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Overview and Philosophy
In math at The Girls' Middle School students are asked to think, communicate, and problem solve, discovering connections between concepts through exploration, not through the memorization of algorithms. Our curriculum, College Preparatory Math, requires groupwork, asks the students to develop understanding through multiple representations, and includes traditional and non-traditional assessment. The spiralling curriculum allows students to begin algebraic thinking in sixth grade, while learning and strengthening the mathematical foundations of fractions, basic geometry, and probability. In seventh grade, students build a deeper level of problem solving, proportional reasoning, and continue to develop abstract algebraic understanding. By the end of eighth grade, all students complete the equivalent of a High School Algebra I course, including functions, linear equations, quadratics, and rational expressions.
We hope to inspire enthusiasm towards math. We do not expect, nor even want, everyone to be a mathematical genius or to get every question right on a test. Rather, we want all students to gain an appreciation of the inherent beauty of math, while preserving a sense of wonder and fun throughout the learning process. We want them to see the world through math eyes and to make connections that excite them. Students gain this appreciation through a deep understanding of mathematical principles, not through the memorization of algorithms or exhaustive calculations. We intentionally create meaningful mathematical experiences, combined with daily practice, so the students can make relevant and interesting connections between concepts.
- Students will see the connections between math and their surroundings – they will view the world through “math eyes,” noticing the beauty inherent in mathematics.
- Students will use the following five ways of thinking to approach mathematics – justifying, generalizing, making connections, reversing thinking, and applying and extending understanding.
- Students will grow in all four strands identified by CPM: Number Sense; Algebra and Functions; Measurement and Geometry; and Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability.
- Students will develop mathematical reasoning skills and solve complex problems.
- Students will effectively communicate mathematical concepts, and their thought processes, in written, oral, and graphic form.