I offer extra help to any interested students (or uninterested students with
interested parents) every Tuesday after school until 4:30 or Thursday until 4:00.

#### You might also want to check the Homework Page to learn more about what we're doing.

Grading System - I grade on a total point system, using the following guidelines:

• Homework 5-10 points (completion is more important than accuracy)
• Quizzes 10-25 points
• Projects 50-100 points (generally one per quarter)
• Major tests 100 points
Grades are calculated by dividing a student's total points accumulated by the total points possible.

I generally give some homework every class period. However, it should not take most students more than 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Look at your child's homework often and discuss it with him or her. Ask to have it explained to you (this works well in any subject). Please feel free to e-mail me with any concerns.

Algebra Readiness - There are four criteria used to determine if a student will take Algebra in the 8th grade. They are as follows:

• 6th grade TAAS score in math
• Grade average for the first three quarters in the 7th grade
• Score on Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (administered in May of the 7th grade year)
• Teacher recommendation (based on completion and quality of work, focus in class, and homework habits)
My personal opinion is that a child should not take algebra until he or she has developed the ability to think abstractly. This is not something that can be taught. Some children reach this level of thinking sooner than others, but it certainly does not indicate that they will perform better than those who develop at a slower rate. My favorite comparison is that if Baby Betty begins to walk later than Baby Bob, it does not mean that she will not walk as well as Bob. Please keep this in mind throughout the school year.

If it is very important to you for your child to take Algebra in the 8th grade, the best thing you can do is to help him or her succeed from the beginning of the 7th grade. Too many parents hope that a noted improvement in a child's work in the fourth quarter should be enough. It is not.