# This is the Way

## This is what we know, and what we need to know

This week your student will be working with exponents. When we write an expression like 7n, we call n the exponent. In this example, 7 is called the base. The exponent tells you how many factors of the base to multiply. For example, 74 is equal to 7⋅7⋅7⋅7. In grade 6, students write expressions with whole-number exponents and bases that are

• whole numbers like 74
• fractions like (17)4
• decimals like 7.74
• variables like x4

Family materials for this unit can be found at: Unit 6 family materials

We learned last week that the brain learns by seeking patterns. This is important to know because this is why students need repetition when learning something new. Math is no exception. Students are beginning to learn in ways that are not necessarily in line with how their brain naturally reasons. It is counter-intuitive for there to be letters in mathematical equations if you consider the patterns they have learned so far. For this reason, equations and expressions with variables are a stretch for students. Repetition in working with these types of exercises is important for developing the connections the brain needs to move forward. Here are some practice links that will help your child this week:

Home Practice:

Balancing equations

Balancing numerals

Finding value

Finding variables - multistep

## Prepared to do math

Students should still come to school with paper and pencils. I know this is something I say a lot, but it is unrealistic for students to expect to do everything on the computer. Writing things down is extra information for the brain to process and therefore remember. It's one more bit of data to help the brain make connections. We also want them to continue to multiply, divide, add, and subtract on paper to keep these skills sharp.