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Mathematics

Middle School MATH PHILOSOPHY

Mathematics is a key component of the student learning experience during the middle school years. It permeates our students' daily lives and is evident in how they make numerical sense of the world around them. The acquisition of a strong mathematical mindset allows young learners to thrive in a dynamic 21st century global society. The goal of the middle school mathematics program is to provide all students with a rich and challenging learning experience that is based on best teaching practices and a commitment to excellence through a high quality learner-centered curriculum.

Students thrive in academic environments where teaching inspires individual learners while cultivating a joy and appreciation of course content. The middle school mathematics program at all grade levels seeks to inspire students to become curious, confident, and creative problem solvers who can effectively communicate their thinking and readily adapt to a wide variety of mathematical contexts. This important skill set is developed in the classroom through differentiated instructional practices including a well-balanced use of technology and exposure to real-world problem solving applications.

Teaching and learning in all middle school mathematics courses follows a comprehensive set of standards and benchmarks aligned to common assessments measuring learner progress and mastery of course content. Our curriculum reinforces and expands upon learning that has taken place at the lower school level. New and more complex concepts relating to spatial reasoning, data analysis and probability, linear relationships, and formal topics in algebra are introduced in preparation for advanced coursework beyond the TAS Middle School.

Mathematics in the middle school years can be viewed as a bridge that provides students with a smooth transition from the lower school grades to the demands of upper school coursework. It is a time when students strengthen their learning and confidence through the continued development of a strong conceptual foundation as topics taught in the classroom become increasingly abstract and require more complex problem solving strategies. Different math courses at each grade level allow for a broad range of placement options. It is our goal to ensure that each student reaches his or her full learning potential in an engaging middle school mathematics course that is developmentally appropriate based on individual needs and previous learning experiences.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Math 6 (Grade 6 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Math 6 course is designed for students who have demonstrated success in grade 5 math but need further development of their foundation in number operations, proportional reasoning, and algebraic thinking through context-building problem solving. This is achieved through a focus on computational fluency and mathematical literacy. The skills of decoding mathematical text and applying mathematical concepts are emphasized through oral communication of mathematical ideas on a daily basis. Study skills and organizational skills are emphasized throughout the program. Students in Math 6 study formal algebra concepts using whole numbers, decimals, number theory, fractions, ratios, proportions, percent, and integers.

Principles of Pre-Algebra (Grade 6 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Principles of Pre-Algebra course is based on several basic principles. These principles include that students acquire knowledge, skills, and understanding from their own experiences. With this in mind, students are exposed to a variety of learning activities that develop an understanding of the basic math concepts in respect to number operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, and probability. In this course, students are given the opportunity to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts as well as develop computational and conceptual understanding through individual work, cooperative learning, projects, and problem-solving. All students all go through a stand-alone, separate problem solving curriculum aimed at higher-order thinking practicing a multitude of strategies. Students in Principles of Pre-Algebra study formal algebra concepts using whole numbers, decimals, number theory, fractions, ratio, proportions, percent, integers, probability, and geometric relationships. Successful students in this course typically enter Pre-Algebra in 7th-grade.

Enriched Pre-Algebra (Grade 6 Only)

Duration: 1 year

The Enriched Pre-Algebra is designed for students who have demonstrated an exceptional understanding of basic math concepts with respect to number operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, and probability. They are both creative and intuitive in their solutions, have excellent study skills, are able to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts, and are highly motivated by challenging mathematics curriculum. Students are both accelerated and encouraged to explore topics in greater depth. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Problem-solving is emphasized to ensure successful application of mathematical concepts in realistic contexts. Students in Enriched Pre-Algebra study algebra with whole numbers, decimals, integers, fractions, ratios, proportions, percents, number theory, rational numbers, linear functions, and geometric relationships. Successful students in this course typically enter Advanced Algebra 1 in 7th-grade.

Math 7 (Grade 7 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Math 7 course is designed for students who are continuing to develop their basic mathematical skills while building a framework of conceptual understanding of number operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis, and probability. Manipulatives and real-world problem solving are used where appropriate to aid in concept formation and application. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Study and organizational skills are emphasized throughout the course. Each student is encouraged to discover and develop computational and conceptual understanding through individual work, cooperative learning, and problem solving. Students in Math 7 study topics in variables, expressions and integers, solving multi-step equations, divisibility and factors, exponents, rational numbers and equations, ratio and proportions, percent equations and applications, linear relationships, square roots, the Pythagorean Theorem, probability, two and three dimensional measurement, and data and statistics. Successful students in this course typically enter Algebra 1 in 8th-grade.

Pre-Algebra (Grade 7 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Pre-Algebra course is designed for students who have demonstrated a strong understanding of math concepts with respect to number operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis, and probability. They are both creative and intuitive in their solutions, have excellent study skills, are able to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts, and are highly motivated by a challenging mathematics curriculum. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Problem-solving is emphasized to ensure successful application of mathematical concepts in realistic contexts. Students in Pre-Algebra study topics in variables, expressions and integers, solving multi-step equations and inequalities, divisibility and factors, advanced work in exponents, rational numbers and equations, ratio and proportions, percent equations and applications, linear relationships, square roots, the Pythagorean Theorem, probability and counting, two and three dimensional measurement, and data and statistics. Successful students in this course typically enter Advanced Algebra 1 in 8th-grade.

Advanced Algebra 1 (Grade 7 Only)

Duration: 1 year

The Advanced Algebra 1 course in 7th-grade is designed for students who have demonstrated an exceptional understanding of advanced math concepts with respect to number operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis, and probability. They are both creative and intuitive in their solutions, have excellent study skills, are able to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts, and are highly motivated by challenging mathematics curriculum. Students are both accelerated and encouraged to explore topics in greater depth. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Problem-solving is emphasized to ensure successful application of mathematical concepts in realistic contexts. The algebra component of this course is aligned with the parts of grade 8 Advanced Algebra 1 course. The geometry, statistics and probability components of this course are aligned with the 7th-grade Pre-Algebra course. Highly successful students in this course typically enter Honors Advanced Algebra 2 in 8th-grade.

Math 8 (Grade 8 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Math 8 course is designed for students who have mastered their basic skills but are still building a framework of conceptual understanding of mathematics with a particular emphasis on algebraic thinking. Manipulatives and real-world problem solving are used where appropriate to aid in concept formation and application. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Study skills and organizational skills are emphasized throughout the program. Each student is encouraged to discover and develop computational and conceptual understanding through individual work, cooperative learning, and problem solving. Students in Math 8 study linear equations and inequalities, linear functions in slope-intercept form, 2D and 3D composite shapes, similar triangles, radical expressions and Pythagorean relationships, right triangle trigonometry, statistics, and probability and counting principles.

Algebra 1 (Grade 8 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Algebra 1 course is designed for students who have mastered their basic skills and have a solid framework of conceptual understanding of mathematics with a particular emphasis on algebraic thinking. They are both creative and intuitive in their solutions, have excellent study skills, are able to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts, and are highly motivated by a challenging mathematics curriculum. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Problem-solving is emphasized to ensure successful application of mathematical concepts in realistic contexts. Students in Algebra 1 study linear equations and inequalities, linear functions and systems, polynomials, quadratic equations, and relations and functions.

Advanced Algebra 1 (Grade 8 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Advanced Algebra 1 course is designed for students who have demonstrated a strong understanding of pre-algebra math concepts with respect to number operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis, and probability. They are both creative and intuitive in their solutions, have excellent study skills, are able to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts, and are highly motivated by a challenging mathematics curriculum. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Problem-solving is emphasized to ensure successful application of mathematical concepts in realistic contexts. Students in Advanced Algebra 1 study linear equations and inequalities, linear functions and systems, exponential functions, polynomials, quadratic functions, radical functions, rational functions, relations and functions, and transformations.

Honors Geometry (Grade 8 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Honors Geometry course is designed for students who have demonstrated a strong understanding of algebraic concepts with respect to linear equations and inequalities, linear functions and systems, polynomials, quadratic functions, relations and functions. They are both creative and intuitive in their solutions, have excellent study skills, are able to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts, and are highly motivated by a challenging mathematics curriculum. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Students in Honors Geometry study the basic definitions used in deductive reasoning, basic principles of logic, properties of different polygons, perpendicularity, congruence, similarity, properties of circles, constructions, areas, and volumes. Emphasis is placed on proofs and problem solving.

Honors Advanced Algebra 2 (Grade 8 Only)

Duration: 1 Year

The Honor Advanced Algebra 2 course is designed for mathematically gifted students. It is a highly accelerated course that is both fast-paced and in-depth. These students have demonstrated exceptional understanding of the algebraic math concepts with respect to number operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, and data analysis. They are highly creative and intuitive in their solutions, have excellent study skills, are able to work with abstract representations of mathematical concepts, and are highly motivated by a challenging mathematics curriculum. Reasoning, strategies, and connections are emphasized through written and oral communication of mathematical ideas. Problem solving is emphasized to ensure successful application of mathematical concepts in realistic contexts. Students in Honor Advanced Algebra 2 study linear equations, systems of equations, determinants, polynomials, sequences, series, probability, complex numbers, quadratic relations, and logarithms. Successful students in this course most often pursue coursework that leads to taking classes well beyond AP Calculus in their senior year.

Middle School Brochure