My name is Ralph Veigel and I am your child’s mathematics teacher. I am writing to provide you with some background information on my class and to ask for your help.
The former president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Lee V. Stiff, stated, “If you can’t explain it, then you don’t understand it.” Mathematics was never meant to be the rote memorization of algorithms. To understand mathematics on a conceptual level requires open communication between the instructor and students. During this course, your sons/daughters will be expected to communicate, both written and orally, their understanding of mathematics. They should never be embarrassed to raise their hands if they are unclear about the presentation of any math topic. I encourage them to participate at all times. There is typically more than one way to solve any problem and I encourage them to share their approach to problem-solving with the entire class. Often, they will learn as much from another student’s interpretation of a problem as from my explanation. Most importantly, they should remember that mistakes are simply an opportunity for learning.
The learning of mathematics requires daily practice. Students will typically have 30-40 minutes of homework each night. Homework is due the following day. Homework may be checked for completion (worked out solutions, not answers) or assessed by means of periodic "Homework Quizzes". These assessments are quick 2-3 question quizzes that gauge the students' grasp of the homework material. These quizzes will occur only after students have had the opportunity to go over the material in class, typically the day after the homework is due (Note: these may be announced or not). If your child is sick or misses classes for another activity, it is their responsibility to make up the work in the required time period as described in the student handbook.
If your child is struggling with the course material, there are many options available. A copy of “Getting Help in Math” is available under "Class Information" on my website. Read this over with them so, if you see them struggling, you can encourage them to seek help.
I strongly encourage you to use Skyward (Accessible through the GV Website) to regularly check your child’s progress.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. The best way (by far) is to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to respond—either by e-mail or phone—within a day.