Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday 8/31

Today we jumped into Chapter 2 with Lesson 2.1, which focused on sequences. We learned today that often times you have to do a lot of critical thinking and deep analysis to write sequences and discover patterns, clues, and rules. There's no substitute for this careful consideration and critical thinking, and it takes honest, determined practice to get good at it.

Tonight's homework will require this kind of careful consideration. Feel free to use all tools at your disposal (drawings, charts, tables, whatever!). Remember to think first about what the problem is asking you to do (is it only one thing, or more than one thing?). Then consider what you know, and what clues may have been left for you. The next step is to come up with a plan to solve.

Parents: If you're helping your son or daughter at home, please consider asking the above questions first and pushing them to try to "unlock" the problem on their own. It may not come naturally, but that's what they need to practice. The process is the goal, not necessarily the final solution. There are only a few problems on each nightly assignment, but they do require a great deal of deep thinking and careful work.

Homework: Textbook pages 50-53 (Problems 7, 10, and 11)

Tuesday HW Solutions: Chapter 2 Pre-Test answer key

Answers for all the class work and homework can be found at the Lesson 2.1 link above. Be sure to try the thinking on your own first, then check to see how you did. Going straight to the solutions robs you of the chance to learn and grow. Getting things "done" is not the point.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday 8/29

Today we spent the class period working in MATHia.

Don't forget, we'll be taking our Chapter 1 test tomorrow. Be sure to go back and study Lessons 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 to get yourself fully prepared! Doing math is always better thank looking at math. :-)

The test will be open class work and open homework, so make sure your materials are complete, organized, and prepared.

Homework: MATHia practice & study for the test.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday 8/26

We reviewed last night's homework in detail today, and then spent the rest of the class period working with MATHia X.

We'll be taking our first test of the year on Tuesday. It'll cover lessons 1, 2, and 3 from chapter 1. The test will be open class work and open homework, so make sure you've got those perfected and ready to go!

Great study tools include all your homework, your class work, the chapter summary, and the Skills Practice worksheets available at If you haven't set up a Carnegie Home Resources account, see the Document Locker for instructions.

Thursday HW Solutions: Linear Equations worksheets answer key

Here is this week's extra credit:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday 8/25

Today we finished our look at Lesson 1.3 with a linear equations bar model packet.

Be sure to check today's classwork at the link above.

Homework: Finish the rest of the linear equations worksheets

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday 8/24

We tackled the first part of Lesson 1.3 in class today, using a bar model to simplify and make sense of complicated questions.

We worked through the first two parts of Problem 1 together. You'll finish the second two parts on your own tonight.

Be sure to double-check your class work with the lesson linked above in the first sentence.

We'll continue with more bar model work tomorrow.

Homework: Textbook pages 26-27 (#3-4)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday 8/23

We wrapped up Lesson 1.2 on equations with infinite solutions and no solutions today.

We also discovered that many students would benefit from extra practice with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing positive and negative numbers. If this is an area you think might be holding you back from success, please check out the links at the side for Integer Addition & Subtraction Practice and Integer Multiplication & Division Practice.

Parents: Integer operations is not a skill that is taught in 8th grade, as the curriculum expects that students are already proficient with these skills. If you think your son or daughter would benefit from some review or additional practice, 10-15 minutes a day working on those two websites for a week or so should pay huge dividends for your child!

Homework: Finish TB pgs 22-23 (Talk the Talk). Don't forget to double check your answers with the class work link above!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday 8/22

We spent today working with our MATHia X software in class. We're all now familiar with the basics, and prepared to begin working on our own at our own pace.

Homework: Spend some time at home working with the MATHia software. Students are required to complete 30 minutes of MATHia work outside the classroom each week.

MATHia X Student Guide
MATHia X Support
MATHia X Device/System Requirements

For those already familiar with MATHia, we've upgraded to the newer MATHia X software this year, which has a much improved user interface, and will also be easier to get running at home. It no longer requires java and will run natively in most major web browsers! Check out the links above to get you going at home if you need help or are curious about additional details.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday 8/19

We turned the graph paper block names that we created on Monday into awesome Desmos creations today. We started first by adding an x- and y-axis to our graph paper, then recreated all the vertical and horizontal lines in Desmos to make a digital recreation.

Here's an example, in case you'd like to see how we formed the vertical and horizontal lines:

Once complete, turn your full Desmos Block Name projects in here (by next Friday) to earn extra credit:

Here is this week's extra credit:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday 8/18

Today we tackled the first half of Lesson 1.2, specifically concentrating on equations with infinite solutions. We'll complete the second half of the lesson next week.

Be sure to double-check your class work each day with the solutions provided here. If you're feeling a bit confused or overwhelmed at times (which is natural when you learn new things!), thoroughly reviewing the class work each day is a great way to help improve your understanding. It takes work, but it's worth it!

Homework: Textbook pages 22-23, "Talk the Talk" 1a, 1c, 2a, and 2c.

Wednesday HW Solutions: Solving Equations WS answer key

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wednesday 8/17

We completed Lesson 1.1 today and wrapped up our intro to writing and solving two-step equations. Be sure to check your classwork with the solutions provided at the Lesson 1.1 link.

Also, don't forget to study key concepts for at least 10 minutes every day.

Parents: Our textbook has far more problems and tasks than can be completed in a normal class period. It's designed to be modular and adaptable to the needs to the class. We'll only be completing key portions of the lesson each day. You're welcome to work additional sections at home with your child if they need extra help or practice. Solutions are always available here. There are additional practice problems available for download for those that have setup a Carnegie Resource Center Student Account. The Skills and Practice worksheets are the best tool for additional practice problems.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday 8/16

Today in class we began Lesson 1.1 and will complete more of it tomorrow. Make sure to double check your class work answers each day with the solutions linked here (click on the "Lesson 1.1" link to see the solutions).

Homework: Textbook pages 4-6, Problem 1 (parts 1 & 2, but not part 3)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday 8/15

Today we broke out the laptops for the first time this year and got ourselves acquainted with Desmos.

If you didn't get a chance to set-up a Desmos account today you're welcome to do so at home using Look for the green Create Account button. It's free, and all you need is an email address or a Google account.

We did our first Desmos Activity today. If you didn't get a chance to finish in class, you can do so at home by entering class code ZJTP at

Homework: Finish your Block Name graph paper assignment

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday 8/12

Congrats on completing your first week of 8th grade! The real work will begin on Monday.

Great job with the straw tower project!

Here is this week's extra credit:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thursday 8/11

We took the straw tower challenge in class today. Students worked in groups to build a freestanding tower using only 25 straws, one yard of painters tape, and one rubber band.

Awards were presented to the groups with the "Best Design" as voted on by each class, and "Tallest Tower" in each class.

I was really impressed with the teamwork, innovation, and perseverance I saw today. I think that bodes well for a great year!

Homework: None

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wednesday 8/10

Welcome to Mr. Rothe's Math 8 class. Please be sure to bookmark this page and check back for daily updates! While you're poking around, feel free to check out many of the links at the side of the blog to begin investigating different resources that may be of benefit this year.

Today in class we talked about my expectations for the school year, daily and weekly routines, and many other nuts and bolts that will set us up for a successful year together. Tonight's homework is to review the curriculum paper with parents and fill out the signature slip at the bottom, and to share the Carnegie resource guide with your parents. For a copy of those documents, please click the links below.

Math 8 Curriculum Paper
Carnegie Parent Welcome Letter

Parents, we know there's a lot of paperwork on the first few days of school. I apologize for the heavy workload, but do appreciate you taking the time to review these with your child as I consider them all essential to helping them get off to a great start this year.

I'm looking forward to a great year with everyone!