# 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.

I have many students who did not complete work during the week and have 0's in their gradebook on NEO. Any work that is not completed in class becomes homework that evening, but that grade remains open until Sunday evening of that week. Students will not be completing this missing work in class but will be working on new assignments instead. Students will have to come to tutoring to complete missing assignments (unless they have excused absences...they have time to complete and turn in work from those absences). If a student cannot attend tutoring, I need an email from a parent or guardian ensuring their work will be turned in no later than the Friday after all assignments were due. Handing in student work in a timely manner is important in keeping the student engaged in the topic we are presently learning.

Additionally, students have Reboot time to catch up on any missing work or incomplete classwork. Please remind your student to use this time appropriately! It is a full hour built into their school day to allow them to complete work.

In an effort to support students based upon their present performance and progress, academic support will be offered after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 4:30. If students are failing due to missing assignments or need to revisit concepts, they will be able to address these needs from 3:40-4:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If the student rides an after-school shuttle to Hughes or Kerr and is not able to stay, then teachers will address this during Reboot.

## Balancing Equations

A great game students can play to help them learn about balancing equations is called Solve Me and can be found here: http://solveme.edc.org/mobiles/ Students have learned how to balance equations using a balance in their Phet lab, and this game allows them to balance equations using hanging mobiles. It should increase their understanding about the equal sign and its role in solving equations.
NATURE BY NUMBERS