When students transition from elementary school to middle school, they arrive with diverse mathematical backgrounds and experiences. Rich contextual problems are the foundation of the 21st century sixth grade curriculum. Students need to draw upon a variety of skills to engage in various investigations and this “Note Catcher” is designed to support each student as they refine, revisit, and discover the essential tools needed to build a foundation for their secondary mathematics journey. The note catcher is unique in many ways and the scaffolding supports the needs of all students.
Each section of this note catcher operates as a “stand alone” skill-building unit designed to blend in with the rich contextual curriculum. The intent of the units is to provide students with a brief explanation of a concept followed by scaffolded practice and ending with independent practice. Some units are a first introduction to a new concept while others are a self-paced review of familiar concepts. Key vocabulary, diagrams, models and “Practice the Skill” problems ranging in difficulty challenge students to achieve mastery. Extension problems are included throughout the workbook. Color and fonts consistently signal important features, such as vocabulary, explanations, and exemplar work.
Students may add their own work and notes to the pages of this booklet to reference all year long. Parents and tutors now have a window into the skills that students are using and can effectively support their learner as needed. Note taking is engaging without being too time consuming and students spend more time engaged in content rich problems.