Why is the full year math course broken up into two semester-long courses?
- We want to include families that can't financially commit to a full year initially.
- We want to provide a point of entry for families to join the class at the halfway point if that is best for their learning.
My child is younger than Grade 6. Can they take the course?
It all depends on the child! If your answer to the following questions is "yes" then we're confident your child will do well in our course.
- Does your child have strong multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction skills, and have they worked with fractions and decimals?
- Is your child excited about learning and sharing what they have learned?
Please give more guidance on how to tell if my child is ready!
Here's a checklist of specific skills many schools use at the end of Grade 5. Placement tests are notoriously bad for identifying skill levels, but we made one anyway that focuses on the most challenging skills from that checklist. You can go through those problems and use the answer key to assess whether your child is ready.
What can I do to help my child get ready for this course?
- Review multiplication and division facts, including long division.
- Go through our playlist of 4th/5th grade math skills and take a look at our Fraction Ninja Bootcamp courses.
- Talk about numbers in daily life. Practice rounding decimals using coins or prices at the store. Discuss positive and negative numbers in terms of credits and debits of a bank account.
- Have a great attitude about math, yourself. Your attitude will shape your child's perspective on math.
How is this course different than your science courses?
- The format will be different. Your child will need to have an activity open in one browser and a video feed open in another. They'll bounce back and forth between them as we work through the concepts together.
- Most of the class time will be spent with your child actively working on problems.
- The course meets more often (Monday through Thursday).
- The course registration is for individuals instead of families (because of the curriculum license).
What if we need help outside of class?
Our class will have a moderated discord community where you can post and answer questions.
What platforms will we use?
The student will need access to a web browser for the YouTube video feed and a web browser for the Desmos activities. If you have a second device or a second monitor, then they won't have to switch back and forth between the lesson video and the activity.
A tiny screen could make it challenging to interact with some Desmos activities. A touch tablet could work, though the interactions will go much more smoothly with a keyboard. We strongly recommend the student use a computer during class.
What if we have multiple children who want to take the course? Does this registration allow them all to participate?
No. While multiple people could, in theory, share an activity screen and work through the challenges together, the student who is completing the work will be the one who learns the most. We are paying for individual student licenses from the curriculum creators (Desmos) so each student will need their own license for the activities. If you have multiple children who will be taking the same course, contact us about setting up a second or third license.
We can't attend the live sessions. Can we still take the course? Can we do it on our own schedule?
Yes, but you'll still want to stay fairly caught up! Many families only watch the replays because the live time doesn't fit their schedule. You can complete all of the activities by watching the recordings and interacting with the Discord community to ask questions instead of during the live classes.
But if you are planning on a drastically different schedule (such as buying the course now but not starting it until 2 years from now) this would not work! We are purchasing individual licenses for each student through Desmos. Students will continue to have access to activities that they completed in the course, but they won't be able to start new activities after this school year. The course is designed to be completed at a "full math curriculum" pace of daily lessons throughout the school year.
What is the expectation of parents and caregivers?
- Help your student stay caught up. There will be homework each day and other assignments to do outside of class.
- Ask your child to teach you the topic of the day and to show you their work. They'll be completing some pretty cool tasks, so this is your chance to cheer them on.
How much homework will there be?
Most lessons will have practice problems to complete (less than 30 minutes on average). If you feel like your child doesn't need the additional practice, then you can be the hero parent who tells them they can skip the problems.
There is no class session on Fridays, but there will often be assignments to be completed on Friday or over the weekend, such as review work or possibly an exam.
What is the next course?
Grade 6 math covers all the 6th-grade common core standards as well as some 7th-grade standards across both semesters 1 and 2.
The course for the following year is Pre-Algebra which covers the 8th-grade standards along with many 7th-grade standards. After completing both semesters of Pre-Algebra, a student is ready for Algebra 1.