I’m Mary Dooms, a seventh grade math teacher who can’t wait.

That may not be enough information for some of you, so read on.

I’ve been very fortunate to call Lake Zurich Middle School South my second home for more than ten years. The faculty, administrators, and support staff have put up with a lot of my shenagigans (i.e. my deep interest in growing professionally has allowed me to experience working with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, in a variety of subjects.) And I am very grateful.

For the past five years I have taught middle school math–I call myself a transplant by choice. As a transplant I can appreciate both sides of the math coin. Heads–The learner loves math so much (s)he dreams of being the first mathematician on the Wheaties cereal box. Tails–The learner beats math away with a meter stick.

My colleagues join me in finding ways to make math relevant, turning short term memory that is procedural understanding into long term memory that is conceptual understanding. We’re working on it.

My casual interest in computer science is leading me to explore how math concepts can be learned and reinforced through computer programming.  It’s more about students learning to write programs (scripts) that use math. Kind of like creating your own calculator and applying it in a real world context. Some may argue why bother,  the calculator has already been invented. But imagine how much the students would learn conceptually if they wrote code to perform that operation!

If I come up with anything, I’ll let you know.

But this blog’s focus may not be math specific. I’m interested in all areas of best practice, especially, those strategies that create a learning environment that is…

Curiouser and Curiouser.

Oh, yeah. Here’s my online curio cabinet of curiouser activities. My latest endeavor is curating resources to support the 6th grade math common core.

1. Janine says:

Hi Mary,

I was impressed with your work on converting the scales to percentages. This really helps those of us teachers whose schools are in the middle of transitioning to common core. Can you tell me if you or someone you know has calculated the grades for the ELA scales? I am the first to try this at my school and would like to make sure I am doing it correctly. We have to have percentages for a 6.0 writing scale and the 4.0 marzano scales, so both would be helpful. Thank you for your blog. Janine

1. Hi Janine,

I wish I knew of someone to point you to. My initial thought would be to first decide what number on the scale will represent meeting the learning target.

If it is a 5 that would equate to a low A or 90% then adjust from there. You will probably have to revise your rubric to include verbiage that accurately reflects the scale.

With a 6 point scale it may end up falling neatly into a 100, 90, 80, 70, etc.