Sunday, September 13, 2015

Welcome to Quest Math

Hello Quest Families!

Welcome to 5th grade Math on Team Quest!  We are a few weeks into our new school year and have had some great explorations in Math class.  Below is some information about 5th grade Math to ensure students, families, and teachers are on the same page.  Please email me at with any questions you may have.

Students can expect to have weekly assignments in Math class.  Some of these assignments may include the use of technology as we are using math practice websites this year.  If access to technology at home is an issue, please let me know and we can make accommodations.  Two of the websites that we will be using early on are (free app in the app store and all students have accounts) and (app for purchase, but website is free).  Students should make sure to log in to their accounts on these websites before completing any practice to receive credit.  The benefits of these programs are extensive and include immediate feedback to students as well as a personalized program.

XtraMath is a program which many of our Quest students have had previous experience with in 3rd and 4th grade.  The emphasis of this program is math fact practice.  All students will begin the year practicing math facts and students will transition on to other work as they demonstrate proficiency.  I understand that math fact practice can be frustrating for some students, but fluency with these facts is critical for accessing 5th and 6th grade math concepts that extend beyond multiplication.

**Homework is a time for practicing skills already learned in the classroom.  If you find that your student is spending too much time working on an assignment or is over-frustrated, send me a note/email and we will make adjustments.

Homework is graded using the following scoring rubric:
4 - Finished homework on time and did challenge work

3 - Finished homework on time. Work is neat and complete.

2 - Finished homework late or did some of the homework

1 - Did not complete homework

Curriculum/Class Time

At CBMS, we use the Common Core State Standards to guide our curriculum.  Our text for 5th grade is Investigations Math (same as TBPS).  Here is a rough outline of our units of study for this year:

September - October:  Multiplication & Division
October - November:  3D Geometry (Volume)
November - January:  Fractions
January - February:  2D Geometry (Measurement)
February - March:  Decimals
March - April:  Multiplication & Division II
April - May:  Patterns & Functions
May - June:  Data Analysis

This is a rough outline because daily lessons are based on student understanding and progress at a given moment.  Our lessons are planned to meet the needs of students at that moment in time.  We will use 'Exit Books' weekly to informally assess understanding and guide instruction.

Assessment & Grading
The 5th and 6th grade math team will be using a Proficiency Based Grading approach to assessment and reporting.  This approach will give families and a more accurate picture of the strengths and areas for improvement for their student.  It will also give students the opportunity to set clear, understandable goals that they can work towards throughout the year.  The best way to view your student's progress in Math class will be through the Schoology website.  Here you will see how your student in progressing towards grade level expectations, how well they are completing homework, and the habits of learning they are demonstrating in the classroom.  The following scores will be used to assigned to student work:

4 - Moving beyond grade level expectations
3 - Meeting grade level expectations
2 - Using strategies that are approaching grade level expectations
1 - Using strategies below grade level expectations

Students will also be completing weekly self-reflections based on their own personal progress.  Through these reflections, it is my hope for students to understand their job is to deepen their understanding beyond where they were the day before.

It should be a great year of learning and growing!  Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.

-Curtis Taylor

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