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    In Grade 6, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; writing,interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and developing understanding of statistical thinking.

    Effective mathematics education provides students with a balanced instructional program. In such a program, students become proficient in basic computational skills and procedures, develop conceptual understanding, and become skilled at problem solving. Standards-based mathematics instruction starts with basic material and increases in scope and content as the years progress. It is like an inverted pyramid, with the entire weight of the developing subject, including readiness for Algebra, resting on the foundations built in the early grades.