Mr. Driver – last week of October, first week of November

Greetings,

Last week, the 6th and 7th graders dove into the study of the Islamic Golden Age. Students in my class focused on the geography and society of North Africa and the Middle East. We looked at the biography and some quotes of a man named Ibn Khaldun. His writings are recognized as a precursor to the modern social sciences of economics, sociology, historiography, and political science. We looked at his idea of ‘social cohesion’ and what makes groups stick together or fall apart. We talked about our ‘group mentality’ today, and compared it to what he wrote almost 800 years ago. He wasn’t too far off! A point of humor is that his massive writing, called the Muqqadimah, is six books long, but the title translates to “Introduction” We wondered how much more he was planning to write!

In Math this week, we continue to work on number sense when it comes to approaching decimals, percentages and fractions. What is 75% of 360? How can we check our answer? What percentage is 44 out of 65? We are working on how to identify which operations to use under which circumstances. Every day I see students take steps forward in their awareness of numbers. Please join me in talking to your students about this, and see how they are coming along in their thinking. See if you can find some “every-day” math problems in the world around you, and see how they handle finding solutions.

In the coming week, we will continue with number sense in math, and the grade groups will rotate in thematic. I’m not teaching Middle School Literacy this time around, instead I’m with the High School teaching Algebra. I found a joke today, it said: “You know algebra and dating relationships are a lot alike. Ever think about your ‘x’ and wonder ‘y?’ I thought that was a good one!

See you at school!

-J. Driver

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