Category Archives: Course 1 (6th Grade Math)

Ethan Hall, teacher and web entrepreneur from Israel, emailed me this morning asking me to check out his visual patterns generator on There’s a lot of cool graphing tools other than the VP generator. I’m kinda blown away. Go play! Go do math!

Also posted in Algebra, General, Geometry, Math 8, Problem Solving | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

Dividing Fractions

My 6th graders have been working with dividing fractions for the last two weeks. We explore these four ways, in this order: Number line Rectangles — I wrote about this here. Dividing by one Common denominator It’s completely intentional that we work with the number line and rectangles first. I want my kids to see the answer and that it should […]

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The Shoe Sale

(On a side note, I’m not sure what I love more, my left foot or Google Classroom.) This problem is from Peter Liljedahl’s site. The Shoe Sale You decide to take advantage of a buy 2 pair get 1 pair of equal or lesser value for free sale at the local shoe store. The problem is […]

Also posted in Math 8 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Responses

Grade 6 Rocks Visual Patterns

I’m always happy to hear how teachers use with their students. Michael Fenton shares how he uses the patterns with Desmos. And this. Alex Overwijk’s students use the big whiteboards. Whiteboard photos of that my S’s did yesterday….thanks — Alex Overwijk (@AlexOverwijk) March 7, 2015   Bridget Dunbar removes some figures, and […]

Also posted in Algebra, Math 8 | Tagged , , , | 13 Responses

Reversing the Question

Don Steward posted this on Sunday. Like Don, I really like this task and also think it has a certain Malcolm Swan je ne sais quoi about it. I showed only the top part to my 6th graders, and I gave them 2 minutes to write down what they notice. In addition to noticing the given information, the students also mentioned: […]

Also posted in Math 8 | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Responses

Four Square and Other Questions

One afternoon during recess I noticed that the Four Square grid at our school had been enlarged. Naturally I yelled out to the kids, “Hey kids, when did they make this larger? I wonder what percent increase this is. What do you think?” Taking a nanosecond pause from their game, they yelled out their estimates, anywhere from 50% to […]

Also posted in Geometry | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Responses

Multiplication: Finding the Greatest Product

From a set of 1 through 9 playing cards, I draw five cards and get cards showing 8, 4, 2, 7, and 5. I ask my 6th graders to make a 3-digit number and a 2-digit number that would yield the greatest product. I add, “But do not complete the multiplication — meaning do not figure out the […]

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math) | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Responses

Two Pizzas and Five People

I’m thinking a lot about how my 6th graders responded to a pre-lesson task in “Interpreting Multiplication and Division” — a lesson from Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP) . MAP lessons begin with a set structure: Before the lesson, students work individually on a task designed to reveal their current levels of understanding. You review their scripts and […]

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First Two Days of School

Tomorrow is the day. I’m excited to meet my new Math 6 students — all 71 of them, two classes of 36 and 35. I should know about half of the 33 Math 8 kids because I taught half of them in 6th grade. Then I get a big break in class size with just 9 students in […]

Also posted in Geometry, Math 8 | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Responses

Rates and Proportional Reasoning

I’ve been hyper focused on “rates” and “proportional reasoning” for a project I’m working on. Not that one has to look far and wide either, unit rates and proportions are all around us. We intentionally and inadvertently compare things. (HA! I didn’t even realize what this product was until I’m cropping and re-sizing them for this […]

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