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6th Grade Pathfinders
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Sixth-graders Luke Poggi, Kelsey Picone, and Olivia Emerick present their "party budget" math project
Budgeting for a birthday party. Researching the cost of items such as paper plates and napkins, food and drinks, party decorations and favors. Incorporating sales tax into the budget and presenting the information. These are just some examples of the kinds of "real-world" math skills sixth and seventh-graders are learning in a supplemental "Dynamic Math" class, brand-new to MOMS this year.
The curriculum (co-designed by sixth-grade teacher Rebecca Kreider and seventh-grade teacher Steve Leonard) based on the constructivist theory allows students to collaborate in small groups on "real-world" math problems and projects. Students move at different paces within the classroom, while learning the process of evaluating both their own work and that of their peers. MOMS Media Specialist David Eisenberg trained students on various Google applications which they would be using in the class. This format allows students to easily share documents, such as student-created study guides and tip sheets, with one another in a "cloud" where they can be accessed and edited by students and teacher alike, from both school and home.
This virtual document-sharing also helps facilitate group collaboration, such as the birthday party budget project Ms. Kreider's classes recently completed. Students presented their party budgets and plans (which included such themes as a "neon black light" party, Ancient Greek-themed party, and a pool party), in a series of impressive visuals charting and graphing their "spending" in various categories. Students illustrated things such as what categories they had spent the most on, the least, and how much money, if any, was left over at the end.
Ms. Kreider (currently in her third year at MOMS) spoke of some of the benefits of a class run in this manner. She said, "The students learn team-work, how to delegate tasks to one another, and even how to check and correct each other's work – which includes learning and practicing the way to correct someone tactfully. True collaboration can be challenging at this age, but they learn the skills quickly."
Also helping to spear-head this new math class endeavor at MOMS was district Math and Science Supervisor, Dr. Brad Halien.