Room 408

Overview

Welcome to Room 608, Mr. Rhodewalt's math classroom at Rancho Mirage High School. I hope you the student will enjoy our classes and find them rewarding and challenging. If you don't already know that math is rewarding and challenging, let me know right away so we can talk about it. (It isn't always obvious to the teacher just what exactly you don't like about math.)

I use words, games, puzzles, LEGO bricks, music, and origami to explore mathematical ideas. I also use technology to join the three main stakeholders in each student's education (teacher, parent and student) as much as possible. These online resources are available to you:

  • This web site (homework, updated each morning)
  • Twitter and Facebook (homework, posted each evening)
  • Synergy StudentVue (your current grade)
  • ActiveGrade (your progress towards mastery of the standards skills)
  • Request to Reassess form (used for signing up to re-test on one of the standards skills)
  • My email address: brhodewalt@psusd.us (I check this repeatedly every day)
Important daily events: Each night's homework assignment is posted here each morning. See the links in the right margin. If you have questions, you can reach me by phone or by email.

Your first impression of my class may be that there are a lot of rules. Each of these has a purpose. The overall goal is to maximize the opportunity for learning. We are tasked by the school, the district, and the state with a large set of standards, and each semester my students and I feel as if there isn't enough time. This is why I can't afford to spend class time discussing missing materials, socializing, packing up early, etc. You will see that I'm available outside of class for all kinds of support.


About Standards-Based Grading

I use Standards-Based Grading in all my classes. Rather than focusing on a large chapter test at the end of a unit, we will be practicing about 30-40 individual skills each semester. We will be testing on these skills in small tests given every week or so. Each skill will be tested at least twice in class. Students who get a perfect 4 out of 4 points on a skill twice have officially mastered the skill and will be excused from testing on that skill again.

Students who want to improve their score on a skill can request a reassessment. Please read the fine print before you send me a request.

I will be available for reassessments any week day, during lunch or after school. Submit your request two school days before your requested appointment. This will give me time to look at your request and get back to you if there are any changes.

The fine print:

  • You may test on any one skill a maximum of once a week.
  • You may test on a maximum of two skills in one school day.
  • You may not test on a skill if it has been more than a month since the last time I
    asked you to test on that skill or since you last requested a reassessment.
  • I will not test you on a skill on the same day that you tutor with me.
  • If you want to reassess a particular skill more than twice, let’s meet and talk about
    your understanding of the skill beforehand.
  • You can reassess any skill until about a week before the end of the quarter. I will
    give you the exact date each quarter. (That’s just to allow me enough time to grade
    and enter all the scores in the gradebook.)
  • Watch out for days when we don’t have school. Clearly you can’t reassess those days.
  • I will not accept requests for reassessment after the Friday two weeks before the end of the semester.
  • I will accept a maximum of four requests for reassessment per school day. Requests submitted on the weekend will count as Monday requests.
  • Please understand that not all requests are granted the first time. I reject requests for vagueness, incompletion, misspellings (are you serious about this, or are you not?), and other reasons all the time. So, if you wait until the last possible day to submit a request to reassess, there is no guarantee that it will result in a reassessment. Do not wait until the last minute to take care of this.