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Mathematics

The effort to help students answer their own questions, such as, “How does this relate to the world I know? How can mathematics help me understand my world and what people do?” has been the foundation to the implementation of a math curriculum for over 20 years at MPH. Curriculum is designed so that students personally construct their mathematical understanding as they make sense within situations requiring the real application of mathematical thinking and computation. In doing so, mathematics, another necessary literacy for our children, becomes a tool for life. Comprehension of “when,” as well as the skill of “how,” are integrated within lessons.

We strive to balance students constructing their own meaning from mathematical situations with teaching students the necessary algorithms for future success in math.  Algebraic thinking is stressed beginning in the Lower School and accelerated students have the opportunity to take Algebra beginning in seventh grade.  Beyond that, students develop problem solving, reasoning and communication skills with excellent results. Our students thrive on taking “calculated” and thoughtful risks in mathematics; witnessing the many “aha!” moments in a class is exhilarating for the students and teachers.

Courses

Mathematics 6

Math 6 topics include number theory, operations on decimals, fractions, and integers, measurement, geometry, ratios and proportions, and introductory probability and statistics.  Cooperative learning and problem solving skills, as well as writing to communicate mathematical ideas, are emphasized throughout the year.  Students explore material through a series of small group activities and projects, as well as through whole class discussions.

Mathematics 7

This course is offered to Seventh Graders and provides a rigorous presentation to the study of algebra. An introduction to the use of variables in equations is fundamental to the course. Numerical concepts encompass order of operations, number theory, integers, rational numbers (positive and negative fractions), percent, ratios, volume and surface area and provide a sound foundation for the future study of algebra. Problem solving is also stressed. The graphing calculator is used to evaluate expressions, graph linear equations, check answers, and explore mathematical ideas to help students become familiar with its operation.

Mathematics 8

Math 8 is the first part of Algebra which is offered to students who have completed the seventh grade Pre-Algebra class, but are not quite ready for the pace and theory of Algebra AC. Students pursue traditional topics of algebra including solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, algebraic manipulation skills, exponents, polynomial expressions, as well as computation with rational numbers and statistics. Special attention is devoted to developing the relationship between algebraic models, graphs, the geometry of measurement, communication of ideas, connecting math to real life situations and the use of the TI-84 calculator.

Algebra AC

This accelerated (AC) course is offered to students with faculty recommendation. This course is for students who embrace challenges, function independently and enjoy delving into how and why mathematical concepts work. Students pursue traditional topics of algebra: solving equations and inequalities, linear functions and graphing, systems of linear functions and inequalities, operations with polynomials, quadratic equations, rational and irrational numbers and logic. The course devotes special attention to problem solving skills, written communication of ideas, developing the relationship between algebraic models and graphs, and the use of the graphing calculator.