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Middle School (6-8) Structures

In grades 6-8, students experience about 75 minutes (two instructional periods) of math every day. Acceleration of learning is provided throughout the double block (two periods of instruction). The structure of each day may vary according to student needs. Typically, however, students can expect to engage both in teacher-facilitated learning via a daily lesson and also student-directed learning via work time on tasks that meet students’ individual learning needs.

The daily lesson is rich in cognitive demanding tasks that have a low floor and high ceiling and call for student-to-student dialogue with opportunities to revise thinking as students figure out mathematical concepts by completing novel tasks built to uncover the rigorous learning expectations of the grade. In the lessons, students have opportunities to apply and analyze multiple methods to solve problems as well as to create challenge problems for peers while also solving challenge problems created by peers. Our middle school environment embraces the rich diversity of thinking in our classrooms, where all students benefit from having multiple perspectives and academic peers in their class.

Students’ regular opportunity to work on individualized tasks comes from a rich Task Library that has been built by District 65 math educators to include a large variety of tasks for each learning expectation. Teachers work with students regularly to support their choices to work on tasks that will best accelerate their learning. Tasks range in difficulty and complexity. All tasks are aligned with learning expectations of the grade.