Sixth Grade Middle School Students Course Work Samples

Published: 2021-06-21 23:45:44
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Category: Learning, Education, Students, Success, Teaching

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Abstract.

This paper explores a detailed plan to promote achievement and success among the sixth grade middle school students in the math discipline. It focuses on the decreased mastery of this discipline among this target group. Looking at possible ways to improve the mastery of maths subject among the sixth grade students, the paper identifies the characteristics of this population, and explains why the population is any target of discussion. It outlines the problems the group is experiencing in details, and establishes ideas, theories and practises that can promote achievement and success among the sixth grade students in the mathematics discipline. It also explains briefly the importance of mastering math as a discipline and challenges one could encounter if not well mastered.

Introduction

Best Practices

At the sixth grade level, most students fall in the bracket of eleven to twelve years of age. This is the sixth school year right after the kindergarten. This is the level where students need to be keenly overseen because it forms the basic part of beginning of the middle school. At this level, students interact with different teachers in each subject, usually a total of five to six subjects which include maths, science social studies, writing and reading. Students at this point have some level of maturity and are therefore given lockers (Lambert, 2003). In maths, these students learn most of the basic parts which include decimals and fractions. Exponents are introduced briefly where students learn about properties of polygons and circles. They are taught measurement of angles in degrees, and in some cases, algebra and pre-algebra are taught. The main reason for doing a research on the sixth grade group and their mastery on the maths discipline is that they from the basic part of a middle class learning system. This is a point in a student’s life which is very crucial and if proper foundation is not given, students experience difficulties in the maths in all other grades (Lambert, 2003). What plans and strategies could be put in place in order to address the issue of maths mastery among the sixth grade students? This paper gives a detailed plan to address the problem of maths mastery among the sixth grade students and gives ideas, theories and practices to promote achievement and success among this group of students.

Analysis of problems involved in maths mastery.

At the sixth grade level, many students and parents request for techniques and pointers that help learn and improve their mastery in maths. In order to achieve the mastery of the discipline, we first need to identify the problems that lead us not to achieve in this area. We need to identify the responsibilities that have to be played and who has a part to play in this department. Students who experience difficulties in learning and applying mathematics display their problems in various ways (Lambert, 2003). According to research conducted by a number of scholars, there are specific characteristics associated with students who have a problem in the mastery of the maths discipline at the sixth grade level.

“Learned helplessness”

First, there is the factor of “learned helplessness”. This is a characteristics associated with students who experience continuous failure in the maths discipline. This is an extremely dangerous factor because such students always expect to fail at any instant (McNamara & Erlandson, 1999). They lack confidence in themselves and therefore rely on other students to complete their maths tasks. Such kinds of assistance that only assists a students to go through their current mathematical tasks but does not ensure that revision and re-teaching of the concept of interest is effected is not of any value to the student. It only reinforces the student’s notion that he cannot learn and understand math.

Passive learner

Memory problems

Memory deficits have a major role to play in a student’s mastery of the maths discipline at the sixth grade level of learning. These problems are evident when students experience difficulties in recalling their basic subtraction, addition, division and multiplication of facts. Memory deficits are crucial when students are handling multi-step problems (McNamara & Erlandson, 1999). Under timed circumstances, they need a high memory deficit in order to quickly recall what they need and solve the mathematical problem in question. Working on moves which can improve the memory deficit of students at the sixth grade level is a factor that needs to be considered by all stakeholders of learning institutions, who wish to see an improvement in the mastery of math at the sixth grade level.

“Low level of Academic Achievement”

Cognitive and Metacognitive Thinking deficits

Metacognition involves the student’s ability to monitor their learning on a personal level. This is done by evaluating whether they comprehend what they are being taught, employing necessary strategies when required, knowing whether a specific strategy employed is effective, and make specific changes when needed. These are the required essential skills for a student who hopes to master math well (McNamara & Erlandson, 1999). Maths is all about a problem to be solved, therefore, students who lack metacognitive skills experiences difficulties in handling mathematics.

Social problems and responsibilities

In supporting a sixth grade student to be successful in math, every individual has a role to play ranging from the parents, the teachers and the school management. Parents have to ensure that they work together with teachers in order to see successful results. They need to constantly attend all the meetings in schools and discuss with the teachers on ways to improve their child’s performance. Teachers have a central role to play, because they advice parents and students on what to do (McNamara & Erlandson, 1999). They have a major role to play in ensuring that the student gets the required knowledge in the correct format in class. On the other hand, the school administration should ensure that a student’s life is well taken care of while in school. They have a role of providing a comfortable environment for learning activities to take place in school. This is to ensure that all the facilities that are needed both in class and outside the classroom are availed to the student.

Anticipation forces and detractors

In coming up with the strategies to improve math mastery among the sixth grade students, I anticipated some shortcomings that would probably work against the plan. This may be a constructive plan but there are expected individuals who may not fully cooperate according to the strategies outlined (Gelsthorpe & Burnham, 2003). There are teachers, parents or even students who are expected not to play their part in order to realize expected results in this program. Teachers who are not serious and do not go an extra mile to ensure that students are well equipped to handle mathematics are will always be there. This, therefore, are some of the anticipated negative forces expected to surface in the implementation of these strategies.

Strategies for improving math mastery

The strategies involved in promoting mastering of maths in grade six students is aimed at different people who are involved either directly or indirectly to the achievement and success of these students. Both students, teachers, parents and the community play a major role in ensuring that proper learning of maths is taking place and that every student benefits from this program. Some of these strategies are discussed below (Gelsthorpe & Burnham, 2003).

Institutionalizing an in-service training

This is aimed at ensuring math teachers are constantly exposed to systemic in-service training. This is very important to teachers because it makes them develop new and updated ways of handling students at different levels of reasoning (Gelsthorpe & Burnham, 2003). A teacher might have a good master of the discipline but have a problem with delivering it until it sinks in each student. Therefore, there is a need of providing mathematics teachers with an ongoing training adequately to improve the students’ master of maths in the sixth grade level.

Instituting Periodic assessment

This is a move directed at periodically assessing the teacher’s level of competency in the mathematics discipline. This can be achieved by the use of an objective curriculum- based test. Teachers who fail to score at least ninety percent of the total score should be immediately re-evaluated and necessary steps to be taken to ensure they do not handle students at the sixth grade level (Gelsthorpe & Burnham, 2003). For students to perform better, they need a teacher who has a good master of the subject to avoid confusion in the teaching activity.

Rewarding of students and teachers

Instilling strategic moves in students by teachers
Apart from direct learning teachers should learn to instil unique moves to students to ensure that they improve and maintain good performance. Strategies which ensures that students focus on mastering a topic before moving to the next one, avoiding to map out mathematical paths from the problem and keenly working out mathematical problems and checking out the answers in order to gain practise are factors to be effected in class by the students and the teacher.

Institutionalizing lesson observation at each school level

This is a move to constantly monitor the curriculum implementation. Students encounter problems in the master of math because of curriculum issues. Failure of meeting the curriculum requirement therefore, is one of the major factors which bring about difficulties in the sixth grade level (Gelsthorpe & Burnham, 2003). Peer evaluation from other subject team members should also be effected. A remarkable improvement will be realized among the sixth grade students in the mastery of the maths discipline.

Conclusion

In determining the plans and strategies could be put in place in order to address the issue of maths mastery among the sixth grade students, all the above mentioned strategies could increase with a greater percentage, the level of improvement of the mastery of maths within these group of students ( Gelsthorpe & Burnham, 2003). The problems are outlined in order for teachers and students at this level to keenly asses where they fall and make necessary changes for good results to be realized. This visionary plan can only be successful when teachers, students, school management, and parents realize that they are responsible for its implementation. All these departments need to work consecutively, each individual playing their part effectively for good results to be realised in any institutional setting among the sixth grade students.

References

Lambert, L. (2003). Leadership capacity for lasting school improvement. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
McNamara, J. F., Erlandson, D.A., & McNamara, M. (1999). Measurement and evaluation: strategies for school improvement. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.
Neale, D.C., & Bailey, W.J. (1981). Strategies for school improvement: Coperative planning and organization development. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Gelsthorpe, T., & Burnham, J. (2003). Educational leadership and the community: strategies for school improvement through community engagement. London: Pearson Education.

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