Grade 6: Exploring Negative Numbers in the Real World
When you take Grade 6 math with Graland teacher Jolene Collier, you should expect to be introduced to the world of math in new and exciting ways. For example, her most recent project, “Negative Numbers in the Real World,” teaches students to apply the lessons they are learning in math to real-life scenarios.
“Students are first introduced to negative numbers in the sixth grade,” Mrs. Collier said. “It is important for them to understand where negative numbers are on a number line and that negative numbers have a smaller value as the absolute value increases, which is the opposite of positive numbers. Putting negative numbers in a real-world context, such as temperature, elevation, yardage in football, etc., helps students to better understand negative numbers.”
Using this strategy, Mrs. Collier took the lesson one step further by asking the students to work together to identify some “Negative Numbers in the Real World” examples of their choice and to create a Google Slides lesson for their classmates on their findings. While working on a presentation for a math class might seem out of the ordinary, students walked away from the unit with more than just new knowledge about negative numbers.
“Projects are a fun way for students to show their understanding of a topic versus a test,” Mrs. Collier said. “It also teaches the students real-life skills like cooperation, collaboration, and public speaking.” For Mrs. Collier and her students, this was just one example of learning math in new and exciting ways at Graland. “For me, a successful day of math includes students having fun, learning, working together, having a growth mindset, using learning differentiation, so everyone feels successful, and maybe even a little chocolate,” Mrs. Collier said.
Throughout the year, Mrs. Collier is looking forward to working with her Grade 6 students on having a growth mindset, problem-solving, reasoning with math, modeling math thinking, and fractions and decimals during their upcoming unit!
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.