Mr. David Purcell MA

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Phone: VM 303.982.6055
Office Hours:7:10-7:30 AM/OBA in A218 

If you need help with Math or Science tutoring,

here is the schedule for when 

Colorado School 

of Mines 

students will be here.  

Tutoring is on Saturdays from 9-11am on the study deck in the West Atrium.

    1st Semester:  

2nd Semester:

Make-Up for Missed Days
The class page holds all power points with assignments for the class by date.
 Do Goals, Skills, Work time/Vocab and Home works in your note book. 
All exit quizzes are done on a 1/2 sheet of paper and turned in to me upon return. 




Mr. Purcell M.A.

Welcome to your math class.  This year you will be participating in a concept of group work, 100% focus and citizenship, as well as your math curriculum.  Full participation and following of classroom procedures is expected.  Please read and sign the following syllabus as a contract of agreement.  My contact numbers are:

Voicemail: 303.982.6055        School #:303.982.7096

Class Guidelines

During Work-Times    NO:

Be on time and prepared


Be on task


Be respectful

Cell phones

If you are not in your seat, with paper & pencil ready, by the time the bell rings, you are tardy.

3 Tardies result in a lunch detention.

A notebook with four sections for Daily Goals, Skills, Class work/Vocab and Homework is required.

Your overall grade depends on the points earned in the following categories; Notes/Class Projects (35%), Exit Quizzes (35%), Tests/Quizzes (30%). These grades will be calculated through formative and summative assessments.  Summative assessments are tests, quizzes, and worksheets.  Formative assessments are progress monitoring, looking at student work, one on one interaction with students and exit slips.

All assignments must show all work for full credit.  All power points/assignments can be found on my web page.

All non-passing assignments can be made up for full credit. All make-up work is done on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the original. For help on these see me either before or after class, during office hours (B209; 7:10-7:30 AM) or by appointment.

Any Talking during tests/quizzes will result in a zero on the test and a parent conference/conversation in order to be made up.Let’s do our best to work together, cooperate and have a successful year.                            Thanks, Mr. D. Purcell

Workshop Model/Gradual Release of Responsibility Rationale


The way I structure my classroom is based of best practices in the classroom.  I would like to take a moment and explain the research behind best mathematical practices that are used throughout the country in math classrooms.  Currently, Colorado is one of the lowest performing states around the country with it comes to Math Education. With a state proficiency level of 39% compared to reading and writing at 72%.  So after many years teaching in the traditional classroom I received extensive professional development around my math instruction and am proud to say just after one year of implementing these strategies my classroom proficiency level increased 12% which is equal to 3 grade levels.

The structure of the class is based on the Workshop model. It starts with the Goal for the day. This is designed to help students direct and connect their learning for the day. This is also a time for me to connect the new learning to what we’ve already learned in previous classes.

Then it’s a Skills practice time. This is one to three questions that students work on in their teams. These questions can vary from review, to opening interest in upcoming material.  We then go over these questions to solidify understanding.

Then I do 15-20 minutes of lecture called the Opening. This is where I activate interest in the applications of the math being learned. During this time I write out directions, instructions and algorithmic techniques to answer the types of questions they will be asked in the work times of class.

     After, I do the opening for the lesson students sit in their groups (based off of their data) and start their work time.  Work time is the time that students start working on the assigned task for the day.  At this point I am utilize the best practice of Gradual Release of Responsibility. Expectations during work time are that every student in the group is working on the same problem and if the group is struggling with the problem they first look back at their notes from the day or the day before. There are also current examples from the opening on the whiteboards and anchor posters on the walls to refer to for help. If they are still stuck then they have their book to find examples of solutions to problems just like the problems they are working on.  If they are still stuck they try and help each other.  If they are still stuck, the entire group reaches out to me with the questions they have.  I try to not give students answers but to scaffold up with questions that can lead students to the correct answer for themselves.  After, a few suggestions I walk away and continue monitoring the other groups. This creates a gradual release of responsibility from me being the holder of knowledge to them having the skills to answer their own questions, regardless of the content. 

Students then take turns presenting their solutions to the class in what is called the Closing. This is an opportunity for students to reinforce their learning through discussion, debate and teaching their fellow students. 

We then take a short 1 or 2 question quiz to check understanding from the day. I quickly grade these quizzes and give students their scores so they know how they did. If a student was not successful then I return their quiz to them so they may fix it. This is either by asking me, or with their team.

Upon finishing students begin their homework, or continue working through the work time problems. Again, this is a group driven work time for support and discussion of problems. 

This can be a frustrating process for students as not all teachers teach this way.  Some students have learned to be fed the answers and not necessarily have to think on their own, or with a team. I am very passionate about my Algebra 1 students coming out of my class room with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in any math class or life in general as problem solvers.

I am also available outside of class for extra help. This is one-on-one, more directly oriented around the skills or concepts that students don't understand. Students are more than welcome and encouraged to come and find me in office hours or off blocks for extra assistance. There are also math teachers available on the study deck throughout the week.

Also, all assignments can be redone and submitted for full credit.

I hope this helps in understanding my demeanor in class and know that every student’s success is very important to me, as is your commitment to your student.




My family at Fish Creek Falls, Steamboat
Schedule In Room A218               Off Blocks (for help)             
 Per.1,2 & 8  Geo. Principles            Block 3,4,  B209  (Math office)   
  Per. 5,6 Intermediate Algebra          Block 7  A218 
                   ~Study deck Block 3 on Tuesdays

Chess & Go Club
Chess & Go Club

Chess & Go Club Charter


Chess Club Charter

I.                   MEETING TIME

a.       Chess Club will meet on Tuesdays from 3:15 pm to 4:45 pm

II.                RANKINGS

a.       All players in chess club shall participate in a ladder

                                                              i.      At the beginning of each year of Chess Club, a tournament shall be held to determine initial ladder placement

                                                            ii.      Following the initial tournament, any player may challenge the only the player directly above them on the ladder. This person may not refuse the challenge unless already playing a game.

                                                          iii.      If any player is absent from a meeting, they shall be demoted one place on the ladder, subject to the discretion of the Advisor

b.      At tournaments, team members shall be decided by ladder ranking

                                                              i.      The Advisor reserves the right to deny any player a spot on the tournament team as a result of absence.

                                                            ii.      The first four players on the ladder shall play first board, second board, third board, and fourth board in order of rank. If for any reason a player cannot play a certain board, the person immediately following them on the ladder shall take that board.

                                                          iii.      Any player may travel to a tournament to play unranked games

III.             AWARDS

a.       Pins and bars shall be awarded based on attendance and performance

                                                              i.      Any member of Chess Club that has two initial years worth of attendance will pin.+



a.       At the beginning of every meeting, the Advisor shall take attendance and communicate significant communications

b.      At the Advisor’s discretion, the Chess Club may hold a special activity.

c.       At any time there is no special activity, members of the Chess Club may play each other at any time.


a.       Ladder games shall use the following ruleset:

                                                              i.      All games shall be played with “touch move” and “touch take” rules unless an approved chess clock is used.

                                                            ii.      If an approved chess clock is used, “clock move” moves must be observed.

                                                          iii.      Games shall be played in G20






I hereby accept the rules of the Chess Club in their entirety:


Student Name___________________________________________


Student Signature _________________________________________



I have read the rules of the Chess Club, and hereby permit my child to participate in the Chess Club:


Parent Name__________________________________________


Parent Signature__________________________________________