Why a new program for Grade 6?
• Grade 6 is Secondary Math: Duxbury Middle School consists of Grades 6, 7and 8. The focus of the Grade 6 mathematics curriculum is to build sophisticated mathematical techniques from Grade 5, and to prepare students for Pre-Algebra in Grade Seven and Algebra 1 in Grade 8. The Middle school secondary math curriculum will ensure a smooth transition into high school leveled mathematics.
• Common Core Changes: The Grade 5 New Frameworks now focuses on mastery of several of the skills the Grade 6 program is presently responsible for. With the Grade 5 changes implemented, the Grade 6 will have the flexibility to make a shift into a new program. This new program is not only directly in alignment with the CCSS, it is in alignment with the rest of Duxbury’s mathematics program.
• Spiraling of Topics: This new program will spiral topics by using previously-learned knowledge to reinforce and connect to the topic at hand. A well-thought out integrated program will drive continuity between topics. This will be productive for student learning of the sequential mathematics, and less re-teaching will occur.
• Literacy Focus: With a focus on literacy skills across every discipline, this was examined extensively. This program is designed to keep students’ minds open and thinking, and provides well thought- out reading and writing activities into every lesson. Every unit begins with a“Vocabulary Builder”, complete with graphic organizers. Every unit has designed the majority of the problems to expect students to write to explain answers, and to comprehensively read to break down and solve situations.
• Problem Solving, Project-Based Learning and Interdisciplinary Connections: The program includes hands-on activities with manipulatives that are provided by the manufacturer. Every lesson includes projects, activities, several graphic organizing devices, current topics in real world problems that interest students, scaffolding open-ended assessments, problem solving activities with problem solving strategies, and “Investigation” pages.
In addition, the program is well thought out and thorough as it interweaves cross-disciplinary connections throughout the curriculum. Most of the connections are in science, but there are others as well such as Olympic sports, cooking, architecture, etc.
• Mathematical Sense: Another way the program assesses student understanding throughout the curriculum is by continually reinforcing estimation of outcomes and reasonableness of answers. This is a strong focus in the new Frameworks. Every lesson also incorporates several ways to represent solutions, i.e.verbal, tabular, graphical, etc.
• A Differentiated Program: High-end learners will have several opportunities to be challenged. The program includes higher-order thinking problems, investigations, enrichment activities, algebra-based problems, and several project-based, open-ended activities that allow all ability learners the opportunity to express their mathematics at different levels. For those in need of more reinforcement, the program comes with re-teaching activities, graphic organizers with step-by-step templates, and interactive and hands-on approaches that are appealing to both visual and kinesthetic learners. Every unit contains an independent activity,as well as a collaborative one. The program also includes two different methods for each new skill taught.
• Assessments, Including Standardized Test Readiness: There are several types of formative and summative assessments built into the program. Mid-chapter reviews, activities, projects,unit benchmarks, and pre-tests are some examples. In addition, there are specifically designed problems in every unit that assess students with similar forms found on the SAT, AP and MCAS. Formats include multiple choice, short answer and scaffolded open response questions.
• Technology-enhanced: The program is on-line, allowing for all of the materials to be utilized on an interactive white board, and for materials to be tailored to the needs of the teacher/course. All students will be able to access the main text on-line. Document cameras will complement the course allowing for teachers and students to project manipulatives onto the boards. Response systems, or “clickers” will be utilized to formatively assess student understanding and to report out on student achievement. The “Study Island” program will continue to be used on-line to reinforce and challenge students. Data on student achievement can be reported out with these technology-enhanced programs.
Once students receive their passcodes, the actual program can be viewed from home. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the 6-12 Mathematics Supervisor, Heather DelCore, at firstname.lastname@example.org.