How can we help?

Updated

Hi, folks!

I'm Charlie from the US math team. I've always loved teaching middle school math because it's so fundamental to the day-to-day mathematical reasoning that we use in our home lives. Ratios are everywhere, whether we're looking for a fuel-efficient travel route or tweaking the proportions in a recipe so the garlic flavor is strong enough for one family member and weak enough for another. So I'm excited that we got to renew our 6th grade math materials this year.

Are you visiting the 6th grade math course for the first time? Here's what you can look forward to.

• Ratios, rates, and percentages all tell us about how two values relate to each other. They show up everywhere, from deciding which juice includes the least filler per serving to finding what percent of voters support a suggested law. Watch for familiar representations, like fraction models and number lines, to help you relate what you already know about fractions and number patterns to these new concepts.

• Can you take apart and combine shapes to form new ones? If so, you're ready to take measurement of 2D and 3D figures to a whole new level. If we measure volume with unit cubes, what do we do when the side lengths are smaller than a unit long? How much fabric does it take to cover a tent?

• If we start at zero, we can keep counting upwards forever. Did you know that we can count backwards from zero, too? Learn to use negative numbers to represent changes in the opposite direction, like when it's colder than zero degrees or when you dive below sea level.

Are you a teacher who's used our 6th grade math course before? Here's what's changed.

• We revisited major 6th grade topics, especially developing ratio and percentage reasoning and working with negative numbers, to address the areas that the students found most challenging. We've provided new scaffolds and showed connections between different representations. We used common student responses to develop incorrectly worked example items, giving students a safe opportunity to recognize mistakes as a normal part of being a mathematician and to learn from them.

• To encourage mastery and retention of the content, we've arranged the content in shorter, spiraling units. For example, the students work with the relationship between fraction multiplication and division early in the course, and they continue to reinforce it later, such as in one-step equations or in finding missing measurements when given the area of a figure.

• We want to set up students to successfully show what they've learned mathematically, without barriers. So we've given special attention to reading levels and to usability on an assortment of devices that classrooms use.

We hope that you'll find joy in the patterns and problem solving that await you in our revised 6th grade math course. Please let us know what you think below.

Happy Learning,

Charlie