ABOUT FOUNDATIONS OF MATH 1
The Foundations of Math 1 course serves as a bridge to the Math 1 course that most freshmen will take. This course spends time reviewing topics that have traditionally been most challenging for students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. We work to solidify these skills and begin making connections to topics and concepts that students will see when they take Math 1 in the Spring semester.
In this course, as with all standard math courses at Erwin High School, students grades are weighed heavily by their performance on tests/quizzes. We believe that a students’ grades should reflect what they know, not just their behavior in a class. 80% of each student’s grade will be determined by their performance on our “Concept Quizzes” that will occur every 1-2 weeks. The remaining 20% will be determined by their classwork and homework grades. This can be quite an adjustment for students to be held to this level of accountability for what they know and can do on their own, but they quickly see the high expectations and the majority of students will rise to that level.
Because this is a great level of accountability, we do not believe it is fair for students to be given only one opportunity to prove what they do or do not know. Therefore, students may retest on a given concept as many times as needed until they prove they have it mastered. Each concept is given a grade of 0 - 10 when it appears on a quiz. A 0 indicates that the student did not attempt some of the problems, they simply left their paper blank for questions on that topic. A 4 indicates that they attempted each problem, but did not show a basic level of understanding - this generally means they missed the majority of the problems. A 6 indicates that the student does have a basic understanding, and can complete simple problems that address the concept. An 8 indicates that the student goes beyond a basic understanding and can show a higher level of problem solving skill and is able to explain or show their work for solving more challenging problems. A 10 indicates that the student has mastered the concept, and has the potential (if careless errors are avoided) to get all questions correct on a given concept.
After a quiz is given back to students, they may make corrections to any problems they missed; this can be done by themselves (if it was a careless mistake) or with the help of a classmate, friend, family member, or through one-on-one tutoring with me before/after school (if it is a conceptual misunderstanding). Once corrections are made, I will generally assign a couple new practice problems for the student to complete to help solidify their new understanding. Once the corrections and practice are turned into me, the student may retake test questions for the specific concepts on which they want to improve their grade. This process can be completed as many times as the student needs to achieve the level of mastery that he/she wants to demonstrate. I will do everything in my power to help each student understand every concept, regardless of the number of attempts required, as long as he/she is willing to show perseverance in improving their understanding as well as their grade.
Students who take advantage of this correction process early and often, will find that their grade will remain more stable as the semester goes on, if they have worked to keep higher quiz grades early on. It will also require less time than those students who wait until the end of a grading period to attempt to improve their grade.
If you have any questions concerning this policy or your student’s grade, please feel free to contact me using the Contact tab at the top of this page.