Fun Math Activities for the 6th Grade Classroom
Percentages tend to bore 6th grade students. After all, what do they care about earning interest and calculating statistics? There are percentages, however, that they can relate to: sales. After all, if they see a pair of designer jeans on sale for 60% off, they have to know whether they can afford them, right?
Tap into this interest by making your own “store.” Over the course of a week or so, generously hand out fake money to students who are working well, complete assignments, or take on extra work. At the end of the week, set out different prizes along a table in the classroom. Provide various cheap objects that students might like, such as decorative school supplies, snack foods, or gift certificates for class privileges, and label them with both prices and sale signs. For example, a small notebook might have the price “$5.00” on it, with a for sale sign that reads “20% off.” Have students make their selections on paper and hand them in to you at the end of the period. That night, check their papers to make sure that each student has calculated correctly. The next day, give each student the objects that she calculated correctly.
Are your students struggling with fractions? Helping them visualize the abstract concepts can help. Have them fold a paper into quarters. Then show them how to fold a second paper into eighths. Have them color in one quarter of the first paper, and then ask them to color in an equivalent value on the second paper. It should be easy for them to see that they’ll need to color in two sections of the paper, or 2/8, to get the same value. You can also teach addition and subtraction of fractions this way.
Perimeter and Area
Figuring out the perimeter and area of a shape can be boring for 6th grade students. Help students use their newfound skills to solve some interesting puzzles with these 6th grade math activities. Provide them with graph paper and encourage them to use it to test out their answers. Have students work in groups to answer some of the following questions:
· What is the largest perimeter a rectangle can have, if its area is 24 cm?
· What is the largest area a rectangle can have, if its perimeter is 20 cm?
· Draw a circle and a square that have approximately the same area. How are the radius of the circle and the length of the square’s side related?