SKILLS MASTERY               Name _______________________ Per ___

OVERVIEW:  One of the requirements of 7th grade math is that you need to be a master of basic math skills—computation with fractions, decimals, and percents—without using a calculator.  These skills are critically important to your success in math for the rest of your life.

By the end of the year, you will need to show mastery of these basic skills. In earlier days, in order to master a craft such as becoming a blacksmith or tailor, you had to first be an apprentice and then a journeyman.   As you work on these skills, you also will go from being an apprentice to a journeyman to a master by passing tests in each of the Skill Levels.



You will do single and double-digit long division with remainders.  You will do double-digit multiplication.  You will memorized single digit multiplication facts so that you can do 60 problems in 3 minutes. 

Adding/subtracting fractions

apprentice:  You will add fractions with the same denominators.  You will simplify simple fractions. You will add simple fractions with different denominators.  You will change simple improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice-versa.

journeyman:  You will extend the skills from your apprenticeship to more difficult numbers.  You will add mixed numbers without changing them to improper fractions. You will subtract mixed numbers without changing them to improper fractions.

Multiplying and dividing fractions

apprentice:  You will multiply and reduce simple fractions. You will divide and reduce simple fractions.

journeyman: You will extend the skills from your apprenticeship to more difficult numbers.  You will multiply and divide mixed numbers. You will reduce multiplication problems on the diagonal before multiplying. 

Adding and subtracting decimals

apprentice and journeyman:  You will add and subtract decimals.  You will convert decimals into fractions.

Multiplying and dividing decimals

apprentice:  You will multiply and divide powers of ten by moving the decimal point.   You will convert fractions whose denominator is a power of 10 into a decimal.  You will multiply simple decimals.  You will divide decimals by whole numbers, adding zeros to the end until you get to the approriate place value. 

journeyman: You will extend the skills from your apprenticeship to more difficult numbers.  You will divide decimals by decimals. You will convert fractions to decimals using division. 


apprentice:  You will memorize common percents and fractions, such as 1/20 is 5%.   You will convert any percent to a decimal, and any decimal to a percent.  You will find the percent of a number for simple percents, such as 20%.

journeyman: You will extend the skills from your apprenticeship to more difficult numbers.  You will find the percent of any number for any percent.  You will answer questions such as 3 is 8% of what number?.  You will answer questions such as 3 is what percent of 37.5? 


Skills Master:  Your goal is to pass a test for each of the Skill Level. Once you have passed the Journeyman test for each Skill Level and passed the Skills Mastery Test, you have become a Skills Master.  A Skills Master doesnt need to do any more skills work in 7th grade.   It is REQUIRED that you become a Skills Master by the end of the year. 

Skill packets:  Each Skill Level has an associated skill packet which you will get, which is also online.  You can chose to complete the Skill Levels in any order (but you must complete the apprentices before you start the journeyman skills).  The skill packets are available online on my web site.

Weekly Skill Level evidence:  Part of your weekly homework will be to turn in evidence of Skill Level work on the first day of every week (usually Monday).  The evidence you turn in depends on the Skill Level and is listed in the skill packet.   Skill evidence homework must be done without using a calculator.

Skill Level tests:  When you feel you have learned the skills required by the Skill Level, you should ask me about taking the Skill Level test for that skill.  Skill Level tests can be done with me afterschool or during lab.  They can also be done with a parent or another teacher, who will need to certify that you took the test on your own without any help or the use of a calculator.  Once you take the Skill Level test, turn it in to me for checking. There is no penalty to taking a Skill Level test and not passing it.  It just means you need to continue working on that skill until you pass. 

Skills Mastery Test :  After you have passed all the Skill Level tests,  you will then need to take a Skills Mastery Test, which shows that you remember all the skills.  This test is pass/fail, and you can take it as many times as you want with no penalty.  The Skills Mastery Test MUST be taken with me after school or during lab. 

Help with Skill Levels: I will not be teaching skills basic math skills during the regular math class. If you need help with your Skill Level, you will need to either come see me after school or get help from a friend or parent.  You can also use the videos on Khan Academy or other web resources to learn these skills. Watching videos does NOT count as practice for skill evidence.

Skills Mastery Assessment:  At the beginning of the year, everyone will take Skills Mastery Assessment in class.  This assessment does NOT count as part of your grade, but is used to find out what you skills you have already mastered. 

Grading: Part of your math grade depends on your Skill Mastery work.  For the first three quarters, your grade is based on your progress (unless you are already a Skills Master) —

      you turned in your skill evidence weekly

      you have completed the required skill level tests for that quarter

o   Q1:  Math facts, pre-skills, and TWO addiional tests beyond the ones you passed in the pre-assessment

o   Q2:  All apprentice tests must be complete. In addition, you may need to complete one or two journeyman tests. 

o   Q3: All journeyman tests

o   Q4:  Mastery test by 4th quarter midterm

      if you passed all your Skill Level tests in a previous term, you must pass the Skills Mastery Test by the end of the quarter

In the last quarter, your skill grade will be based on whether or not you have become a Skills Master by the end of the year. Remember, it is REQUIRED that everyone become a Skills Master. 


      Weekly skill level evidence is turned in at the beginning of the week

      You must pass the required number of skill level tests by the end of the quarter (depends on the quarter), and pass the mastery test by the middle of the 4th quarter


SKILLS MASTERY CHECKLIST   Name _______________________ Per ___

Please keep track of your tests that you need to take!




Math facts




Adding/subtracting fractions APPRENTICE


Multiplying/dividing fractions APPRENTICE


Adding/subtracting decimals


Multiplying/dividing decimals APPRENTICE




Adding/subtracting fractions JOURNEYMAN


Multiplying/dividing fractions JOURNEYMAN


Multiplying/dividing decimals JOURNEYMAN








____________________________ (name) has passed the Skill Mastery Test


and is a Math Basic Skills Master. 



Signed:  _____________________________ (teacher) ,  Date ______________