Overview of the Grade 6 Mathematics Program
• Grade 6 is Secondary Math: Duxbury Middle School consists of grades 6, 7, and 8. The focus of the Grade 6 mathematics curriculum is to build on sophisticated mathematical techniques from Grade 5 and to prepare students for Pre-Algebra in Grade 7 and Algebra 1 in Grade 8. The Middle school secondary math curriculum will ensure a smooth transition into high school mathematics.
• Common Core Changes: The Grade 5 frameworks now focus on mastery of several of the skills the Grade 6 program is presently responsible for. With the Grade 5 changes implemented, Grade 6 will have the flexibility to make a shift into a new program. This new program is not only directly aligned with the CCSS, but it is in alignment with the rest of Duxbury’s mathematics program as well.
• Literacy Focus: With a focus on literacy skills across every discipline, math literacy was examined extensively. This program is designed to keep students’ minds open and thinking, as well as providing them with applicable reading and writing activities for every lesson. Every unit begins with a“Vocabulary Builder,” complete with graphic organizers. Unit design also provide opportunities for 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 interweaves cross-disciplinary connections throughout the curriculum. Most of the connections are in science, but there are others 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 tests. Formats include multiple choice, short answer, and scaffolded open-response questions.
• Technology-enhanced: The program is online, allowing for the materials to be utilized on an interactive whiteboard. Those materials can also be tailored to the needs of the teacher and course. All students will be able to access the main text online. 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 online 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.