Solving single-step or multistep practical mathematical problems is a theme throughout the Common Core Standards and Virginia's Standards of Learning. These practical problems require computation skills that evolve as the students progress from kindergarten to high school. Although this authentic task can be utilized by students in multiple grades, for fourth graders, the problems typically involve adding, subtracting, and multiplication as well as division with whole numbers.

The On Top of Denali template involves a problem solving strategy that utilizes subtraction as a potential part of a Computation unit taught at the start of the school year. Students are asked to compare the elevation of Denali to the highest points of other states including Oregon, Arkansas, and Virginia to name a few.

Seventh-grade students are asked to "use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions." While they may be able to solve these equations, they don't often make the connection between abstract algebra formulas and the world outside the classroom.

The 13-page Bead Factory template provides real-world context for using algebraic equations as students are given parameters and asked to price jewelry based on the algebraic expression they write.

Editor's Note: This blog is the sixth in a series of posts from former math specialist Scott Loomis. In these posts, he shares more about the real world math templates he has created for Wixie and outlines how you can use and modify them for your own awesome performance tasks. You can read the backstory on his experience and expertise below.

Wixie provides students with tools to combine original artwork, images, text, voice narration, and video to create a range of products including how-to instructions, digital stories, eBooks, comics, and more.

In sixth grade, students are transitioning from thinking like a child to thinking like an adult. They are capable of dealing with conflict and complexity and should be asked to create products for use by other people that challenge their abilities. Work in Wixie should involve lots of writing and creativity as they explore the new boundaries of their thinking.

Here are a few ideas drawn for the Common Core State Standards for Grade 6.