Category Archives: Course 1 (6th Grade Math)

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 […]

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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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Discount and Sales Tax

Instead of doing the above exercises in our textbook, I had my 6th graders do this: Shopping Contest at Target Let’s pretend Target has a contest. The contest is for shoppers to find merchandise from their online store. Contest rules You must choose at least 10 different items. The items must come from at least 5 […]

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Prices, Proportions, Percents

I was in Garden Grove with my son on Sunday, and he insisted that I try this smoothie place called Tastea. With Jamba Juice and Blenders and all the other juice bars around town, I was skeptical that this joint’s concoctions would be anything different. He ordered a taro milk tea and I got a Thai […]

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Hotel Snap

[NCTM Illuminations has my blessings and thanks to re-write and feature this lesson on their site.] Andrew Stadel and I recently presented this task at the 2013 CMC‘s North and South Conferences. The Challenge As a team, build a hotel that yields the highest profit [score]. Rules and guidelines for building the hotel Each cube represents a […]

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Fraction Division via Rectangles

I appreciate Christopher Danielson’s post on common numerator fraction division because it’s important to examine how various algorithms work and how we can help our students become more flexible with their thinking. It’s not surprising that I teach fraction division using rectangles, and I really believe the kids seem to grasp it better because it’s visual. I’ll start with this problem: 3/4 […]

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Sleep On It

This lesson mattress_sizes1 is the result of my spending 4 nights sleeping on a really nice bed wrapped under thousand-thread-count sheets! Part 1: The Mattresses I asked the kids to guess how the size of the little rectangles on paper compare to the real mattresses. (It’s 2% of actual.) We ignored the thickness. Then I asked them what the scale […]

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Smallest and Largest

Most of my 6th graders struggled with smallest_and_largest today. Only 4 of 36 students scored 8 out of 8 on it. I offered no help on this except my reading the instructions to them and reiterating that for each operation, the two numbers must be different. I retyped this task from the Noyce Foundation. If you teach 6th […]

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One Rod Tall

I’ve written before about reading books to my kids and following up with an activity. I read the poem one_inch_tall to my 6th graders as we’re studying ratios and proportions. One Inch Tall by Shel Silverstein If you were only one inch tall, you’d ride a worm to school. The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool. A […]

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From Listerine to Fuji Water

I was brushing my teeth. The next evening, after dropping my car off for a nail to be removed from the right rear tire, I killed time at Michaels and Trader Joe’s. I created this lesson relative_ratios from that. My 6th graders are working on ratios and proportions. I saw the three different-sized bottles of Listerine on my bathroom counter […]

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