Bringing the Past and Future Together in a Journey of Memories and Goals

Edward Lee, Sixth Grade Math Teacher
Sixth grade students recently wrapped up their Timeline Math project, designed to strengthen their math skills, encourage reflection on their past experiences, and inspire goal-setting for the future. 
Here are some of the key reasons why this project was beneficial for our sixth-grade students:

Math Application: By creating a timeline spanning 20 years, students practiced adding and subtracting positive and negative integers to calculate time gaps, organize data, and represent it graphically.

Reflection: Encouraging students to think about their past ten years promoted self-reflection, helping them appreciate their growth and achievements. It also fosters a sense of gratitude and self-awareness. At the same time, I strongly encouraged students and parents to complete this project together, not only to provide necessary help to students, but also to recall the beautiful past and the pace of growth together.

Goal Setting: Setting goals for the next 10 years empowered students to envision their future. It taught them the value of planning and working toward their dreams, both academically and personally. Students made short-term and long-term plans during this project; some are things they want to achieve in middle school while other goals are things they want to learn in college to benefit their community.

Creativity: This project encourages creativity as students have the freedom to design their timelines in a way that represents their unique experiences and aspirations. They can be a comic strip, a book, or a long line through time and space.

The Project Details
Students spent one week gathering information and creating timelines. They used this information to calculate the years' gaps and use math to create a visually appealing and informative timeline. At the end they shared their experiences and goals with their classmates. The information was divided into sections: 

Past 10 Years: Students will reflect on significant events, achievements, and personal growth with family from their earliest memories to the present. They can include first steps, family vacations, school milestones, hobbies, and more.

Future 10 Years: Students will set goals for the next 10 years, including academic, personal, and extracurricular goals. They will consider where they want to be and what they want to accomplish. 

Family Support
I encouraged parents and guardians to support their children throughout this project. Some ways families could be involved included:

Engage in Conversation: Discuss memories and future goals with your child. Offer guidance and encouragement. Parents can talk about family history, why the family moved to San Francisco, or what meaningful activities the family did together as children.

Provide Materials: Help your child gather photos, mementos, and any other materials they may want to include in their timeline. 

Review Math Concepts: Review relevant math concepts with your child, helping them with any calculations or graphical representations.

Encourage Creativity: Let your child's creativity shine. Encourage them to think outside the box in designing their timeline.

Take a look at the ways other features of the sixth grade curriculum encourage reflection and personal application of concepts.


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