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Buffalo State Teams Up With Amherst Middle School to Teach Math Properties for Sixth Grade New York State Assessment Test

Posted: February 8, 2006
Buffalo State College pre-service math teachers and Amherst Middle School math teachers have devised a novel way to teach sixth graders the math properties they will need to know for the upcoming New York State assessment test.

“Property-Opoly” will use hula hoops, M&Ms, color tiles, playing cards and other “manipulatives” to give Amherst Middle’s 250 sixth graders a better understanding of the commutative property of addition and multiplication, the associative property of addition and multiplication and the distributive and multiplicative properties of numbers. The all-day session will take place on Friday, Feb. 10, beginning at 9:45 a.m. and continuing until

2:45 p.m., with a two-hour break for lunch at 12:05 p.m. The last period of the all-day marathon session, from 2:49 p.m.-3:30 p.m., will see all the students and pre-service teachers meet in the cafeteria for a big closing session.

Buffalo State College Associate Professor of Mathematics Susan McMillen and about 60 of her Middle School Math Methods students will join Amherst Middle Teachers Maureen Geibel, Kevin Fildes, Molly Markey and Nathan Phillips as they commandeer the middle school’s 12 math classrooms during the five academic periods of the day. All rooms will be used at the same time as the sixth graders move from room to room based on dice rolls.

Property-Opoly will teach the sixth graders how to identify and use the properties to solve various math problems and to understand when to use them in everyday problem-solving. The game will also provide the Buffalo State pre-service teachers with an opportunity to know how to supplement curriculum to meet the diverse needs of student populations.

McMillen said the lessons vary a lot and the use of manipulatives makes the lessons both interesting and hands-on for the teachers as well as their students.

The event is part of Buffalo State College’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center’s outreach program.
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