Welcome to Math Skills

Dear Math Student

Welcome to Math Skills. The focus of the course is to help you develop your math skills, intuition, confidence and stamina. Another important focus is developing productive work habits and skills. The daily grades described below will reward you for your punctuality, engagement, cooperation and productivity – all skills we that will help you succeed in school and in life. These class grades will be averaged with your tests, homework and POWs with the following weights: Tests: 25%; Problems of the Week: 25%; Class Participation: 25% and Homework: 25%. On the back page you will see the class procedures. Many of these may seem to be just good common sense, but I want to clarify them so we can have a happy, productive year. If you have any questions, please ask, email, call or write them out in mathematical codes. I hope you have a great year.


Jack Powers

Daily Class Grades

Each student receives a grade for every class period as well as for tests, unit portfolios and POWs. These grades are averaged to find the unit and quarter grades. Assignments vary on the type of participation expected of students, however the descriptions for an “A” below represent successful participation in any class or on any assignment.

A – A student earning an A for a class period, arrived to class on time and ready to work when the bell rang (in desk, books out, pen/pencil ready, homework or appropriate assignment ready). The student informed the teacher that he has completed his homework and had some tangible demonstration of the work. He participated actively throughout the period (volunteering, problem solving, sharing, questioning, listening etc.) and worked to the bell.

B – A student earning a B for a class period did A work in all ways except he arrived to class late, did not hand in homework, did not actively participate or did not work to the bell.

C – A student earning a C for a class period met the criteria for an A, and participated when asked and completed the assignment with few reminders or did A work in all ways except for two of the following: he arrived to class late, did not do homework or did not work to the bell.

D – A student earning a D for a class period participated when asked and completed the assignment with many reminders or did A work in all ways except he arrived to class late, did not do homework and did not work to the bell.

F – A student earning an F for a class period was either absent or unproductive. He may have earned a passing grade but it was lowered one letter grade each for the following behaviors: lateness, lack of homework and not working to the bell.

Absences: Students earn zeros on days they are absent. When an absence is excused a student can make up missed work. Check the website (web.mac.com/jackpowers13) or ask the teacher for missed work. It is the responsibility of the student to ask for any work missed and hand it in within a reasonable period of time. Assignments may be modified from the class work to better represent the lesson. Zeros will be replaced with grades when make up work is handed in. Regular class absences will lower a student’s overall grade by at least one letter grade.

CLASSROOM PROCEDURES                                                                                                  

Beginning class: Be in your seats and ready by the bell. You should have your pen, paper(s), books, notebooks and other required materials.

Arriving to class tardy: If you have an excused tardy, drop your pass on my desk and find a seat quietly without disturbing the class. If your tardy is not excused speak to me after class. Repeated tardies will lower your class participation grade.

In-Class Questions/Sharing: A successful class is collaboration, but some guidelines are needed. In full-class activities raise your hand and I will call on you. In small groups, you may interact more informally, but try to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.

Out-of-Class Questions/Sharing: Email me at jpowers [at] region9ps [dot] org, call me at extension 1153 or make an appointment in class to meet after school or in the Writing Center.

Moving about the class: Please stay in your seat unless you need to sharpen a pencil or get materials.

Cell Phones/IPods/Watch Alarms/etc.: Please turn off all electronic devices that may disrupt class. No texting, checking mail, playing with gadgets, etc. during class. Repeated offenses will result in confiscation of expensive and beloved electronic devices. (See JBHS Handbook.)

Leaving the classroom: Please raise two hands if you need to use the bathroom. Use the pass on the eraser gutter. See me for other needs. You may not leave the classroom without the teacher’s permission.

Quieting the class: If the class gets too loud or needs further instructions, I will ask for quiet or turn the lights on and off. Please quiet down immediately.

Homework assignments: Homework assignments will be listed on the website and/or on the board. All assignments are due the day after assigned unless otherwise noted.

Returning to class after an absence: Check with the teacher to see what you missed. All assignments and most handouts are on the class website (web.mac.com/jackpowers13). See me for questions, un-posted handouts or anything else you need. You will have two days to make up missing work.

Overdue work: Any work handed in late will lose a letter grade for each class day unless otherwise noted. (See English Department Policies.)

Academic Integrity: Any plagiarized work or other cheating will earn a “0” and cannot be made up. (See JBHS Handbook.)

Individual and cooperative assignments: Unless stated explicitly, all assignments must be completed independently.

Ending class: Work until the final bell unless instructed otherwise. On rare occasions, you will be asked to stay a minute or so after the bell to complete an activity or receive the homework assignment. Homework will be on the board and/or on the class website.

A safe and considerate classroom: To ensure everyone feels welcome, comfortable and safe, we will show kindness or at least tolerance of differences in our words and actions. Title 9 legislates what is just decency in most offices and college classrooms anyway. Avoid remarks or actions that will make others uncomfortable. Let me know if something is said or done that makes you feel uncomfortable.