Middle School
REMINDER: parents are required to teach the daily lessons
at home for 8th grade and below. 
Most students in middle school cannot learn completely on their own.  If a student really CAN learn independently at these younger ages (8th grade and below), that is certainly allowed--but, PARENTS, you must constantly check.  NOTE: test grades of C or below are not acceptable grades for a student to learn independently.  Such test grades prove that a parent must be teaching daily at home as well as using school resources. 
The time each day for these listed things will vary by student; based on their proficiency with basic skills such as adding/subtracting, multiplication (especially multiplication!), fractions, and decimals, the range is usually between 35-45 minutes a day to about 90 minutes a day.  If a student is really slow, I recommend to split the math time into two parts, with some type of physical activity sometime between. 

1.      (approx 10 min) Do some review problems. With your parent or other teaching adult, choose 2 or 3 problems from the past sections, like one of from yesterday, one from or 3 days ago, one from a week or more ago. Choose things that were hard for you or that were to forget, so your brain can be reminded about them, and then there will be a better chance you’ll learn them really well and get them right if you see them on a test.


2.      (approx 10 to 30 min) Parent or other teaching adult now teaches you the lesson.  NOTE: PARENTS of middle school and elementary students are required to teach at home.  Students at 8th grade and below seldom are able to teach themselves the equations and graphs that make up much of Algebra, so they need someone teaching them daily.  Students, if you can learn Algebra on your own, that’s OK, but it’s not easy, and it’s more important to learn this math well than it is to prove that you can do it yourself—because if you can’t do it yourself and don’t get help, you’re going to have big problems in math. For learning the lesson, focus on the concept being taught.  Pay really close to each example, what is being asked to get, how it’s worked out step-by-step, why each step happens (this is vital!), what the new steps are that are new to you because of this lesson….and why that new step or steps are being done. Also focus on the formatting of the final answer. Is it supposed to be x =   , or just a number, or is there a measurement with it?   

3.      (approx 5 to 10 min) Take notes on the instruction. This can be done during instruction time. You can add things to your notes while you are doing the practice problems that come next. Details about the notes: Notes should be about the concepts and procedures you are learning, including things that must be memorized or things that are easy to overlook or little things that are often overlooked and thus cause errors. These notes may be in any format…narrative, chart, examples with explanations, Cornell-style…whatever works best for you. These notes are probably best written at the time of instruction, although of course you may add more things to the pages of notes while practicing after instruction.

4.      (approx 15 to 45 min) Do the practice problems. Do every problem for the day’s section as listed in part 3 on the first page of this cover sheet.   Make sure you (1) write out the problem, (2) write out each step in the problem, (3) circle or box your answers. 


5.      (combined with doing the problems) Check your answers and the correct steps. 

a. After you do even just a few problems, check your answers using the answers provided in the back of the textbook. NOTE: The answers for the CA Standards Check problems that follow each example are in a different section in the back of the textbook from the answers for Standards Practice problems. It might be helpful for you to put a couple of bookmarks or post-it-notes at the answer sections in the textbook. 

b. If you cannot figure out why you are wrong on a problem, then go to to see the correct steps (Standards Practice problems only). This is one of the best things to help you learn the little details about how to do the problems correctly. You can add things you learn here to your notes.