From math to map reading, 5th and 6th graders put Common Core standards to use

  • Royalston Community School math teacher Marisa Coviello visits students working in groups, asking and answering questions and encouraging them to use their critical thinking skills while they were working with one another. Contributed photo

For The Athol Daily News
Published: 5/4/2022 11:40:50 AM
Modified: 5/4/2022 11:39:18 AM

ROYALSTON — Mrs. Marisa Coviello teaches the fifth and sixth grade math and science classes at the Royalston Community School. On a recent day, she was teaching the class how to construct a coordinate plane. She asked many questions such as how do we construct a quadrant and why do we need them? What is each section called and what is the term for the center point of the quadrant? All of the questions were asked specifically to have the students recall the information that they had learned the day before. Many students eagerly waited to be called on so that they could answer the questions. She encouraged the students to be very specific when answering and to explain their answers. The children listened attentively and politely while discussing their classmates’ answers, showing one another respect.

Coviello explained how the children will use coordinates when reading maps and locating a particular place on the map. She then asked the class to draw several quadrants with certain specifications. The students sat in groups of three to draw the quadrants and to plot out the numbers that were from word problems. Some problems were algebraic in form, preparing the students for algebra and higher math in their middle school years. Coviello walked around and visited each group, asking and answering questions and encouraging the students to use their critical thinking skills when they were working with one another.

Coviello encourages each and every student to participate in some form during her class. She provides a sense of belonging by providing a variety of math assignments allowing for student choice so that no child feels overwhelmed or unable to complete the math assignment. Coviello encourages her students to use multiple strategies for solving problems, not just the way the book suggests. Rather, attempting to find ways they’re comfortable with so that they’re better able to make sense of the material. She always emphasizes that it is not the answer that counts, but the process that counts. She is very aware of individualizing for her students’ needs.

Joanne Davidson is the Newsletter Developer for Athol Royalston Regional School District.


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