Our Mathematics education is designed to give students the power of problem solving, the ability to participate intelligently in civic affairs, the skills needed to pursue educational and career choices, and an appreciation of the richness and beauty of mathematics along with its importance in our culture. The department strives to integrate the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards into each course. All classes provide opportunities for students to organize their thinking, to reason logically, to choose critically from different problem-solving strategies, to learn and apply various technologies, to express their ideas both orally and in writing, and to work cooperatively with their peers.
Sixth and seventh grades
This two-year program strengthens students’ number sense, reinforces foundational mathematical concepts (decimals, fractions, integers, and operations), and develops problem-solving skills. The units of study include statistics, number sense, sequences, pre-algebra, algebra, probability, and geometry foundations. Throughout each unit, students are challenged to develop strong study skills, problem-solving strategies, and collaboration skills in order to deeply explore content. Making use of mixed-age groupings, the lessons are highly differentiated to provide students with appropriately challenging practice. This two-year curriculum is designed to revisit topics, reinforcing and extending them throughout the second year of the sequence. Sixth grade students who show complete mastery of the two-year curriculum benchmarks in one year are recommended to take Algebra I in seventh grade. Students who do not show mastery of curriculum benchmarks at the end of the second year are placed in Pre-Algebra in eighth grade.
The Pre-Algebra program engages students in the study of mathematics as it calls upon their curiosity, intuition, powers of reasoning, imagination, and perseverance. This course emphasizes skills in applying various algorithms, developing and using mathematical properties and relationships, applying mathematics in realistic situations, and representing concepts in preparation for higher-level mathematics courses. The curriculum reviews the more sophisticated topics from 7th grade math and moves deeper into topics in algebra, from polynomial operations through all aspects of linear functions, and all the way to an overview of quadratics. The program’s guiding philosophy is to expose students to rigorous experiences that will prepare students for Algebra I.
Seventh or eighth grade
In this course students develop skills and concepts needed to solve problems using variables. Learning occurs through discussion, exploration, and group work, with the teacher acting as a guide to facilitate the process of understanding. Topics include real, rational, and irrational numbers; solving linear and quadratic equations; graphing linear and quadratic equations; systems of linear equations; factoring polynomials; properties of exponents; properties of radicals; and simplifying rational expressions. The emphasis is on solving problems algebraically, as well as through a variety of methods including modeling and graphing. We also work to develop students’ communication skills, which are essential to the progression of their mathematical competence.