Objective and Syllabus

Objectives of an Inquiry-based Learning Environment.

The top two objectives of an inquiry-based learning environment are: 
     1) to have students become better problem solvers and critical thinkers  
     2) to have students engage in higher-order thinking skills.

     Beyond these, our goals focus on what sixth and seventh grade students should know (concepts, principles, and rules) and be able to do (procedures and tasks) when they leave room 40. 
Student understanding is the central focus of inquiry learning.  Students actively participate in learning experiences by developing questions and investigating to find solutions.  The teacher's role is to guide learning as students engage in active problem solving, constructing meaning and learning to communicate their new understandings to others.  The teacher does not give answers, but asks questions that guides the student to discover the answers.  This creates ownership and deeper understanding that will develop necessary problem solving skills in the future.


     The teacher guides student learning by selecting, designing and planning learning tasks, asking probing questions, observing students at work to identify misconceptions and planning follow up experiences.  Well constructed tasks allow students’ entry to the problem from different points, encourages divergent thinking and engages students in problem solving.

     Inquiry-based learning is a research-based strategy that actively involves students in the exploration of math, issues, and questions surrounding math. The activities and assignments are designed such that students work individually or together to solve problems. While the strategy is meant to be highly student-focused, the extent of teacher-directed vs. student-directed learning can vary depending on the level of the students in the class and their understanding of the math.  

      Due to the daily active participation required in the inquiry-based math room attendance is imperative to ensure success.  It is difficult to make-up daily work, because the discussions with partners and whole group can not be duplicated.  Graded assignments come after days of practice, discussion, and note taking.  

     Thus, inquiry-based learning gives students more opportunities to reflect on their own learning, gain a deeper understanding of the content in an active fashion, and become better critical thinkers.  In summary, inquiry-based learning is a method that can be used to actively engage students in an in-depth exploration of the content and gain skills.



6th Grade Overview   7th Grade Overview
Ratios and Proportional Relationships   Ratios and Proportional Relationships
Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.   Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
The Number System   The Number System
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to divide fractions by fractions.   Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers.
Multiply and divide multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples.    
Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system of rational numbers.    
Expressions and Equations   Expressions and Equations
Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.   Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.
Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.   Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.
Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.    
Geometry   Geometry
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.   Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.
    Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume.
Statistics and Probability   Statistics and Probability
Develop understanding of statistical variability.   Use random sampling to draw inferences about a population.
Summarize and describe distributions.   Draw informal comparative inferences about two populations.
    Investigate chance processes and develop, use, and evaluate probability models.
Mathematical Practices   Mathematical Practices
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.   Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively.   Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.   Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Model with mathematics.   Model with mathematics.
Use appropriate tools strategically.   Use appropriate tools strategically.
Attend to precision.   Attend to precision.
Look for and make use of structure.   Look for and make use of structure.
Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.   Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

There is no such thing as "Common Core Math" - Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in math.  These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade.  These standards replaced our South Dakota state standards, directing educators to ensure that your student is successful at the end of their current step.