By Lacy Mack. 6th Grade Math. Published at Saturday, December 05th, 2020 - 10:18:17 AM.
Math is best learned in the real world, with real life situations. It may start with counting out the cookies your mother gives you. Later you start comparing the number you got with the number your brother got. You quickly learn to calculate the he got how many more than you did, so that your complaint can be accurate. Next, you are watching Mom slice up the pie or cake. You quickly calculate how many pieces each person can have, that is until Mom steps in and tells you how many you can really have. Then you calculate how many you can have tomorrow with all those guests gone. This is a simple real life scenario, but how many math concepts did I cover here. These skills grow with your children. How many of you have watched your older children go through their Halloween candy. My child sorts and counts to evaluate how she did. Halloween is also a great time for teaching about taxes. Parents need to take their share of the sweet earnings, and not just of the candy the child doesnt like. Remember, Uncle Sam takes his cut off the top before you ever see a dime.
In the past, it was common to visit science fairs where the projects were highly predictable. While the types of experiments evolved over time, the over-all themes tended to remain relatively constant. In recent years, that has started to change. Innovative teaching coupled with easier access to computers and sophisticated materials have allowed students to develop projects that are proving to be more cutting edge than ever seen in the past. Rapid advancement in sciences are quickly transmitted to schools through the use of computers. Increasingly savvy students quickly assimilate the knowledge and use it to develop truly unique experiments.
Her fathers decision to educate sons rather than invest in a daughter who would eventually marry ended mothers future in the academic world. She, however, had acquired an education that would jumpstart my learning experience. Mother used to prepare a small portion of the ground outside the mud structure we called our house and used it as blackboard or writing pad to teach me A-B-Cs, 1-2-3s, and simple words. If there was wind, class was cancelled. If it rained, it was an holiday. She taught me stories and listened to my childish stories. But in that basic existence, mother passed on to me what I now do in my calling as speaker, writer and seminar leader.
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.
But enough with the games, lets talk some serious stuff. If you want to learn math, do a project like decorating a room. Do the whole works from calculating the paint or wallpaper, to calculating the material and sewing the drapes, to ordering and positioning the furniture. Design a new cabinet layout for your kitchen, including calculating cabinet dimensions, appliance positioning and project costs. Try building something like a drop desk or a play ground swing set, or a go-cart. How about doing a baking or sewing/quilting project? Do all the preparations for a dinner party, including the planning, shopping, seating arrangement, cooking, etc. Try paper trading some stock and track them for a year. Start an eBay business. Wow! Wouldnt that be something, having your childs math project turn into a home-based business that pays for your childs college education? Its possible and its real life.
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.
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