In sixth grade, students at Moses Brown establish and demonstrate mastery of basic mathematical operations. We quickly introduce the concept of positive and negative integers, and get comfortable with all the operations associated with them. With puzzles and games, these units are lively and fun, even as kids practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers.
We introduce kids to (gasp!) algebra, which they quickly discover they have been preparing for throughout their middle school experience. Solving basic one- and two-step equations, kids new to MB are eased into this work, even if they haven’t had a lower school experience designed to smooth the transition to algebra. All students provide written documentation of their work, helping them understand their own thought process, and making it all the easier to ‘debug’ when things get a little sideways. Mathematics is a form of communication for describing how the universe works, and MB emphasizes a writerly approach to this communication, leveraging the process children learn in other classes.
Teachers are constantly connecting abstract concepts back to the children’s real lives, giving every lesson relevance and meaning. In a project called “How Healthy is my Lifestyle?,” kids track their activities for a week–sleeping, eating, studying, exercise, and relaxation. They then produce an accurate graph of the data of their typical day, applying our skills in measurement, geometry, and data analysis to their own lives.
In another project entitled “Mobile: Equal Area Polygons” the students create a beautiful mobile of six different polygons each of which has exactly the same area. They also do some research on mobiles in the art world and in the world of child development.Inquire