By Elisabeth Martinez. **6th Grade Math**. Published at Sunday, December 06th, 2020 - 07:16:47 AM.

I recently spent a few days with a group of sixth graders teaching a unit on puberty. On my first day in the classroom, the kids were nervous, anxious, apprehensive and giggly! If giggly is not really a word then Im suggesting it be added to the dictionary, as I encounter it in the first few minutes of every 5th and 6th grade puberty class Ive ever taught. Okay class, let us begin. Day 1 We begin the unit by answering the most pressing question, "Why do we have to talk about this?" which the kids do a great job of answering for themselves. We then move onto "When will the changes start happening to me?" along with "What exactly will happen?" and "How long will it take until its over?"

Marilyn Burns, a well known math expert, has been addresses math anxiety since 1970 with her first book, "I Hate Mathematics" right through to her more current book, "Math; Facing an American Phobia" 1998. The latter book speaks to math anxiety as a growing phenomenon. And more recently "Math for the Anxious" by Rosanne Proga, copyrighted 2005 also is very clear about math anxiety and its causes. Of course, all this math anxiety is good; at least it is for the math textbook industry. Math anxiety sells math textbooks. Parents are concerned that their children learn math better than they did. Teachers are calling for a better way to teach math. This is great news for the math textbook companies. For you and me, this is bad news.

Original wood flooring and seats in the auditorium were carefully refurbished and re-installed in this San Antonio school by the Districts Plant Services crews. The stage and walls were also repainted. "Not only do we have new things that we are excited about but were also honoring a lot of the history of this school," said Melanie Herr-Zepeda, principal. Colors, tiles and wall textures throughout the campus express the African-American and Mexican-American cultures of the neighborhood surrounding this San Antonio school. "This school is truly rich in history. Were honoring the neighborhood in what it is now and yet honoring where this school has come from," Herr-Zepeda added.

Who actually uses advanced math in their everyday lives? Well, students do. This might seem to be obvious, but it is worth pointing out that doing well on the SAT or ACT requires a fair amount of algebra and geometry. (These subjects arent really advanced math, but they are advanced compared the math that many adults use.) These tests give high school math a certain amount of practical importance, even for people who plan on majoring in liberal arts and entering a mathematics-free profession. Engineers, many kinds of scientist (both pure and applied), computer programmers, and actuaries are a few examples of people that actually do use a great deal of math. There are plenty of other math-intensive careers, but the truth is, most people who dont want to do trigonometry, calculus, or statistics as adults will never be held back by that preference.

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.

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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