Negative numbers. Multiplications up to 2-digit operators and divisions with 1-digit operators. Working with decimals to 3 decimal places and multiplications of fractions with whole numbers. Reading graphs with varying scales and determination of averages of sets of numbers. Conversions between different units of the same measurements as well as taking measurements up to 3 decimal places. Comparison of different Australian time zones while taking daylight savings into consideration. Construction of 3-dimensional shapes, classifying and measuring angles.
Reading, writing, recording and using numbers of all sizes are central skills in the year 6 maths syllabus. The concept of negative numbers and their relation to zero will also be taught. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division involving whole numbers, special numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages are also core maths skills. These skills will be learnt and focussed on applications involving everyday money calculations. These four operations will also need to be used in the construction and solution of number sentences.
Other core topics include calculating the means (averages) of number sets; working with squares, triangles and rectangles as well as calculating perimeters, areas and volumes in 3-decimal places. Other topics in measurement include construction of timelines and recording masses.
In geometry, 3-dimensional models will be constructed; shapes and maps will be reduced and enlarged; symmetry in objects will be taught; and angles will be measured in degrees using the protractor.
The commonest challenge for students in this year is in taking maths at this level as a whole, interwoven subject. More than ever, year 6 maths topics overlap and knowledge from one area will help in others. In coming up with solutions to problems, students may find it hard to apply what was learnt somewhere else to problems in different areas. For example, dealing with numbers up to 3 decimal places is a common thread for year 6 maths. It shows up in algebra as well as in geometry and statistics.
At the end of this year, students should not only be able to work with numbers of all types and sizes, but must also be able to convert one form to another while adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing combinations of these numbers. These abilities should also apply to number sentences as well as geometric and numeric patterns.
In data usage, students should be capable of interpreting and presenting their data in tables and graphs of varying scales.
In measurement, they must be able to select the appropriate measuring device and measurement unit for specific measurements as well as show that they can convert between different units of measurement.
In geometry, students must be able to draw and classify common shapes and objects as well as measure angles accurately.
It is difficult to pinpoint the most important topics to ensure your child understands in year 6 given that this is the final year of Primary School. At this point assessments will test knowledge in every area. However, a good foundation with number operations will go a long way in helping your child excel in other areas of this year’s maths.
Should you get a tutor, the best learning methods to encourage are ones where teaching and problem-solving involves an interdisciplinary approach. For year 6, get a tutor who provides a holistic approach to give your child the important ability of dipping into different aspects of maths to solve each problem.
The sheer volume of the grounds that need be covered is the main challenge in tutoring a year 6 maths student. It is easy for the student to lose focus and interest if he/she encounters difficulties in key areas or is overwhelmed.
Students at this age are rarely comfortable with the process of sitting down and figuring out a maths problem on their own if they feel overwhelmed or beaten by it. Yet, this is an important skill and attitude that needs to be instilled. Once your child enters high school, the learning environment will change and demand a stronger and more independent sense of commitment.
Encourage active participation from your child this year and let him/her have more than ample study time to prepare for final assessments. Helping your child with a tutor is always a possible solution.
Take care to ask your child to explain what he/she has learnt and go over the steps taken to arrive at solutions.
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