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The end of the school year brings end of the quarter tests and 4th quarter grades.  I hope all of students I had a chance to teach learned a great deal and by the looks of the fourth quarter grades, they really did.  Most students can be proud of the scores they achieved.

As the students prepare to move on I would like to reassert how important it is to have excellent study habits and a consistent work ethic.  Success depends as much on attitude as it does on aptitude.  I commend the students who worked hard, sometimes harder than they wanted to, and achieved great success in my class.  Keep up the excellent work!

To the students who fell short of their goals this year, I would like to offer my encouragement.  The great thing about being young is that there is plenty of time to reinvent yourself and make the necessary changes so you can realize the successes that you desire.  Please understand that teachers are there to inform you, coach you, and help you on your educational journey.  Take advantage of their knowledge and their willingness to help you gain the skills you need for success.

Some of the students who did not work up to their potential earned grades that were low enough to necessitate a change in their math class placement for the 2016-17 school year.  If your student was reassigned to a different level math class for the 2016-17 school year, it was done in order for the student to be placed in a math class that is the appropriate level and matches the student’s current effort and ability.  A return to the Honors Math program may be possible in the future (such as moving to Honors Geometry as a Sophomore after an excellent year in Freshman Algebra) but to accomplish this, a change in study habits will need to occur.  If this is the case for your student, please continue to encourage them and monitor their progress.

Best of luck to all of you and have a fun and safe summer vacation!

Mr. Petersen (aka The Math Ninja)






     I want to let you know my homework policy and also let you know what your students need to do in order to be prepared for future math classes.

     First, students need to consistently complete their homework in order to get the necessary practice to master math.  Math does not just involve learning math topics.  Math also involves learning problem solving techniques and procedures as well as math vocabulary and their definitions.  In other words, students need to learn the ideas of math, the skills of math, and the language of math in order to be successful, especially in advanced math classes.  This means that students need to practice (aka-do their homework) EVERY DAY.

     That brings me to my homework policy.  I assign homework nearly every day and I want my students to give their best effort when completing homework, which includes showing their work.  I do consider homework to be practice though, so I give my students the answers to their homework assignments as well as work out many problems with them in class.  They are allowed to work along with me, fixing their mistakes as we work together.  If they have any additional mistakes, I allow them a second evening to fix their mistakes and show the correct work.  Correcting their errors is essential so the students learn from their mistakes and learn how to do the problems correctly BEFORE the test. The homework assignments that are collected will be handed in after the students have had the chance to fix their mistakes.

For example, the lesson 11.1 homework in the 7th Grade Advanced classes is scheduled for Mon., March 21.  I expect the students to do their best and complete the homework that night.  We will grade the 11.1 homework on Tues., March 22 and I will give all of the answers to the students.  I will also help them finish the problems that were giving them difficulty.  On Tuesday night the students will fix the problems that were wrong (along with completing the new homework assigned on Tuesday).  They will hand in their 11.1 homework on Wed. March 23.  The students will need to have the homework finished and they will need to have all of their mistakes fixed with the correct work showing.                                                                                                                                 

     This means that the students have 2 days and 2 evenings to complete and correct each homework assignment.  They will be given the answers.  They will receive help so they have the opportunity to understand even the tough problems.  All students should receive 100% on every homework assignment.  The only reasons a student would lose points on homework would be:


1.    They didn’t do the homework.

2.    They didn’t show their work and just wrote down answers.

3.    They forgot to hand it in.

4.    They didn’t fix their mistakes and/or didn’t show the correct work.


     I believe this is a very generous homework policy that encourages students to get the necessary practice, encourages them to get help when necessary, teaches them the importance of improving their skills by learning from their mistakes, and motivates them to build the study habits that will serve them well in high school and beyond.  I would like to ask for your help by checking your student’s work to make sure they are consistently completing their homework AND showing their work too.  Hopefully the district will give me access to Infinite Campus by the end of the week, so please check your student’s grades online at least once per week to see if your student has any missing or incomplete assignments.  Your help at home is invaluable.

     Thanks in advance for your support and please email any questions you may have to me at: rpetersen@pvschools.net


Mr. Petersen





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Last Updated:5/21/2016

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