"If a child can't learn the way I teach, I'll modify the way I teach to the way the child learns."
Mrs. Hanzak has been teaching for 22 years. She taught for the Minneapolis School District for 11 years before coming to FAIR Crystal. For nine of her years in Minneapolis, she taught at Pillsbury Math/Science/Technology School. Mrs. Hanzak was a member of the math and science leadership team and mentored other teachers in the Minneapolis School District. She has been teaching sixth grade ever since FAIR opened in the fall of 2000.
Mrs. Hanzak has a BA in Child Psychology and a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota. She also has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of St. Thomas.
Mrs. Hanzak believes in focusing on student strengths to help build the confidence of her learners. She works to build a child-centered classroom to help mediate learning and provide challenges to empower the students.
Ms. Hanzak is married and has a daughter who is in ninth grade. Her husband, Mr. Ray Hanzak works in the PC Lab, Mac Lab and at recess. Mrs. Hanzak likes to be active and enjoys swimming and biking. As a young girl, she would help her grandmother bake and still loves to try new recipes. In her free-time, she enjoys reading and her favorite authors include Barbara Kingsolver, Ken Follet, and Elizabeth George.
In December of 2012, Mrs. Hanzak was recognized as a TIES Exceptional Teacher at the TIES Education Technology Conference. In 1995 and 1996, she was a Minnesota State Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math. In 1996, Ms. Hanzak was the Minnesota winner for this same award and received a $7,500 grant and a trip to Washington D.C. where she met former Vice President Al Gore. Mrs. Hanzak is also Board Certified.
In Grade 6, instructional time is focused on four critical areas:
• Connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems.
• Completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers.
• Writing, interpreting and using expressions and equations.
• Developing understanding of statistical thinking.
These concepts are developed using a consistent use of concrete-visual-symbolic pedagogy that leads to conceptual understanding
Students use their math notebooks to take notes when learning and practicing a new concept. Student will practice these skills with problems in the math book before getting a worksheet for homework. Homework typically goes out on Monday and Wednesdays ( depending on if I think they are ready to tackle the concept independently.)
The webpage to access the online book is:
In class we have been working on making rectangular prisms and find the volume and area for them. There are 2 assignments that were assigned this week. See below
(making nets / volume and surface area)