Math

Our comprehensive math program develops critical thinking and logic. Classes build a strong foundation of skills necessary for further exploration of mathematics and application to scientific problems. Sections provide appropriate challenges for student skill levels.

Habits of Mind

  • Account for how your brain works. Be intentionally open to learning.
  • Establish a process for solving problems.
  • Use multiple approaches and ways to solve problems. For example, visualize problems and solutions, draw a picture.
  • Look for connections….ask and apply.
  • Look for patterns….ask and apply.
  • Find mathematical equivalence.
  • Ask why of yourself and others.
  • Represent mathematical ideas in a variety of ways.
  • Communicate your thinking both verbally and in writing.
  • Attend to precision and check your accuracy.
  • Persevere. Tinker, try stuff, be willing to make mistakes and don’t erase them. Take a risk.

6th Grade

Math during the 6th grade year at the Northwest School is the beginning of a Pre‐Algebra, Pre‐Geometry course. There are 3 aspects to the program.

Units of Study:

  • Data organization/graphing
  • Measurement
  • Number theory and relationships
  • Algebraic thinking and formulas
  • Ratios, Proportions, Percent, and Similarity
  • Probability
  • Geometry topics


Problem of the Week—a multi-step problem where students practice:

  • Problem solving strategies
  • Communicating mathematical thinking
  • Presenting work in an organized way


Basic Skills Review & Practice:

  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and decimals
  • Place value
  • Percents
  • Converting fractions, decimals, and percents
  • Area and perimeter
  • Finding the mean, median, and mode of a set of data

7th Grade

Math during 7th grade at The Northwest School is the second year of the Pre-Algebra, Pre-Geometry course begun in 6th grade. The program has the same 3 aspects (Units of Study, Problem of the Week, Basic Skills Review & Practice).


Units of Study:

  • Patterns and generalizing patterns using a variable
  • Spreadsheets
  • Signed numbers
  • Inequalities
  • Matrix addition, subtraction and multiplication
  • Simplifying algebraic expressions, using variables, solving equations and inequalities
  • Translating word problems into algebraic equations
  • Ratios, Proportions, Percents in relation to algebraic equations
  • More advanced angle measurement and geometric properties involving angles
  • More on geometric formulas for triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles
  • Graphing on a coordinate grid
  • Geometric properties of lines and other geometric figures
  • Transformations of polygons

8th Grade

Algebra I

In Algebra I, students investigate how to model the world using graphical representations and symbolic language. This builds the foundation for an exploration of functions, including lines, polynomials, and quadratics. Students also study exponents and radicals while exploring these modeling techniques.

In Geometry, students in Geometry study two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric principles including congruence, similarity, the Pythagorean Theorem, and trigonometry with an emphasis on developing logical problem-solving skills, justification, and reasoning. The course is built on communication about mathematics and peer collaboration, combining the study of geometric theory and its applications.