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Soak It Up: Illustrating the year 6 standard

The following examples of student work illustrate achievement at the mathematics standard for year 6.

The task in this illustration was part of a science investigation into the absorbency of sponges. The class was working on a unit called Fibres and Fabrics from Making Better Sense of the Material World. As part of the unit, the students identified material properties that contribute to absorbency and completed a lesson on fair testing. This task focuses on the mathematical problem solving that took place within the investigation. It relates to achievement objectives for Number and Measurement from the mathematics and statistics learning area in The New Zealand Curriculum.

The Task

Soak It Up

Your class is investigating which of four different types of sponge is the most absorbent. The four sample sponges vary in size.

  1. a. Find the volume of each sponge.
    b. Record how much water each sponge absorbs.
  2. Which sponge is the most absorbent?

Some features of students’ work used to make judgments in relation to the year 6 mathematics standard are described below. 

There is also an illustration of the year 7 standard for this task. 
There is also an illustration of the year 8 standard for this task.

New Zealand Curriculum: Level 3 National Standards: By the end of year 6
In solving problems and modelling situations, students will:
Number and Algebra
  • use a range of additive and simple multiplicative strategies with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages (number strategies)
  • know basic multiplication and division facts (number knowledge)

Geometry and Measurement

  • use linear scales and whole numbers of metric units for length, area, volume and capacity, weight (mass), angle, temperature, and time
  • find areas of rectangles and volumes of cuboids by applying multiplication (measurement)
Number and Algebra
  • apply additive and simple multiplication strategies flexibly to:
    - combine or partition whole numbers, including performing mixed operations
    and using addition and subtraction as inverse operations
    - find fractions of sets, shapes, and quantities

Geometry and Measurement

  • measure time and the attributes of objects, choosing appropriate standard units
  • use arrays to find the areas of rectangles and the volumes of cuboids, given whole number dimensions

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Breakdown of Waste, Year 5

PDF of this task and Illustrations of the years 6, 7 and 8 standards (1.29MB)