Here’s a quick recap of our week in Math Connections.
Bellringer Skill: This week we’re finishing up our second round of Order of Operations – solving equations using PEMDAS. As before, the new skill students are working with here is the use of exponents. Primary Skill: Finding the GCF and simplifying fractions. This connects to the Unit 2 concept of ratios as equivalent fractions. To be proficient at finding GCF (the greatest common factor) students need to be able to differentiate between factors and multiples (numbers you multiply to make a number versus “skip counting” – counting up). Students also need a basic fluency in their multiplication facts. This is an area of weakness among many of the 6th grade students. These facts can be practice via Fact Fluency in Moby Max or through practice lessons in Dreambox which require computation skills.
Bellringer Skill: Students this week are solving one-step equations that involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These problems do not include positive and negative integer as the current focus is on the STEPS of solving versus integer computation. We are previewing the use of substitution to check solutions as this concept becomes very important when equations become more complex and include integers. Primary Skill: We are working on integer computation skills this week – primarily adding integers. Students need to recall that when the signs are the same – add as normal and keep the sign (or lack of sign) for their answer. When signs are different, despite the fact that there is an addition sign – the operation they do is actually subtraction. They also need a basic understanding of the concept of absolute value since the sign of the answer to the problem is determined by which number has the greatest absolute value.
Bellringer Skill: Solving Multistep Equations – we’ve continued our practice with solving multi-step equations. This practice lays the foundation for solving equations with variables on both sides (that 8th grade is currently practicing) and helps later with solving functions. Primary Skill: Square roots, cube roots, and estimating square roots – we’re continuing to review knowledge of square roots and cube roots but taking that information to help estimate square roots of irrational numbers. Students should have square roots memorized up through at least 225. Much like multiplication tables, having these facts memorized will make working with these kinds of numbers much easier in the future.