By Beverley Shannon. 6th Grade Math. Published at Thursday, December 03rd, 2020 - 11:46:46 AM.
We play a rendition of childhood game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, where I ask the kids to tape index cards containing the changes that happen during puberty on the appropriate gender symbol. Yes, more giggly! We then move on to basic anatomy and physiology, including an overview of the brain, glands, the pituitary gland, hormones, testosterone and estrogen, followed a discussion of the sperm, the egg, menstrual periods, wet dreams and ejaculation. The giggly is over, replaced with an occasional exclamation "Ewwwww, thats gross!" These outbursts are consistently normalized by reinforcement that the body is an amazingly intelligent and complex machine; that the miracle of life is indeed a miracle; and that each child in the room is, in fact, a miracle. We take some time for questions and then move on to an introduction to the emotional changes that happen during puberty as a set up for our next class.
Ive read many books on personal finance, and a common thread that runs through many of the best ones are vigorous reassurances that it is possible to make good financial choices and even invest intelligently for retirement without doing math. It would appear that many people avoid learning basic skills to take care of their personal finances at least partially because they are afraid that personal finances require too much math for them. Architecture, medicine, personal finance... all of these are held up as practical fields that require lots of math. When teachers and parents do this, their intentions are pure. After all, what could be better than motivating students to study by connecting the subject matter with the real world? Unfortunately, we often do students a disservice by over-emphasizing the math required for certain endeavors.
It turns out that architects do use math regularly, but they dont use very complicated or advanced math in their day-to-day careers. Architects need to be fully fluent in ratios and proportions, comfortable with basic geometry, and have strong spatial skills. They dont routinely use complicated algebra, trigonometry, or calculus. True, those branches of math are used to build major buildings and bridges- but it is the engineers, not the architects who generally do the number crunching. Similarly, I know a pediatric nurse practitioner who considers her career a calling and is, by any measure, good at her job. Shes not afraid of math, but she doesnt exactly like it either. Early in her training she assumed that shed be using quite a bit of math in her job because people had always told her that math was important for medical professionals. Now, she does use math- and its incredibly important that she get the math right every time- but the math itself is very simple and repetitive. In essence, she uses proportions to calculate medicine dosage, and thats about it.
6th grade science experiments are fairly easy to come up with. All you need to do is come up with a topic that interests you. Originality is not the key factor here. The judges want to see that you are capable of performing an experiment on your own, writing up a report on it and present your findings in an organized and easy to understand way. There is nothing wrong with doing an experiment that has already been done and making it your own. One interesting topic for a sixth grade science project is eggs. There are tons of experiments that can be done with eggs, such as why raw eggs do not spin as well as hard boiled eggs? Or, when you place an ordinary egg into a jar of water will it sink or float? Will adding salt or sugar change whether it sinks or floats? Building a container that the egg can be placed in that will protect it if you were to drop the container. This project is a little more advanced than the other, but just as much fun. You could also try a sixth grade science project on music vs. noise. Why do people enjoy listening to loud music, but get bothered by loud noise? Whats the difference? You could also go with the tried and true volcano project; however, this project should only be done if you have a genuine interest in volcanoes and other geothermal phenomenon, otherwise its just going to look like an easy out because it has been done so many times in the past.
Playing is a great way to learn math. I like miniature golf and billiards for learning about angles and force. Of course this may sound like Physics, Newtons Law of Relativity. And it is, but there is also no better way to learn geometry and algebra than with a practical application. What could be more practical than learning as you play? Wow, heres another real life example for learning math. I like playing games. You name it; board games, card games, strategy games. If it challenges me and tests my intellect and problem solving capabilities, I like it. Games like Nim, checkers, chess, mancala, Stratego, Battleship, Risk, etc. help develop logic sequences and strategy. Games like Uno, Skip-bo, Set, Rummikub helps children develop their ability to see patterns. Games like cribbage, gin rummy, Scrabble actually help children practice addition and multiplication.
New School Yet to be Named San Antonio Independent School District Trustees and District leaders join students from Foster and Schenck elementary schools in breaking ground Sept. 21 for SAISDs newest campus, which is located in the 9200 block of South Presa Street. The new academy, which is the first school established by the District in 40 years, will serve the educational needs of a growing student population in the Southeast sector of SAISD. The planned two-story academy--yet to be named--will accommodate 750 students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade at the 18-acre site. The building will have an exterior design reminiscent of the nearby historic missions. Early grades at this San Antonio school will have elementary-level playgrounds and learning spaces equipped for instruction, physical education and music. Upper grade classrooms will include an art room, science labs, and two music rooms with acoustical areas for band, choir, orchestra or mariachi.
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