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eMath October 2020 Newsletter

The days are getting shorter and the colors more vivid as summer transitions into full blown autumn here in upstate New York. Many students are back in school, mostly in hybrid models that have them in person for about half the time and remote about half the time. Other schools are still completely remote. We know it’s a challenging year for students, parents, and, of course, for teachers. We continue to create resources that we believe will help in both these challenging times, and when we get back to normal. Whenever that may be.

Our new middle school resources this month include materials for Units 4 and 5 in all three courses. First, we are releasing the Unit 4 and Unit 5 Assessments. Our plan this year is to release these on a monthly basis, on or two units per month, until they are all done by mid-March. Next year we will begin to release the second form of these unit assessments to give teachers more flexibility in testing. We also bring you the SMART Notebook files for Units 4 and 5. These files can only be opened by SMART Notebook, the software that comes standards with any SMART Board. The software can be purchased, even if you don’t have a SMART Board, for presentation use. It is similar to Power Point, but designed with the idea of being used for educational purposes.

In Common Core Algebra I, we bring you a new lesson in Unit 3 on More Work with Domain and Range. In this lesson, we work with domains and ranges that are limited due to the real world scenarios that are being modeled. These types of questions are commonplace on standardized testing, but they require students to really understand the distinction between the various sets of numbers. We also bring you the Unit 5 (Systems of Equations) Spanish language editions of the assessments for this unit (Forms A, B, and C).

For Common Core Geometry this month we bring you more assessments for Unit 3 (Euclidean Geometry Proof). First, we have the mid-unit quiz for Unit 3, in both a Form A and Form B. This is a long unit and a quiz half-way through is a great idea to see where kids are at. We also bring you the Form D (or fourth) assessment for this unit.

In Common Core Algebra II this month we have a few new resources for Unit 5 (Sequences and Series). First, we have two mid-unit quizzes for this unit, a Form A and Form B. We also offer an enrichment lesson on Infinite Series. In this lesson we introduce the idea of a series having an infinite number of terms and then look at infinite geometric series that have finite values. This topic used to be fairly standard at this level, especially because the formula for the sum of a convergent, infinite geometric series was easily memorized (and applied). Now, it is a topic that is mainly reserved for enrichment at this level.

Finally, in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry this month we have the Unit 4 (Radicals and the Quadratic Formula) Form D Unit Assessment and the Unit 5 (Complex Numbers) Form D Unit Assessment.

In other news, we have begun two major projects here at eMathInstruction. One is to have our middle school books translated into Spanish. We plan to have those available for sale next year and will likely have the digital files as add-ons next year as well. We have also begun the process of revising Algebra I for the Next Generation Standards. This is an exciting project that will take some time, but we hope that the finished product, along with videos, will be even better than our original Common Core Algebra I.

In closing, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy fall. To all the teacher heroes out there, thank you for everything you are doing every day during these challenging times!!! You have been given a task well outside of your job description and yet you are making it happen for millions of students around this country every day under the most trying of conditions. I tip my hat to all of you. Stay safe and stay sane.

– Kirk