• William Diamond Middle School
    Mr. Mitchell – Math 2015 – 2016

    Welcome back to math, 8th graders! I hope you had a fun and restful summer! I’m looking forward to getting to know each of you better as we dig deeper into the world of algebra. To start out our year together, here are the essential details you need to know in order to be successful in math.

    Classroom Expectations
    As your teacher, I expect that you will…
    Come to class on time and prepared to learn.
    • Supplies Needed: Pencils & erasers; loose-leaf notebook paper; binder section for math; graphing calculator; whiteboard marker (optional).
    • You will not be allowed to go to your locker during class, so be sure to have your homework and necessary materials with you when you arrive.
    • “Prepared to learn” also means having a positive attitude and being willing to work hard in math class.
    Be respectful of your classmates, teachers, and the school environment.
    • When someone else is talking to the class – either an adult or another student – no one else should be talking.
    • Treat everyone with kindness and empathy – name-calling, teasing, or other hurtful comments will not be tolerated.
    • Leave the room the way you found it. Put away classroom materials and push in your chair before you leave.
    Be an active and supportive learner.
    • Ask questions, take notes, help each other. Participate in class activities.
    • Remember that this is your education. In order to succeed, you must take responsibility for your own learning.
    Raise your hand to ask a question, share an idea, or offer an answer.
    • This helps to build a respectful environment, while making sure no one misses important details.

    Absences
    If you miss class for any reason, you are responsible for making up the missing work in a timely fashion. Upon your return to school, you will be able to find any handouts or assignments in the absence file near my desk. You should also plan to meet with me or another student, outside of class-time (possibly during your TIE block), to discuss the material that you missed.

    Extra Help

    Inside and outside of the classroom, I am here to help if you are struggling with the math material or anything else. In class, just ask! Outside of class, you should be using your TIE block effectively – seek clarification, ask questions about the material, or just come talk to me about anything you are wondering about.
    **The most important thing to remember is: If you need help, ask for it!**
    Organization
    Since so much of math is cumulative (meaning that it builds on previous knowledge), it is important for you to keep your class notes, homework, and other assignments organized, so you can review as the year goes on. You are free to use any system that works for you, but you should have a system. Come and talk to me during TIE block if you need help getting set up.

    Homework
    They say “practice makes perfect.” And in math, it’s really true! Homework is your chance to practice the skills and interact with the ideas from class each day. You should expect to have math homework every night, including regular review of old ideas.

    Your homework grade will be based on how well it meets these criteria:
    ➢ It is written neatly in pencil, with mistakes erased (not crossed out).
    ➢ The assignment is organized and easy to follow.
    ➢ All problems are done and mathematical work is shown on the paper.
    ➢ Note: It’s okay to get questions wrong on homework, as long as it is clear that you made an effort to figure out the problem. Be sure to get help the next day!
    If you do not have your homework in class on the day it is due, you will not receive credit for that assignment. It will then be your responsibility to complete the assignment and turn it in for half-credit within two school days.

    Grading

    Your grade in math will be based on four categories:
    ➢ Nightly Homework: Each assignment is worth 4 points, if it meets the criteria above.
    ➢ Quizzes: These are your chance to demonstrate your understanding during a unit. They will occur every week or two, after we have completed two or three sections in the book. Each quiz is worth 100 points. I will usually announce quizzes two days in advance.
    ➢ Unit Tests: These are your chance to demonstrate your understanding at the end of each unit. Each test is worth 200 points. I will announce tests approximately a week in advance.
    ➢ In-Class Assignments: These include other small projects or assignments that are completed in class. Sometimes, they will be done as a group; other times, they will be individual work. Each of these assignments is worth between 20 and 50 points, depending on the size of the assignment.
    ➢ Your overall grade is calculated as the average of the points earned divided by the total possible points.

    If you have questions (at any time) about any of these policies, please ask!