6th Grade Math

Each year, sixth grade math teachers welcome students with a variety of learning styles, strengths, and needs into their classroom. Transition conversations about all students begin during the spring of 5th grade that engage 5th and 6th grade teachers, as well as counselors and Office of Student Services staff when applicable. During the first weeks of school, teachers focus on getting to know students academically and socially, while cultivating a classroom community that enables students to take the academic risks and challenges essential for growth.

Sixth grade math is an especially important year for students, as students apply the understandings they gained in elementary school to new areas of mathematics. These new areas, introduced in the 6th grade standards, lay the foundation for higher level mathematics and are essential for students’ success as they move forward in their academic career. This domain shift is illustrated in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics table below, which illustrates the organization and progression of mathematics standards from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

Pre K - 8 Domains

In order to support students in the domain shift, sixth grade teachers work to ensure students master grade level concepts by structuring their lessons to meet students where they are and pushing them to new levels. Students develop both conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge of the math standards, as well the application of these standards. Students learn more than just ‘how to’ solve a math problem; they learn to critically analyze mathematical problems and construct viable arguments to defend their reasoning.

MathIn the 6th grade mathematics classroom, students should expect:

  • Differentiated instruction that meets all learners;
  • Scaffolded instruction that both supports and challenges them;
  • Challenging Problems of the Week that develop problem solving skills and increase mathematical communication;

Regular opportunities for extension problems that challenge students to think more deeply.

Under new math leadership this year, teachers, coaches, and administrators are restructuring curriculum maps to better align with the math standards, developing strategies to support making student thinking visible, deepening strategies to effectively differentiate instruction, and focusing on vertical alignment to support student mathematical growth from sixth through ninth grade. This work will continue throughout the coming years.

If you have questions or concerns about your student’s progress in grade 6, we encourage you to first reach out to the classroom teacher. If you believe your child may benefit from additional challenge in their sixth grade class, we encourage you to review the Academic Challenge and Enrichment policy and contact the classroom teacher to discuss next steps.

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