Math at the middle school level is carefully crafted to capitalize on each child’s interests and to maximize student learning. Each grade level builds on and extends concept understanding so students approach each new challenge from a firmly established foundation.
By the end of Math 6, students have mastered the four arithmetic operations with whole numbers, positive fractions, positive decimals, and positive and negative integers. They apply their knowledge to statistics and probability. Students understand the concepts of mean, median and mode of data sets, and how to calculate range. They analyze data and sampling processes for possible bias and misleading conclusions. Students conceptually understand and work with ratios and proportions. They compute percentages. Students know about π and the formulas for both the circumference and area of a circle. They use letters for numbers in formulas involving geometric shapes and in ratios to represent an unknown part of an expression. They solve one-step linear equations.
By the end of Algebra 1, students have an understanding of algebraic expressions, formulas, linear equations, inequalities and quadratic equations. Students recognize patterns and see relationships. Students have a working knowledge of exponents, various degrees of polynomials, proportions, functions and radicals. An emphasis is placed on problem solving and real life applications of algebraic understandings.
By the end of Geometry, students have an understanding of inductive and deductive reasoning, basic geometric terms, geometric shapes and constructions, areas and volumes, transformations, the Pythagorean Theorem, trigonometry and geometric proofs. An emphasis is placed on problem solving, real life applications of geometric understandings and the use of a program called Sketchpad Design for hands-on geometric discovery.
Students wishing to be advanced a grade level for math are required to sit a placement test during orientation prior to the start of school. Student demonstration of mastery of course content/skills is valued over prior credits earned. A math placement assessment is required for every student wanting to be advanced a grade level and the results of this assessment will determine student course placement regardless of course completion at a student’s previous school.
“Mathematical ability comes from being taught math so that understanding is emphasized, ideas are explored, alternate methods are encouraged and the purpose for what is being done is always evident.” – M. Burns