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Mrs. O'Connell (Mrs. O)

Grade 8/Math

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Welcome to my Math and Social Studies 8 Page! 


Mrs. O Thoughts......

The other day I was helping a student who said to me, "Thank you for helping, I guess I am just not a math person.   No one in my family is a Math person."    I thought a lot about that.   What is a Math person?     Is it someone who is quick at solving?  Is that what people think is a "Math Person?" Or is it someone who looks at a problem and immediately knows what to do?   If those things are true, we are the ones who need to change our thinking!    The real world needs all kinds of MATH People!!!    


What kind of mathematical thinker is your child?  I think everyone needs to recognize that we are ALL math people!    It is just that we approach problems with different skills.  

Which is your child?  

 Strategist?       Helper?    Researcher?   Planner?    Analyzer?    Creative Thinker? 

The one who makes sense of the problem?     Questioner?    

Math needs ALL kinds of people who bring different skills to the table and that is what we are ALL ABOUT AT OLV!!!



Our Math classes for Grades 5,6,and 7 are using a math series through IReady.    It is a much different approach to math that poses some challenging problems and math discussions.  The students are doing great work!   One of the things that everyone needs to be successful are knowledge of math facts.   Here are some links to practice! 




There are many free sites online with practice for all kinds of math skills including 

Khan Academy

Do you know who needs Math?  

Welcome to my OLV page.   My teaching career spans 45 years for the Diocese of Buffalo.  I love teaching at Our Lady of Victory School.   We have wonderful students and families here, who have a love of learning.   As the Middle School Math Teacher,  Grades 5 through Algebra 1, I have had the great joy of working with so many students, all who learn a little bit differently than each other, and that is the best part of all.  We all learn from each other, from mistakes we make and things we do correctly.    


A few years ago, I was offered an opportunity to take a class in Jo Boaler's (professor at Stanford University) class on Mathematical Mindset.  Finally, some things I had always believed were confirmed:

1. All Students Can Achieve at High Levels

We can ALL learn.  We do not all process information the same, and students need to be able work through things in order to discover how they think about Math.  

2. Students’ Ideas About Their Ability Determine Their Learning Pathways and Math Achievement

Students need to believe that they can achieve the goals they have for themselves. 

3. Mistakes and Struggle are Extremely Important for Learning

I love when people make mistakes!  It gives us all a chance to talk about the work, to study it more in depth.  It helps everyone to deepen their learning.  Mistakes help your brain grow new pathways.   Mistakes are WELCOMED in our math classes.

4. Mathematics Should Be Dissociated from Speed

Accuracy is the most important aspect of our work.   Speed is not.  After all, do you want a speedy doctor, or pharmacist, or engineer, or one who takes the time to analyze data, to really process what the numbers mean?  

5. Teachers’ Messages are Hugely Powerful

PS and so are Parents!!  

Teachers are the keepers of DREAMS.  I believe in all my students.   I want them to achieve their dreams, and help them in any way I can.   

What can you do to help your child with Math? 

Let your child help with everyday math tasks!   Painting a room?  Let them help you figure out how much paint is needed.    Discount at the store?  Let them figure out how much money is saved?  Cooking only half or double a recipe?  Perfect Math practice!  Moving furniture?  Let them draw a grid of the new arrangement.   

Teach them to measure and use a ruler.    Let them solve every day math problems, like how much change will they get from money at the grocery store.    Let them save money and learn to count it.   

Always try to show a positive attitude toward Math and show them that skills they learn today will help them in so many things in their every day lives!  


Social Studies Grade 8 

We are currently learning about WWI.    Our students are ecnouraged to look at primary resources, photos, diaries, and first hand accounts of events.   They are encouraged to formulate their own opinions about historical events.


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