Equations can be quite the challenge for middle school students. With our bulging lesson plans and curriculum expectations, it can be difficult for students to have the time to truly understand the usefulness of equations, how and why they work the way they do, and why they are so much more than a set of procedures used to find a missing value.
In this course, we will explore ways to improve students' understanding of equations, how to use reasoning and not just rules, and how to work with equations in a variety of situations. We will explore the simplest one-step equations, basic two-step equations, and more complex multi-step equations. A significant amount of time will also be spent on ways to improve skills with fractions and decimals, both positive and negative, as well as percents and various properties.
Jennifer Betz is a recently retired public school mathematics educator. She continues her work as a educator while working remotely for a high-end electronics rep firm, presenting mathematics professional development as time allows. Her last position was a Mathematics Instructional Coach at Pflugerville Middle School in Pflugerville ISD. She has many years of classroom experience in 6th, 7th and 8th grade math, regular and pre-AP, algebra, GAME (remedial math), the high school PACE program, and summer school. She participated in curriculum development and revision for PfISD and reviewed and edited district formative assessments. In her role as Instructional Coach, she researched and analyzed data; worked with teachers as they planned in their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs); developed test questions and lessons; attended training and researched strategies; conducted model lessons; and developed and presented professional training. Ms. Betz has also been a College Board presenter and former presenter at Rice University.