Last year, I also had the opportunity to teach math to a grade 6 class at Henry Larsen Elementary School. The main unit that I taught was on patterning and algebra. Like the plan I made for the grade 7s and 8s, this one also used the resource From Patterns to Algebra. The only difference was that I finished with a short lesson on graphing of simple equations instead of continuing to the end of the book. You can view my unit plan and accompanying lessons here.
The students really enjoyed using the coloured tiles to make patterns, and it helped them come up with a simple equation (number of tiles = position number x + ) as well as recognize which part of the pattern represented the constant and the coefficient. I learned that I had to be very specific in my instructions or else they would be left unsure of what to do, or they would get off topic easily and just play with the tiles.
I also learned the rules for a gallery walk, as there were many throughout the unit. For example, many of the lessons had students, as a table group, create a pattern based on a rule and then circulate around the room trying to guess the other group’s patterns. Some guidelines for these gallery walks would be to have all the students carry paper and a pencil in order to write down their guesses, asking them not to sit down, as they would just be there for a minute or two, and the number one rule: don’t touch the patterns of the other groups!
Also included in the unit plan is the final unit test I gave the students. My associate teacher encouraged me to use EQAO practice questions, as they needed to become familiar with their format, so I found a package of past questions and picked from there (these consolidation packages are available for every strand). Some I chose for the test, others I chose for a review.
As you can tell from my last post about Henry Larsen, last year I became familiar with the math curriculum and resources to make math an active, engaging, and hands-on experience.