. Nothing frustrates me more than a student that missed an Alg2 or PreCalc problem bc they didn’t do the Order of Ops correctly. If they are messing it up, you can’t spend forever on it, but I would review it daily (like one in each warm-up maybe?) until they get comfortable with it. And, I teach it using GEMS. I bring in a big bucket of GEMS so they get to hold a big GEM, give them a small, self-adhesive GEM to keep, and then off we go! After I go over it and we do examples together I give them white boards so they can practice and I can SEE each step. They mess up a lot at first. : )
Then, WHENEVER I evaluate an algebraic expression or check and algebraic equation in the future I write GEMS (down top to bottom) on the board. For some reason kids don’t think they HAVE to use it whenever they do arithmetic. Even if there is NO grouping or exponents I always say, is there grouping (and put a check by the G)? Usually I end up saying, NO, it is NOT grouping just bc you have parenthesis. Those parenthesis 2(3) just mean multiplication, not grouping. Then I say, are the any exponents (and put a check next to the E)? Then, we move on down the list that way. A friend of mine had a GREAT “I have, Who has” order of ops game. I think that would be fun after they start getting it.