The math program provides appropriate and challenging math classes for all students. Courses promote strong foundations in procedural skills, conceptual understanding, critical thinking, problem-solving, reasoning, and written and oral communication. Teachers use various instructional models to maximize student learning and interest in the subject.
All 6th graders take 6th Grade Math. Toward the end of 6th grade math, students take the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT). This test is considered the best indicator for identifying students whose abstract reasoning skills are sufficiently developed to begin formal algebra studies. Based on the results of this test, 6th grade performance, other testing available, and teacher feedback, students are placed into one of three tracks for 7th and 8th grade math.
6th Grade Math
Students are introduced to various topics needed to successfully move on to Pre-Algebra and Algebra I. Teachers focus on strengthening understanding of basic math concepts and computational skills necessary for further study of mathematics and relevant real-life situations. Topics include operations with whole numbers, decimals and fractions, measurement, ratios and proportions, percents, elementary geometry, statistics, and probability. Supplementary projects support learning throughout the year.
Flexible groupings in the first two trimesters of the year ensure students receive appropriate challenges and supports. In the third trimester, students are placed in groups where they will be most appropriately challenged.
Intro to Pre-Algebra
Students in Intro to Pre-Algebra solidify foundations such as place value, number theory, computation of whole numbers, fractions and decimals, ratio, proportion, percent, and basic geometry. Students are also introduced to pre-algebra concepts such as variables, expressions, equations, integers, and the coordinate plane.
Students in Pre-Algebra use variables and expressions to solve equations and inequalities, use factors, fractions, and exponents to simplify and evaluate expressions; use ratios, proportions, and percents; analyze data; begin to analyze geometry with algebra; study right triangles and angle relationships, and explore linear functions and related graphs.
Intro to Algebra I
Students in Intro to Algebra I solidify their skills using variables, simplifying expressions, and solving equations. They are also introduced to algebra I concepts, including linear functions and graphing, exponents and powers, and polynomial expressions. These skills help students build a stronger foundation in anticipation of high school math.
In Algebra I, students solve multi-step equations and inequalities, represent real-life situations with linear functions, graph functions, perform operations with polynomials, solve quadratic equations, and model exponential functions. The class will also be introduced to rational and radical expressions and equations.
Advanced Algebra I
Advanced Algebra is a two-year program in 7th and 8th grades. Students solve multi-step equations and inequalities, represent real-life situations with linear functions, graph functions, perform operations with polynomials, solve quadratic equations, and model exponential functions. They also analyze radical and rational expressions and solve radical and rational equations, with a thorough look at the related functions. Students are introduced to geometry concepts toward the end of the course.