In Middle School, as abstract thinking skills mature, math classes comprise algebra, statistical analysis, independent analytical projects, and geometric construction activities, among many other age-appropriate investigations. Fifth graders solidify conceptual understanding of fractions, decimals, and percentages in addition to the algorithms to manipulate numbers. Sixth graders build bridges and load-test them; they bring geometric shapes to life in computer simulations; they encounter the equations that produce interactive spirals and fractals; they invent games to test probability theories; and they play innovative math games to build logical thinking.
Research on mathematics teaching reveals compelling ideas about student learning:
- Students are capable of learning algebraic and geometric reasoning far earlier than previously thought.
- Students must master algebra to find success with any higher levels of math.
- Students who learn mathematical concepts when they are ready are more successful throughout their schooling than those who rush into advanced math courses. They also fare better on standardized testing.
Students in Grade 7 and Grade 8 complete a two-year course in introductory algebra. We offer different levels of algebra, but instead of mere acceleration, the curriculum allows time for teachers to ensure that students gain a deep understanding of fundamental concepts before moving to the next level.
In all Middle School grades, students have an opportunity to participate in the Math Olympiad and Mathcounts, programs designed to foster creative and flexible mathematical thinking in competitive forums.