The goal of the math program is to ensure that all students possess a strong mathematics background and develop the skills they need to succeed in the future. Students explore concepts using manipulatives, then practice and apply the skills to reinforce those concepts through problem solving. There are 13 math strands which are the basis of the program: number and number theory; whole numbers; fractions; decimals; problem solving; reasoning; geometry; measurement, money and time; probability, statistics and graphing; ratio, proportion and percent; algebra; patterns, relations and functions; technology.
The aim of the math program is to develop students who:
- Value mathematics.
- Reason mathematically and then memorize.
- Communicate mathematically by sharing ideas using mathematical language.
- Become confident in their mathematical abilities.
- Become mathematical problem solvers.
- Build meaning on a foundation of real-life knowledge and experience.
- Learn to link mathematics with other content areas.
The math program also helps students to see mathematical interrelationships with technology. Technology, including manipulatives, calculators, computers, and videos are used when appropriate to challenge them to concentrate on problem solving and other mathematical content.
From Strength to Strength: Award-Winning Math Program Updates Curriculum
Our K-3 program is Houghton Mifflin Math, chosen in part because of its early introduction of algebraic thinking. Moreover, the teachers report, the books are large, engaging, and colorful, while daily overheads and games pose stimulating challenges and boost achievement. Houghton Mifflin Math also offers remedial and enrichment computer programs.
In fourth through sixth grades the curriculum is anchored by Math: Explorations and Challenges, published by SRA McGraw Hill. According to the faculty, the program emphasizes “mental math and estimation, as well as the usual problem-solving and applications.” The teachers note, “ The fifth grade has been evaluating functions, plotting their points on the rectangular coordinate system, and then using the graphs to solve problems.” If you don’t understand what that means, consult with a 5th grader!
All elementary students have an additional problem solving component to their math learning.
In the past few years, fifth grade through middle school math has changed for everyone. In order to meet the needs of all the children, flexible groups with three different teachers are in place starting in fifth grade.
GRADE LEVEL MATH PROGRAM
The class follows a regular fifth and sixth grade curriculum. In seventh grade, the class begins a pre-algebra sequence that emphasizes problem solving and sense-making. In eighth grade, the group becomes familiar with formal pre-algebra concepts such as integer operations, solving equations, using the coordinate plane, writing expressions, and evaluating expressions.
ADVANCED MATH PROGRAM
This class follows a regular fifth and sixth grade curriculum. In 7th grade, they begin a formal Algebra I class, doing half in seventh grade and half in eighth grade. Our book, McDougal-Littell’s Algebra I is the latest edition of a widely-used series. Many of our students from the advanced math program will take an honors math sequence in high school, culminating in college calculus.
ACCELERATED MATH PROGRAM
This class follows a regular fifth grade curriculum. In sixth grade, the class finishes the sixth grade material in two trimesters. Enrichment such as bases, other number systems, the Pythagorean Theorem, probability including permutations and combinations, and advanced geometry topics are included in this fast paced group. During the last trimester, the class begins formal Algebra I, finishing the course at the end of seventh grade. In eighth grade, high school Geometry, again using the McDougal-Littell series is finished. This allows students to complete two years of college math while still in high school.
There is additional mental math and problem solving in all classes of fifth through eight grades. During both seventh and eighth grade, there is an extra period of math per week in order to ensure that the program is top-notch.