Mathematics in the middle school includes a broad range of topics that build on foundation learned in the younger grades to prepare for advanced math courses in the high school. In the classroom, students work in cooperative groups, with partners, and individually. Technology and manipulatives are used to reinforce mathematical concepts and understanding.
Students in grade six experience their final year of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum. Everyday Mathematics encourages real-life problem solving, multiple methods for basic skills practice, varied forms of instruction, and emphasizes communication of concepts. Topics include collection, display and interpretation of data, operations with decimals, rational number uses and operations, variables and formulas, geometry, and probability.
Grade seven students follow the Connected Mathematics curriculum to learn about variables, linear relationships, similarity, ratios, proportions, percents, integers, 3D measurement, and probability. Connected Mathematics embeds the mathematical ideas into problem-based investigations so students are engaged in problem-solving and inquiry. Students are assessed on their basic skill knowledge as well as how well they can problem-solve and communicate their reasoning and understanding.
Students in grade eight continue their work with the Connected Mathematics curriculum by studying linear functions, slope, Pythagorean Theorem, exponential relationships, quadratic relationships, symmetry, and statistics. By the end of 8th grade, Connected Mathematics students are expected to solve non-routine algebra problems and demonstrate a strong understanding of linear functions.
Students in all grades think and express themselves mathematically, communicate effectively with mathematical language, and understand the importance of mathematics in the real world.
Saint Columbkille Partnership School has adopted Every Day Mathematics program developed by the University of Chicago for students in grades K2-six. Grades seven and eight use Prentice Hall’s Connected Math.
The Everyday Mathematics program (K2-6) is designed to build upon young children’s experiences with activities that integrate ways to explore and represent mathematics. The program is designed to involve children in “doing mathematics”, establish a solid foundation for future study of mathematics, develop a strong conceptual framework that provides anchoring for skill acquisition, emphasize the development of children’s mathematical thinking and reasoning abilities, and develop the big ideas for early childhood mathematics learning in line with state and national standards. This program prepares students for later learning that takes place by teaching mathematical thinking in:
- Number and Numeration
- Operations and Computation
- Data and Chance
- Measurement and Reference Frames
- Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
Everyday Mathematics provides the opportunity for elementary age students to become lifelong mathematical thinkers. Students learn through hands on experiences using games, manipulatives , small group work, as well as mathematical routines (graphing weather, learning calendar skills, counting the days of school, and conducting surveys to analyze data) and teacher instruction. This curriculum focuses on deepening mathematical thinking and problem solving through open response questions and encourages students to discover different ways to arrive at the same answer.
The spiraling curriculum maximizes students’ potential to master mathematical concepts needed for everyday life by offering repeated exposure and practice. Students strengthen their skills at their own pace through differentiated lessons and learning experiences. Parental involvement is encouraged through Home Links and Family Letters, which describe student learning, offer suggestions about ways to support math learning at home, and give follow-up activities to work on at home.
Student individual needs are met through small group instruction and direct intervention for students who do not meet standards on end of unit assessments. Everyday Mathematics also provides on-line support for students in the form of reinforcement games that students can use during small group instruction and center time.
The curriculum is segmented into strands that align with the Common Core State Standards. For a detailed description of the various strands see Common Core State Standards. Everyday Mathematics program ends at the conclusion of the sixth grade.
Connected Mathematics, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall, extends the integrated approach to the study of mathematics for grades seven and eight. The seventh grade curriculum is designed to prepare students to think algebraically and develop strategies to solve problems in a real-life context. The mathematics course in grade eight is algebra, including factoring, quadratic equation, and graphing. The curriculum is differentiated through the use of Khan Academy, an on-line tutorial program that links students progress to the teacher who serves as a coach. This program generates data to inform the teacher regarding each student’s level of skill attainment. Additionally, other textbooks and assets are used for students who struggle or who have mastered current skills. Students utilize laptops, graphing calculators, and algebraic scales and other manipulatives to enhance student tactile and visual learning. This program has end of unit assessments that are utilized by the teacher. Other assessments are teacher generated.