The Middle School math program aims to develop an appreciation for mathematics and logical, organized thought. Students are taught to become aware of and confident in their own abilities to communicate and reason mathematically. A strong emphasis is placed upon study skills, organization, and the mathematical process, not just the answer. Students develop active learning strategies and become resourceful and independent. A main goal of the department is to foster metacognition in each student. Each grade has honors-level sectioning for students demonstrating the ability to move at a faster pace.
Students begin the year with a thorough review of place value and addition and subtraction of multi-digit whole numbers, and the basic multiplication facts. Next students practice and develop of understanding of multiplication of two and three-digit numbers before turning to the concept of division. Long division will be introduced and practiced. After students will be introduced to decimal and operations with decimals. These concepts will be modeled using manipulatives followed by the algorithmic representation. From here students begin studying fractions. Students will learn the definition and usage of a fraction. Equivalent fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers will be introduced along with addition and subtraction of fractions. Relationships between decimals and fractions will be explored along with converting among decimal, fraction, and percent equivalencies.
Throughout the year the application of estimation will be examined as it relates to operations with numbers and word problems. This will benefit students in a year-long project which explores math in the real world. Students will learn about concepts such as budgeting, investing, salary, taxes, etc. Supporting and enriching this project will be time spent working in our Collaborative Design Lab, on laptops, and a possible field trip.
Sixth grade math focuses on the foundations of mathematics: the basic operations and properties of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and the connections among percentages, fractions, and decimals. Geometric formulas are introduced and applied throughout the course. Students learn to use listening as a mathematical skill, to understand the language and communication of mathematics, to apply formulas, and to engage in problem-solving activities.
Grades seven and eight emphasize the progression of mathematics to pre-algebra and then on to algebra. Students explore the following topics: integers, rational numbers, number theory, inequalities, probability and statistics, simple interest, and trigonometry.
Seventh grade begins with a focus on acquiring the foundational concepts of pre-algebra: integer work, properties of numbers, solving equations, graphing inequalities, exponent rules, and simplifying algebraic fractions. Also the course reviews rational numbers, number theory, ratio, proportion, and percent--with an emphasis on looking at these skills algebraically.
Eighth grade students take either Introduction to Algebra I or Algebra I. The Algebra I course is comparable to a freshman Algebra I curriculum. The Introduction to Algebra I course, emphasizes the development of abstract reasoning, the application of mathematics to real-world situations, and an introduction to Algebra I topics, including graphing linear equations. Students also take one final look at some previously learned topics to solidify those concepts for future use.