COURSE SYLLABUS -- 6TH GRADE MATH

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1 Kellye Voigt Concepts & Processes COURSE SYLLABUS -- 6TH GRADE MATH Sixth grade math will create a firm foundation of pre-algebra skills and concepts that are necessary for mastery of algebraic thinking and higher-level math. Based on the Focal Points identified by the National Council on the Teaching Mathematics (NCTM), the sixth grade pre-algebra curriculum will be comprised of the following content areas: Developing fluency and understanding of multiplication and division of fractions and decimals Place-value patterns in multiplication and division and developing an understanding of scientific notation Developing a deep understanding of percentages and their relationship to decimals and fractions Developing fluency and understanding of ratio and rate Strengthening connections among multiplication, division, fractions, and ratios through problem solving and connectedness Writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations Exploring and understanding the equivalencies in fractions, decimals, and percents Developing the fundamentals of probability through the connections between fractions, decimals, and ratios Understanding and calculating surface area and volume of geometric shapes and solids Emphasis on mental math and fluency in mental computation Course Description This course is designed to follow a progression of skill and concept development that is recommended by the NCTM. Students will commence with a concrete, inquiry-based problem using manipulatives. They will work collaboratively to explore the concept and discuss strategies to solve the problem. Students will then be guided to extend their thinking with models of mathematical problems. After fluency is established in the modeling process, students will learn general algorithms for solving problems and practice their skills through a series of games and activities. Finally, assessment will occur to confirm fluency of skills.

2 Staircase of Developmental Mathematical Thinking Suggested by the NCTM Concrete, handson mathematical problem with a focus on problem-solving and collaboration Modeling problems with graphical representations Algorithmic and skill development for fluency Differentiation To accommodate the need for differentiation, a pre-assessment called the Orleans-Hanna assessment will be administered at the beginning of the course to ensure that students are placed in the appropriate math class. Quantitative data derived from this test will help the teacher and administration choose the class that best meets students needs and that the appropriate level of challenge is given. Within the pre-algebra classroom, a choice of assignments will be given during the skills practice segment of the class. With guidance from the teacher, students will determine and choose games/activities to make sure that they are appropriately challenged and developing skills according to their needs. Many homework assignments will be choicedriven as well. Instructional Design and Approach Students will not use a traditional textbook in class. They will receive handouts and homework assignments and keep them in a folder. A 3-subject spiral notebook will be used for students work with an area for warm-ups, guided notes, and games/activities. The warm-up section will review skills taught earlier in the unit but will also include some problem-solving challenges. Answers will be explicitly taught at the end of the warm-up time. Homework will be reviewed after the warm-up section, and questions will be addressed to deepen students understanding and to allow the teacher to look for misunderstanding as well. A Mathercise section of class will follow with a goal toward fluency in mental computation. Strategies will be taught to increase students ability and speed in mental computation. Mathercise challenges will last between 5-10 minutes a day.

3 The bulk of the lesson will then be addressed and administered, depending on the place of progression within the unit. Mondays and Tuesdays will typically introduce new content and problems with manipulatives and collaborative learning. Tuesdays and Wednesdays will introduce the modeling process. Wednesdays and Thursdays will be used for algorithmic review and skill practice. Finally, Fridays will be assessments. Daily homework will be assigned and assessed in class. A study guide will accompany students on Wednesdays and reviewed on Thursdays before Friday s assessment. After every test, a piece of reflective writing will go into the notebook to review back on the content and address concerns, celebrate successes, and ruminate on their mathematical development. **Note: Teacher may elect to test weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the unit and the needs of the students. Website Homework assignments, a calendar, update on class progression, and many resources will be available on the teacher s website. Handouts, notes, sample quizzes, lectures, videos, and other material will be available and will complement the class. This website will be an invaluable resource, so please use it! No password is required for this Wikispaces site. Web address: Calculator Use A calculator will be used to deepen students understanding of math, but it will not be used in place of computation. Students will be advised by the teacher when to use a calculator. The calculator selected for class is the TI30XIIS from Texas Instruments. It is widely available at stores and an inexpensive calculator option. Materials 2 3-subject spiral notebooks (one for first semester, the other for second semester) TI30XIIS calculator 2 pocket, pronged folder Pencil pouch with glue sticks, scissors, pencils, colored pencils, manual pencil sharpener **Please note that all work completed in mathematics must be completed in pencil. Student Expectations Be prepared for class.

4 Listen when others are talking. Participate in class discussions and group activities & participate properly. Follow directions, rules, and safety procedures. Respect your classmates, the class materials, yourself, and the teacher (including substitutes!). Do your best work. Follow class rules for student jobs during group time. Grading Policy The following is the grade breakdown for this class: 50% Tests & projects 20% Skill Games/Activity practices 15% Notebook checks (including warm-ups) 15% Homework Students have one week after an excused absence to turn in a missed assignment without incurring a penalty. Unexcused late assignments will not be accepted. The lowest homework assignment will be dropped each 9 weeks. Students have the responsibility to make arrangements with the teacher for any missed tests/projects. Habits of Mind Persisting: STICK TO IT! There may not be another habit of mind that is more important in math. PERSIST! Whether it is a struggle with a mathematical concept or practice with an algorithm, persistence is the key. Stay with it, ask questions, inquire, be diligent. It s worth it! Questioning and problem posing: HOW DO YOU KNOW? Questions are essential to math, and they are the foundation for developing a deep mathematical understanding. Probe, investigate, explore. Never be afraid to ask questions, and never, ever forget: A wrong answer to a question can be more valuable than a right answer. Thomas Edison said, We now have found 1,000 ways not to build a light bulb. He found the right answer, too! **Please note: This syllabus is a working document. I may need to amend information contained herein. There will be a copy of it on my website. In case of a change, I will write an announcement on my website, detailing any changes and the needs for the change.

5 CUT ON THIS LINE AND RETURN BOTTOM PORTION TO TEACHER I have read the following syllabus and know what to expect from this class. I understand that a working copy of this syllabus is online via the school website. Printed Parent Name and Signature Date Printed Student Name and Signature Date

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