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.
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
- Number theory and relationships
- Algebraic thinking and formulas
- Ratios, Proportions, Percent, and Similarity
- 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
- Converting fractions, decimals, and percents
- Area and perimeter
- Finding the mean, median, and mode of a set of data
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
- Signed numbers
- 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
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.
Algebra II extends the many ways in which mathematics can model the world. Students explore how to represent patterns with mathematics. One focus is finding the best possible line to represent a pattern. Students take an in‐depth look at the major properties of polynomials as well as how to manipulate polynomials in order to better model the world. Other modeling techniques are explored, including matrices, exponential functions, and logarithmic functions. During these investigations, complex numbers are also explored as a necessary way in which to accurately model the world.