The sixth-grade standards are a transition from the emphasis placed on whole number arithmetic in the elementary grades to foundations of algebra. The standards emphasize rational numbers. Students will use ratios to compare data sets; recognize decimals, fractions, and percents as ratios; solve single-step and multistep problems, using rational numbers; and gain a foundation in the understanding of integers. Students will solve linear equations and use algebraic terminology. Students will solve problems involving area, perimeter, and surface area, work with π (pi), and focus on the relationships among the
properties of quadrilaterals. In addition, students will focus on applications of probability and statistics.
While learning mathematics, students will be actively engaged, using concrete materials and appropriate technology such as calculators, computers, and spreadsheets. However, facility in the use of technology shall not be regarded as a substitute for a student’s understanding of quantitative concepts and relationships or for proficiency in basic computations. Students will also identify real-life applications of the mathematical principles they are learning and apply these to science and other disciplines they are studying.
Mathematics has its own language, and the acquisition of specialized vocabulary and language patterns is crucial to a student’s understanding and appreciation of the subject. Students should be encouraged to use correctly the concepts, skills, symbols, and vocabulary identified in the following set of standards.
Problem solving has been integrated throughout the six content strands. The development of problem solving skills should be a major goal of the mathematics program at every grade level. Instruction in the process of problem solving will need to be integrated early and continuously into each student’s mathematics education. Students must be helped to develop a wide range of skills and strategies for solving a variety of problem types.
-from Virginia Standards of Learning