I enjoy the age... still wanting to be kids, but also wanting to be treated like they are mature. They can handle responsibility, but are not too old to still have fun. And... I enjoy the subject.
I enjoy it because I hated it when I was in school. I enjoy teaching math in the context of everyday life. I find it challenging making the subject enjoyable for everyone.
When we learn about problem solving we make sure and spend a fair amount of time actually solving problems. When learning about measurement we make sure and work in projects that require us to measure and calculate the distance of our box cars or even cook something on the mobile cooking cart. After learning about unit rates and proportional situations we take a trip to the supermarket to experience it first hand.
In sixth grade a beginning understanding of algebra is so important, as well as an understanding of calculating and working with more difficult geometric shapes and ideas, that we dedicate a whole day to the concept of 'pi' (3.14...) with all of the sixth graders become 'teachers' at different stations where we invite the whole school to come, hear us teach, and learn about it with us.
Today's slide has pictures of our learning this year in sixth grade math: Proof that most teachers do not 'teach to the test' as so many parents would complain that they do. In fact, my personal response to that statement is this; "I don't teach to the Test. I teach the required state curriculum. The Test just happens to assess what I teach."
(P.S. for some reason the slide show kept deleting all my captions- sorry!)