PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 6 Math Week of 11/20/17

This week, we have applied our understanding of Factors, Prime numbers, Composite, Square Numbers, Common Multiples, Greatest Common Factor and Least Common Multiple to a specific situation. Students worked in partnerships to evaluate scenario in which locker doors are opened or closed in a particular pattern as shown below:



Many students approached this problem by looking at the state of the locker in a smaller problem in order to make observations and see if they could extend their observations to 1000.FullSizeRender.jpg

Students further explained why this happens: FullSizeRender.jpg-3.jpeg

In case you were wondering…here are all the open lockers!FullSizeRender.jpg-4.jpeg

We also examined the question “Given 2 lockers, how can you determine which students touched both lockers?”



Students whose ordinal numbers are factors of both numbers on the locker, touched both lockers.

We are also working on learning to push our thinking mathematically. For some students the work in this problem seemed straightforward, and completing the task was not complicated. Those students, were encouraged to include creativity and mathematical thinking in examining the situation they solved and explore the math work in new ways. While this thinking is not something that is part of the assignment grade, I was curious to see how some students would adjust the scenario and examine the outcome.


This partnership thought about what would happen if the custodian left lockers 1-500 closed, and 501-1000 open. They made observations and recorded the pattern they noticed. 


This was a very simple change  from the original problem to all locker doors starting open. The students who did this work may not have changed much, but observing the situation in a slightly different context is a way to work on thinking creatively or examining limitations of a situation.

We will continue to have discussions about thinking about mathematical problems as opportunities for thinking in new and different ways, to prepare students to work towards more than just facts, steps and answers that are represented on paper as the complete work.

After break we will revisit distributive property as we gear up for a Unit 2 test the first full week in December. The actual date is still TBD, but for now, reviewing the process for finding prime factorization, GCF and LCM will get you started.

There are no new assignments over the long weekend, but remember that Problem of the Month is due on November 30. Students should be sure to bring their problems into class on the 30th attached in their Mathematicians Notebook. If you need a copy of the Problem of the Month, they are available online or in the ‘extras’ basket in the classroom.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!