Welcome to Mr. Petersen's Math
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The school year is going by incredibly fast and we are already done with the first week of the fourth quarter.  AIMS testing is right around the corner.  It will take place Tuesday - Friday,  April 8,9,10, and 11.

Parents, I hope that your student completed the Spring Break math take-home test during their break.  It is an AIMS practice test that helps the students be as prepared as possible for AIMS.  It's also a great way to get 100 points and "pump up" their 4th quarter grades.

I put together an extensive list of geometry definitions and formulas that will help the students do well on upcoming vocabulary quizzes and the AIMS.  Please remind them to take a look at my web page notes.
Thanks again for your support at home!


This is the first year that the Common Core Standards are "officially" in place, but you can relax (a little :-) because the math department started to implement these new standards last year.  We will continue the process this year and want all students and parents to know that by working together, we will have another year of tremendous success.

If you would like to view the Common Core Standards for yourself, just click on the link listed below and select the standards you would like to view.     http://www.azed.gov/azcommoncore/mathstandards/

In addition, students and parents should read all of the information and helpful hints below to help prepare yourself for the new school year.

Please check your student's homework every night to be sure they are completing their assignments.  In addition, remind them that they must show every step of the work and complete their 're-dos' in order to receive credit.  Showing ALL of the work and correcting their errors will help your students to fully understand the math concepts and also be able to retain the information and procedures. 
Thanks for your help "on the home front"

Parents, if you were not able to attend the DSMS OPEN HOUSE, please follow the directions in red to find my Open House informational videos.
All parents should watch my 2013-14 School Year Informational Videos as soon as possible.  You need to go to 'You Tube' and type "TheAlgebramachoman" in the search box in order to access the TWO informational Open House videos.  These videos fully explain my homework and grading policies along with other information that all of my students and their parents need to know.  Please watch them so you know exactly what will be happening in advanced math at DSMS this year!
In addition, please take a look at the rest of this web page for some important information about my classes.                   THANKS!!!


1.)  Students need to make every effort to attend class every day.

2.)  Students need to complete their homework each and every day.

3.)  Students need to fix their homework mistakes by doing their "re-dos" each and every day.

4.)  Students need to read their notes, study the problem solving procedures, and memorize the vocabulary words each and every day.

5.)  Students need to spend adequate time in completing the review assignment and studying for the test, even if it is over a weekend.

6.)  Many students found that they improved their test scores when they did the review problems with a study buddy and took turns teaching each other how to do the problems.  When you explain what you have learned to someone else, it reinforces the knowledge in your own mind.

7.)  Students need to maintain an organized math notebook where they can save and easily find their homework, daily notes and vocabulary words.


1.)  A 3-Ring binder (notebook) specifically for math.  NO SPIRAL NOTEBOOKS!!

2.)  3-Hole loose leaf notebook paper.

3.)  Pencils (only work completed in pencil will be accepted).

4.)  Erasers

5.)  2 or 3 red pens for grading your work in class.


1.)  Parents need to check their student's homework, making sure that the student is always showing ALL OF THEIR WORK.

 2.)  Students need to ALWAYS take advantage of my "one extra day" homework re-do policy if they want to receive full credit for homework.  Students need to correct their homework mistakes in order to know how to do the problems correctly by test day.  All re-do problems need to be completed for students to receive full homework credit.  THIS MEANS STUDENTS WILL LOSE POINTS IF THEY DO NOT COMPLETE THEIR RE-DOS!

3.)  Students need to STUDY THE VOCABULARY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS regularly in order to learn the "language of math".  I will administer vocabulary quizzes from time to time and all students need to do their memorization each night if they want to get good scores on these quizzes.  I understand that this may be a new study habit for many of the students and it is a necessary one that will provide benefits in this class and future math classes as well.

 4.)  I highly recommend that each and every student meet with their study team or study buddy sometime each week.  The best way to review for a test is for the students to get together with their study buddies and take turns teaching each other how to do the review problems that I have assigned.  

People retain more of what they have learned if they practice teaching it to someone else.  Parents, please encourage your student to try this very effective study method so the students can get their algebra grades off to an excellent start this year.

 Thanks for your time and attention.  Remember parents, as your teammate I need your help "on the home front". 

Mr. Randy Petersen

Math Department Chairman

Desert Shadows Middle School



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Last Updated:1/5/2014

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