6th Grade Math: Curriculum Overview

Does your 6th grader need extra help in math? Continue reading to learn more about the topics and skills that your child needs to master. With a little directed practice, you will likely notice an improvement in your child's math performance!

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What Your Child Will Learn in 6th Grade Math

Ratios and Proportional Relationships

In 6th grade, your student will begin learning about ratios and proportions. Your child will need to understand how to use two quantities to create a ratio and how to appropriately read a ratio using the correct mathematical language. For instance, if you have two cups for every five saucers, then the ratio would be 2:5, which shows the rate of cups to saucers. You may help your child with this skill by using actual items to represent ratios. Your 6th grader should also be able to use ratio and proportion as a means of solving word problems, converting measurements, creating tables and calculating the percentage of a quantity.

The Number System

Within this focus area, your 6th grader should be capable of fluently adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing multi-digit decimal amounts. Dividing multi-digit numbers and dividing two fractions will also be main skills within this focus area. Be sure that your child can calculate the greatest common factor and the least common multiple of two whole numbers. Your student must also be able to order rational numbers on a number line and to determine the absolute value of rational numbers.

Expressions and Equations

The only difference between expressions and equations is that an equation has a number to the right of the equal sign (e.g., 4 + 3 = 7). Your child should be able to read, write and evaluate numerical expressions that may involve variables or exponents.

When working with equations, it is important that your child is able to use variables to represent two quantities that change in relation to one another. For example, in the equation 2x + 6y = 12, the values of 'x' and 'y' are dependent upon one another. You will want to be sure that your 6th grader can correctly solve equations, as well as create equations using provided information.


Calculating the volume and area of specific figures will be a main focus within 6th grade geometry. Your student should be able to use the formulas V = l x w x h and V= b x h to determine the volume of given shapes or containers.

To find the area of triangles, polygons and special quadrilaterals, your child will compose the shape using rectangles or decompose the shape into triangles. Your 6th grader will also need to be able to model 3-dimensional figures using nets made of rectangles and triangles.

Statistics and Probability

At the 6th grade level, your middle school student will be introduced to statistics and probability. Your child will need to understand that a data set is typically collected to answer a statistical question. This collected data is then distributed to have an overall shape, a center and a spread. Often, your student will be expected to provide quantitative measures of a center by calculating the mean or median. As your child analyzes a variety of numerical data, he or she will also be required to plot the data on a number line and to summarize the data into sets based on the context.

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