Mr. Triola's Sixth Grade Math Class
Here is some basic information about our math class.
I try not to give a lot of homework. Usually twice a week. Please help your child understand that homework is a privilage. When it is given it is designed to help your child grow mathematically and practice their skills. If a child forgets to do their homework or bring it to class, I will accept it late with no penalty unless it comes in after grades have been entered for the quarter. Grades cannot be changed by me at that point. Often I will have students make up late or missing work in class.
Assignments are written down each day if there are any. If there is no homework you can expect your child to record "Nothing" in his or her agenda book.
Grading is based on five catagories.
Tests and Quizzes
NCTM Principles and Process Standards
My grading is very simple. Students earn passing grades based on the points they earn.
I do not give bonus points or extra credit. I give educational opportunity and the chance to earn grades.
A - Represents excellent B - Represents above average C - Represents average D - Represents below average F - Represents failure
You can expect grades to be updated once a week. Grades are usually updated on either Thursday night or Sunday night. Work turned in late will be recorded in Power School when the next set of grades are entered, not the day it is turned in.
This year we will be working from both the McGraw-Hill Textbook and the Math At Hand resource book.
The McGraw-Hill books are old and will need to have a book cover placed on them. I am having the children use this book in an attempt to save on paper printing and because parents have requested a resource to use at home. When the PA Department of Education decides on a final set of standards the sixth grade will make an investment in a new series.
The Math At Hand book will act as a resource for information. The students will not take it home.
Ask your child daily what was covered in class. Ask him or her to explain and show when ever possible.
Allow your child and encourage your child to use a calculator. Children learn math best when they know they are doing it correctly and the calculator allows this.
Encourage your child to have good behavior. I like to teach math from an inquiry approach and this involves many labs, projects, and hand-on activities, when a child is disruptive it ruins the process for everyone.
Need Ideas for Support Beyond School?
If you find your son or daughter is not doing as well as you think he or she should be doing, here are some suggestions to help you.
Before reading any further however, keep in mind a few simple realities.
One – Struggling children often resent and resist further instruction. This not because they hate learning, it is because sometimes it doesn’t come easy, and that just hurts and causes a lot of emotions to boil up. Please take on a role of nurturing and understanding if you plan to tutor your own child. Warmth and compassion win the day.
Two – It takes time and it takes effort. Then it will take more time and more effort. The “quick fix” is usually two to four months of dedicated support.
Three – Go easy on the Power School. Learning is a process of success and failure in and upward direction. Don’t hit the panic button and binge tutor when you see one low score. This can make a child very nervous and have really bad effects on their learning and self-esteem.
Most students will benefit greatly from a general practice of basic skills. Your child has been given a math book, although old, it is an excellent resource for finding practice problems. It is amazing how many problems publishers pack in there! Just have your child practice problems from the book on a regular basis. The key of course is making it a positive experience. This will mean a time commitment by both parents and child. Have a calculator handy and encourage pre-checking, interior checking as needed, and post-checking. From time to time drop back to just post-checking.
There are tons of free education resources online. Your son or daughter has a MySkills Tutor account and this program is supported by the school. Another very good resource is the Khan Academy. Just search “Khan Academy” and you will find it with no problem. It is free and provides practice work and instructional videos. The key of course is to be sure the cyber experience is not just click and click, but thoughtful and monitored. When I use computer programs to instruct and tutor, I sit right beside the child and watch each process to be there to help and keep it a valued experience. It takes a highly refined learner to really learn through a cyber process, which is why monitoring is vital.
Local book stores have a large selection of workbooks to help parents and children. You will find many very well written books that cover all the skills needed to be successful in school.
There are three basic types of workbooks:
Skill and Drill – lots of problems little content information – great for rote practice.
PSSA Practice – mostly multiple choice type problems and questions – maybe some content information – great for assessing and preparing your child for standardized tests.
Problem Solving – mostly activity based and very opened ended in nature – not for skill practice – more for enrichment and higher level investigations of concepts.
After School Homework Help:
General McLane has an after school homework help program which meets daily after school in the library. Teachers are provided by the district and paid for by the district and no cost is passed on to the parents. This is a great resource and your son or daughter can always show up with book in hand and start practicing. Because we do not have homework regularly, if you want to utilize this resource I recommend having your child take their math book on nights there is no homework and simply practice problems related to skills covered in class.