The Making Math Meaningful™ workbooks are specifically designed to lead the students along a path of discovery. The teacher needs to carefully guide the students along this path. The problems contained in these workbooks are NOT randomly ordered or selected. They are chosen to promote the development of mathematical thinking in a very conscious way. As teachers of math, our most important task is to develop mathematical thinking in our students. This thinking needs to be flexible and creative.
Who can use this workbook? Most of the author’s teaching experience is within the Waldorf school system. Yet this workbook can be effectively used by any teacher or homeschooling parent who wishes to teach meaningful, age-appropriate math.
About sixth grade math. Sixth grade is an important year for developing math skills. All the students’ work on math this year will help prepare them for studying math in the future. How good they will become depends less on natural ability and more on their effort, determination, and organizational skills. Even students who feel that they aren’t good at math can catch up by putting forth some extra effort. We need to ensure they don’t give up! Almost anyone can become good at math if it’s something they really want.
The year for strengthening skills. While there are new topics to be introduced in sixth grade math, much of the year is an important review, or a furthering of material introduced in earlier years. The challenge is to weave in the review in such a way that there is always something new. The practice sheets in our 6thgrade workbook include a fair amount of review problems. If your students enter seventh grade feeling that division, fractions, and decimals are all “easy”, and they are excited about learning math, then you have succeeded!
A continual theme through the year is the sense of number and the interrelationship between division, fractions, decimals, and percents. Fractions play the central role. The key is that division, decimals, and percents can all be thought of as a fraction.
The order of topics of this workbook is as follows:
- The four processes with fractions and decimals
- long division (including repeating decimals)
- reducing fractions
- casting out nines
- short division
- mixed numbers and improper fractions
- converting decimals to/from fractions
- square roots
- unit cost
- measurement and the metric system
- converting repeating decimals to fractions
- factors and prime numbers
- angle measurement
- prime factorization
- basic percents
- pie charts
- area and perimeter
- percent increase and decrease
- tax rate, discount, profit and loss
- rate of pay
- converting to/from percents
- rate of speed
- line graphs
- foreign exchange rates
- compound fractions.