GRADE 6 MATHEMATICS
The focus of the sixth grade curriculum at the beginning of the year is on displaying data, fractions and decimals, their operations and their algebraic representations. Students will build their understanding of these concepts and learn to apply their skills to problem-solving situations and use various estimation techniques to check reasonableness. Later, we will use these skills to discover patterns and understand proportional relationships, perform data analysis and statistics, and end the year studying geometry and measurement. With a significant focus on problem solving throughout the year, students are required to solve several “Problems of the Week” each trimester (POW). The POW write-up follows a specific format and involves a considerable amount of writing about math and the problem solving process. They are also introduced to Google Sketch Up, which they will use to create living spaces.
Sixth grade is the first year that math is split into groups based on ability. The 3 levels are developing, secure, and advanced. The developing section allows for extra time for continual practice of skills and concepts, whereas the secure section follows a faster pace and provides more challenging problems. Students in the developing section will follow the College Preparatory Mathematics program, which helps students learn through the use of cooperative groups and team problem solving. Students in the secure math section will focus on understanding proportional relationships and use number properties to perform calculations mentally. We will use different methods for collecting, organizing and displaying data through graphing and various statistical means. Over the course of the year, we will practice measurement and geometry.
The advanced section is for students who have mastered basic concepts in the secure curriculum. Students in the advanced math section will focus on using variables to represent numbers in problem solving. They will practice translating words into expressions and equations and use number properties to evaluate them. Students will also begin to master operations with integers and graph linear equations. We will delve into probability including working with combinations and permutations.
In addition to the current curriculum, students will spend time completing mini-projects that incorporate multiple concepts in one activity. These may include projects such as Create a Floor Plan, Design a Quilt, and Budgeting for Vacation. Students will spend class time investigating these concepts using fun activities. The Create a Floor Plan project is done in two parts, with the second culminating in a trip to Jordan’s Furniture to design a living room on a budget.
Textbook and Web Resources
Secure and Advanced: McDougal Littell Math, Course 2. Larson, Boswell, Kanold, and Stiff, 2007.
Online text and resources at Classzone.com.
Developing: College Preparatory Math
Online text and resources at CPM.org.