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Parents’ Guide to Student Success!

Information from National PTA 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade

 

6th Grade:

Why Are Academic Standards Important?

This guide provides an overview of what your child will learn by the end of 6th grade in mathematics and English language arts/literacy. If your child is meeting the expectations outlined in these standards, he or she will be well prepared for 7th grade.

Why Are Academic Standards Important?

Academic standards are important because they help ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in college and the workforce. Standards provide an important first step — a clear roadmap for learning for teachers, parents, and students. Having clearly defined goals helps families and teachers work together to ensure that students succeed. They also will help your child develop critical thinking skills that will prepare him or her for college and career


English Language Arts & Literacy


A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 6th Grade

  • Gaining knowledge from materials that make extensive use of elaborate diagrams and data to convey information and illustrate concepts

  • Evaluating the argument and specific claims in written materials or a speech, and distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not

  • Presenting claims and findings to others orally, sequencing ideas logically, and accentuating main ideas or themes

  • Writing brief reports that examine a topic, have a clear focus, and include relevant facts, details, and quotations

  • Conducting short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources, and sharpening the focus based on the research findings

  • Reviewing and paraphrasing key ideas and multiple perspectives of a speaker

  • Determining the correct meaning of a word based on the context in which it is used (e.g., the rest of the sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence)


 



When you talk to the teacher, do not worry about covering everything.

Instead, keep the conversation focused on the most important topics. In

6th grade, these include:

  • Reading closely and citing evidence from grade-level fiction and nonfiction to support analysis of what the materials say

  • Developing a rich vocabulary of complex and sophisticated words and using them to speak and write more precisely and coherently

Mathematics


A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 6th Grade

  • Understanding ratios and rates, and solving problems involving proportional relationships (e.g., if it took 7 hours to mow 4 lawns, then at that rate, how many lawns could be mowed in 35 hours?)

  • Dividing fractions and solving related word problems (e.g., how wide is a rectangular strip of land with length 3⁄4 mile and area 1⁄2 square mile?)

  • Using positive and negative numbers together to describe quantities; understanding the ordering and absolute values of positive and negative numbers

  • Working with variables and expressions by generalizing the way numbers work (e.g., when adding numbers, the order doesn’t matter, so x + y = y + x; likewise, properties of addition and multiplication can be used to rewrite 24x + 18y as 6(4x + 3y), or y + y + y as 3y)

  • Writing equations to solve word problems and describe relationships between quantities (e.g., the distance D traveled by train in time T might be expressed by an equation D = 85T, where D is in miles and T is in hours)

  • Reasoning about relationships between shapes to determine area, surface area, and volume


 

When you talk to the teacher, do not worry about covering everything. Instead, keep the conversation focused on the most important topics. In 6th grade, these include:

  • Analyzing and solving problems using concepts of ratio and rate

  • Working with variables and expressions

  • Analyzing and solving word problems using equations

Help Your Child Learn at Home


Try to create a quiet place for your child to study, and carve out time every day when your child can concentrate. You should also try to sit down with your child at least once a week for 15 to 30 minutes while he or she works on homework. This will keep you informed about what your child is working on, and it will help you be the first to know if your child needs help with specific topics. Additionally, here are some activities you can do with your child to support learning at home:

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Listen with your child to a television reporter, politician, or other speakers. Ask your child to tell you the speaker’s main points. Was the speaker trying to convince the audience of something? How?

  • Encourage your child to learn at the library or on the Internet what life in your community was like 100 years ago. Have your child write a story, poem, or play about that time


Mathematics

Look for “word problems” in real life. Some 6th-grade examples might include:

  • Determining the average speed of a family trip, based on the distance traveled and the time is taken; or estimating the time that a trip will take, given the distance and an estimate of the average speed

  • Finding the surface area of the walls and ceiling in a room to determine the cost of painting the room

For more information, the full standards are available at www.corestandards.org

 

7th Grade:

Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 7th Grade

This guide provides an overview of what your child will learn by the end

of 7th grade in mathematics and English language arts/literacy. If your

child is meeting the expectations outlined in these standards, he or she

will be well prepared for 8th grade.


Why Are Academic Standards Important?

Academic standards are important because they help ensure that all students, no matter where they

live, are prepared for success in college and the workforce. Standards provide an important first step — a clear roadmap for learning for teachers, parents, and students. Having clearly defined goals helps families and teachers work together to ensure that students succeed. They also will help your child develop critical thinking skills that will prepare him or her for college and a career.


English Language Arts & Literacy


A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 7th Grade


  • Citing several sources of specific evidence from a piece when offering an oral or written analysis of a book, essay, article, or play

  • Organizing and focusing his or her own writing, including support- ing statements and conclusions with evidence and showing that the evidence is accurate and reliable

  • Conducting research in response to a specific question by draw- ing on evidence from several

  • credible literary or informational sources to support an analysis or reflection

  • Avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citations (e.g., footnotes, bibliography)

  • Evaluating a speaker’s key points and reasoning, asking questions, and stating his or her own well-supported ideas in discussions

  • Presenting claims and findings to others emphasizing main points, making eye contact, speaking loudly enough, pronouncing words clearly, and using formal English when the situation calls for it

  • Using common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to defining the meaning of a word (e.g., semi-, semiannual, semicircle)

 

talk to the teacher

When you talk to the teacher, do not worry about covering everything. Instead, keep the conversation focused on the most important topics. In 7th grade, these include:

  • Reading closely and citing several sources of evidence from grade-level fiction and nonfiction works to support an analysis of what the material says

  • Developing a rich vocabulary of complex and sophisticated words and using them to speak and write more precisely and coherently



Mathematics


A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 7th Grade

  • Analyzing proportional relationships (e.g., by graphing in the coordinate plane), and distinguishing proportional relationships from other kinds of mathematical relationships (e.g., buying 10 times as many items will cost you 10 times as much, but taking 10 times as many aspirin will not lower your fever 10 times as much)

  • Solving percent problems (e.g., tax, tips, and markups and markdowns)

  • Solving word problems that have a combination of whole num-bers, fractions, and decimals (e.g., a woman making $25 per hour receives a 10% raise; she will make an additional 1⁄10 of his or her salary an hour, or $2.50, for a new salary of $27.50)

  • Solving equations such as 1⁄2 (x – 3) = 3⁄4 quickly and accurately, and writing equations of this kind to solve word problems

  • Solving problems involving scale drawings

  • Using statistics to draw inferences and make comparisons (e.g., deciding which candidate is likely to win an election based on a survey)

 
 talk to the teacher

When you talk to the teacher, do not worry about covering everything. Instead, keep the conversation focused on the most important topics. In 7th grade, these include:

  • Analyzing proportional relationships

  • Arithmetic with positive and negative numbers

  • Solving equations quickly and accurately, and writing equations to solve word problems

Help Your Child Learn at Home


Try to create a quiet place for your child to study, and carve out time every day when your child can concentrate. You should also try to sit down with your child at least once a week for 15 to 30 minutes while he or she works on homework. This will keep you informed about what your child is working on, and it will help you be the first to know if your child needs help with specific topics. Additionally, here are some activities you can do with your child to support learning at home:

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Visit a local art museum together. Take time to closely observe the details of the paintings or other art objects and talk about what you see there

  • Ask your child who his or her favorite authors are. Why does your child like their books? What ideas does the author write about? Who are his or her favorite characters? Why? To find recommendations of books for your child to read, visit www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_B.pdf


Mathematics

Look for “word problems” in real life. Some 7th-grade examples might include:

  • Figuring the amount of a 15% tip or determining what percentage of weekly income goes to pay taxes

  • For a long-term project, help your child choose a stock and follow its value on the stock market using the newspaper or the Internet. Have your child calculate the stock’s percent increase or decrease each month

For more information, the full standards are available at www.corestandards.org



 

8th Grade:

8th grade in mathematics and English language arts/literacy

This guide provides an overview of what your child will learn by the end

of 8th grade in mathematics and English language arts/literacy. If your

child is meeting the expectations outlined in these standards, he or she

will be well prepared for 8th grade.


Why Are Academic Standards Important?

Academic standards are important because they help ensure that all students, no matter where they

live, are prepared for success in college and the workforce. Standards provide an important first step — a clear roadmap for learning for teachers, parents, and students. Having clearly defined goals helps families and teachers work together to ensure that students succeed. They also will help your child develop critical thinking skills that will prepare him or her for college and a career.


English Language Arts & Literacy


A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 8th Grade


  • Citing the evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what is explicitly stated and/or implied from a book, article, poem, or play

  • Analyzing where materials on the same topic disagree on mat-ters of fact, interpretation, or point of view

  • Building writing around strong central ideas or points of view; supporting the ideas with sound reasoning and evidence, precise word choices, smooth transitions, and different sentence structures

  • Planning and conducting research projects that include several steps and use many credible and documented print and digital sources

  • Analyzing the purpose of information presented in diverse media (e.g., print, TV, web) and evaluating its social, political, or commercial motives

  • Presenting findings and claims to others, emphasizing key points with relevant evidence and sound reasoning, adapting speech to the audience and the formality of the setting, and responding to questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas

  • Using strong, active verbs to create a clear picture for the reader (e.g., walk, skip, meander, lurch, limp)

  • Interpreting figures of speech (e.g., irony, puns) and developing a large vocabulary of general academic words and phrases

 

talk to the teacher

When you talk to the teacher, do not worry about covering everything. Instead, keep the conversation focused on the most important topics. In 8th grade, these include:

  • Reading closely and drawing evidence from grade-level fiction and non-fiction works that most strongly supports an analysis of the material

  • Developing a rich vocabulary of complex and sophisticated words and using them to speak and write more precisely and coherently



Mathematics


A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Working on in 8th Grade

  • Understanding slope, and relating linear equations in two vari-ables to lines in the coordinate plane

  • Solving linear equations (e.g., –x + 5(x + 1⁄3) = 2x – 8); solving pairs of linear equations (e.g., x + 6y = –1 and 2x – 2y = 12); and writing equations to solve related word problems

  • Understanding functions as rules that assign a unique output number to each input number; using linear functions to model relationships

  • Analyzing statistical relationships by using a best-fit line (a straight line that models an association between two quantities)

  • Working with positive and negative exponents, square root and cube root symbols, and scientific notation (e.g., evaluating Ö36 + 64; estimating world population as 7 x 109)

  • Understanding congruence and similarity using physical models, transparencies, or geometry software (e.g., given two congruent figures, show how to obtain one from the other by a sequence of rotations, translations, and/or reflections)

 
talk to the teacher

When you talk to the teacher, do not worry about covering everything. Instead, keep the conversation focused on the most important topics. In 8th grade, these include:

  • Linear equations with one and two variables

  • Functions

  • Congruence and similarity of geometric figures




Help Your Child Learn at Home


Try to create a quiet place for your child to study, and carve out time every day when your child can concentrate. You should also try to sit down with your child at least once a week for 15 to 30 minutes while he or she works on homework. This will keep you informed about what your child is working on, and it will help you be the first to know if your child needs help with specific topics. Additionally, here are some activities you can do with your child to support learning at home:

English Language Arts & Literacy

  • Make time in everyone’s busy schedule for family discussions about things going on around the world. Weekends can be a chance for everyone to catch up

  • Visit the campus of a local college with your teen. Begin talking about college early. What does he or she expect from college? What high school courses will your child need to pass to prepare for college?


Mathematics

MathematicsAsk your child to share with you any work he or she is doing in math class that strikes him or her as interesting. Some possibilities might include:

  • Solving interesting problems involving cylinders and spheres, such as figuring out how much water fits inside a garden hose, or how many earths would fit inside the sun

  • Analyzing data with a scatterplot, for example to decide whether exercise and obesity are related

For more information, the full standards are available at www.corestandards.org

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