Mission

The courses in middle school mathematics emphasize the pattern, structure, and unifying ideas of the discipline. Since we have witnessed tremendous growth in uses of mathematics during the past thirty years, it is virtually impossible to predict all our future mathematical needs. We attempt to provide opportunities for students to achieve the mathematical, statistical, and computer literacy that will be required by tomorrow’s society. Acquiring problem-solving skills is a major emphasis of the program.

The mathematics department recommends that students take alternate mathematics courses (summer school, on-line, or after-school mathematics courses) only if they have done poorly in the corresponding academic year course or desire such a course for enrichment. When encountering specific mathematics courses for the first time, students should not substitute such alternate courses for regular academic year courses in their mathematics programs. In general only academic year courses provide the time and group interaction necessary to develop an appropriate understanding of the concepts involved. Students will generally not be permitted to skip courses by taking alternate courses and students who take alternate courses prior to the academic year course should do so with the understanding that they will encounter some repetition of material in their academic year course. For further information about this policy, contact the department chair, James McLaughlin.

Curriculum Standards

Curriculum

Course M160/M161    GRADE 6 LEVEL I  MATHEMATICS     Full Year
Students in this course should have a solid mastery of their number facts, skill in abstracting, and an active interest in mathematics. The course will include expanding skills with fractions and decimals; work with order of operations and addition of signed numbers; exploring graphs and analyzing data; two-dimensional geometry; an introduction to algebraic concepts; work on patterns in numbers and shapes and expressing those patterns algebraically; and studying special topics from probability.  Students will be introduced to the use of spreadsheets as a mathematical tool. Throughout the course students will be exposed to a variety of problems and puzzles designed to develop problem-solving skills and encourage creative thinking.
Course M162/M163      GRADE 6 LEVEL II  MATHEMATICS     Full Year
Students in this course should be able to demonstrate mastery of most number facts. The course will include expanding skills with fractions and decimals; work with order of operations and addition of signed numbers; exploring graphs and analyzing data; two-dimensional geometry; an introduction to algebraic concepts; work on patterns in numbers and shapes and expressing those patterns algebraically; and studying special topics from probability.  Students will be introduced to the use of spreadsheets as a mathematical tool. Throughout the course students will be exposed to a variety of problems and puzzles designed to develop problem-solving skills and encourage creative thinking.
Course M165      GRADE 6 TOPICS IN MATHEMATICS      Full Year
This course is for students concurrently enrolled in Grade 6 Level II Mathematics (Course M162 or M163) who need additional mathematics instruction to succeed in that course.  Instruction in Topics is designed to reinforce concepts from Level II Mathematics, address skill weaknesses, develop the habits of mind necessary for success in mathematics, and prepare students for upcoming lessons in Level II Mathematics.  Grade 6 Topics meets 2 times a week; the course is a pass/fail course and has no required homework.
Course M170/M171      GRADE 7 HONORS MATHEMATICS      Full Year
This course is designed to prepare students for Honors Algebra I in Grade 8.  The year will be divided into five major topics: patterns and algebraic thinking; signed numbers and exponents; ratio, proportion, and percentages; three dimensional geometry; and probability.  Only students with high motivation and demonstrated mathematical achievement should enroll in this course.
Course M172/M173      GRADE 7 MATHEMATICS      Full Year
Grade 7 Mathematics is a college preparatory course that continues students’ exploration of algebraic concepts.  Students are recommended for this course by their 6th grade teacher.  Course content will consist of five major topics: patterns and algebraic thinking; signed numbers and exponents; ratio, proportion, and percentages; three dimensional geometry; and probability.  By the end of the year, students in this course will be prepared to take Grade 8 Algebra I.
Course M175      GRADE 7 TOPICS IN MATHEMATICS      Full Year
This course is for students concurrently enrolled in Grade 7 Mathematics (Course M172 or M173) who need additional mathematics instruction to succeed in that course.  Instruction in Topics is designed to reinforce concepts from Grade 7 Mathematics, address skill weaknesses, develop the habits of mind necessary for success in mathematics, and prepare students for upcoming lessons in Grade 7 Mathematics.  Grade 7 Topics meets 2 times a week; the course is a pass/fail course and has no required homework.
Course M179      GRADE 7 ALGEBRA       Full Year
This course is a challenging introduction to algebra for selected seventh grade students. Enrollment is by invitation only. Major topics include graphs and functions, solution of linear equations, systems of linear equations and inequalities, quadratic functions, polynomials, factoring, algebraic fractions and their applications, and operations with radicals. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible for enrollment in Course M189 Grade 8 Applied Advanced Algebra scheduled for introduction in 2010.  Both course sequences 179-189 (Grade Seven Algebra followed by Grade Eight Applied Advanced Algebra) and 170(1)-180(1)  (Grade Seven Honors Mathematics followed by Grade Eight Honors Algebra One) lead to Honors Geometry in Grade Nine.
Course M180/M181      GRADE 8 HONORS ALGEBRA I      Full Year
This course is a challenging introduction to algebra. Major topics will include linear equations, graphs and functions, systems of linear equations, polynomials, factoring, and quadratic functions. Algebra I features hands-on investigations of interesting and meaningful problems. Students will use a practical blend of technology-related and paper-and-pencil problem-solving tools including graphing calculators. Only students with high motivation, exceptional ability and demonstrated mathematical achievement should enroll in this course.
Course M182/M183      GRADE 8 ALGEBRA I      Full Year
This course is a college-preparatory introduction to Algebra. Major topics will include linear equations, graphs and functions, systems of linear equations, polynomials, factoring, and quadratic functions. Algebra I features hands-on investigations of interesting and meaningful problems. Students will use a practical blend of technology-related and paper-and-pencil problem-solving tools including graphing calculators.
Course M185      GRADE 8 TOPICS IN ALGEBRA      Full Year
This course is for students concurrently enrolled in Grade 8 Algebra I (Course M182 or M183) who need additional mathematics instruction to succeed in that course.  Instruction in Topics is designed to reinforce concepts from Algebra I, address skill weaknesses, develop the habits of mind necessary for success in mathematics, and prepare students for upcoming lessons in Algebra I. Grade 8 Topics in Algebra meets 2 times a week; the course is a pass/fail course and has no required homework.
Course M189      GRADE 8 APPLIED ADVANCED ALGEBRA      Full Year
This course is for eighth grade students who have successfully completed a full year of algebra, usually by taking course M179.  The course continues work in challenging algebraic topics such as factoring, rational algebraic expressions, multi-variable systems of equations and inequalities, and radicals.  In addition, students will use algebra to explore other mathematical areas such as conditional probability, solid geometry, continued fractions, numeration systems, game theory and three-dimensional graphing. Both this course and Course M180/181 (Grade Eight Honors Algebra One) lead to Honors Geometry in grade nine.