Ms. Murphy's Math Classes

Welcome to Ms. Murphy's classroom website! Follow the links on this page to contact me, or to access the document manager containing schedules and various documents, the question and answer link, links to homework help & tutoring sites, and homework assignments listed by class. Please let me know if you don't find what you are looking for. Every student can be successful in math!

Contact

Call the main office at 617-629-5250, Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM or email Ms. Murphy at pmurphy-sheehy@k12.somerville.ma.us. Please be sure to indicate your name and the student's name. I welcome your communication and the opportunity to get to know you and your child better.

The Practice of Statistics companion website

Algebra 2 companion website

Questions and Answers

What is algebra about and why should we study it?

Algebra is the study of numbers, operations, variables, and the relations between them, all working with symbols. Learning algebra enables a student to discover unknown quantities and relationships, both in high school and college and beyond. Math aside, succeeding at algebra takes a perseverance and thoughtfulness beneficial to all areas of life.

What is geometry about and why should we study it?

Geometry is the study of the shapes contained in space. We study geometry to understand the relationship of structures around us and to develop our ability to think logically.

Where is algebra and geometry used?

Solving for unknown quantities and establishing relationships between variables are used in all kinds of fields including business, engineering, science, computers, medicine, building, architecture, cooking and all sorts of areas where unknown quantities exist. Geometry is used in any field where the structure or shapes of things are important: engineering, architecture, and other fields. Also, the logical aspects of geometry can help students learn to think critically which will benefit them in all fields.

What should I do if I start to fall behind or struggle with the material?

Address the problem right away. Ask me about tutoring done by me or others at the high school or outside of the school. Also, there are a number of websites that can be very helpful in teaching math concepts such as www.hotmath.com, www.purplemath.com, www.sparknotes.com, www.phschool.com/atschool/ph_algebra/program_page.html, or www.mathvids.com . There are additional sites listed under the "Useful Links" category on the left as you first begin Ms. Murphy's webpage. Doing nothing or not enough to fix the problem of poor understanding or grades may result in failure of the class.

What happens if I fail the class?

If you fail for the year then you **MAY** be recommended for summer school where you can make up the failure. If the failure is not made up then students will need to take their class again either the next year or the following year. Don't let this happen to you!

How many years of math do I need to take?

Vocational students are required to take (and pass) two years of math. Non-vocational students are required to take three years, but anyone interested in going to a 4 year college should seriously consider four years of math. Students who reach "Needs Improvement" on MCAS may need to take additional math classes.

How will the class be graded?

Generally speaking, the following grading system will be used.
Homework - 20%
Portfolio - 10%
Classwork - 15%
Test and Quizzes - 55%
Midterm Exam (2nd quarter) - 25%
Final Exam (4th quarter) - 25%
(Tests and Quizzes drop to 30% during 2nd and 4th quarter)

Is there tutoring available outside the school?

Yes, here are a few sites that I know of - let me know if you learn of more!

A Plus Tutors Inc
617-308-9619 14 Mcgrath Hwy, Somerville, MA 02143

Huntington Learning Ctr
www.huntingtonlearning.com
617-354-8008 435 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

What about up-to-date progress reports for my child?

A summary of your child's progress can be generated at any time upon request. At the same time that the official progress reports and report cards are processed, I always hand students a detailed summary that says how they are doing in each of the categories of homework, classwork, portfolio, and test & quizzes. This is for their information, and their parents. Let me know if you do not see this come home.

How do I know what period my child has math in?

If your child has math with me on A Day during block 1 then they are in my Geometry Honors class during Period 1. If they have math during block 2 on A Day, then they are in my Algebra 1 class during Period 2. If they have math with me on A Day during block 3 then they are in my Algebra IA class during Period 3. If they have math during block 5 on A Day, then they are in my Algebra IA class during Period 5. Finally, if they have math with me on B Day during block 4 then they are in my Algebra I class during Period 6.

How can I help my child with math homework?

First step – your child should read the section in the text that is applicable. Ask your child to show you his or her notes from class that day. Look together for a problem similar to the homework. (If you cannot find an example in the notes, look in the textbook.)

Ask your child to show you how that problem was done. Write a short description of each step.

Go back to the problem in the homework. Ask “How is this different from the problem you just showed me?” Discuss which steps (from the list you wrote down) will be the same, and which will be different.

Have your child write down the homework problems. Read each step (from the written list) and have your child do that step.

Answers to odd-numbered problems are at the back of the book and should be used to check the answers after your child has tried the problem.

Useful Links

A+ Math Interactive educational math activities including math games, worksheets, flashcards and more.

AAA Math AAA Math features a comprehensive set of interactive arithmetic lessons.

Algebasics This is a terrific free site which explains a lot of the concepts that I talk about every day to students.

Bright Storm This is another website with math content explained using videos.

Homework Video Tutors - Pearson This site of the textbook company Pearson has a lot of helpful links for students of Algebra I and other math classes.

Khan Academy This is a great website with videos and exercises explaining many math concepts.

Math Homework Help This is one of many sites to go to get help with your math homework.

Math Textbook Answers This site provides answers and explanations to the odd problems from many math texts.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics This is a national math teacher association site with information for teachers, parents, and students.

Pearson Sign In Use the following generic logon and password to use resources available for Geometry, Algebra 1, or Algebra 2: logon: CommonCore2012@demouser and password: pearsonmath@demopass.

Web Math Composed of forms to fill-in and then returns analysis of a problem and, when possible, provides a step-by-step solution.

X2 Click here to access a student's electronic file at SHS including their transcript, a list of assignments, and current grade. A logon and password is required.