Middle School Academics
The curriculum applies and delves more deeply into the mathematical material presented in previous grades, and provides the foundation necessary for success in Algebra. Emphasis is given to pre-algebra topics which focus heavily on simplifying and evaluating expressions, writing equations, and solving word problems that require proportional reasoning. Students continue to practice computation skills with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Geometry topics include identifying, classifying, and constructing angles, line segments, polygons, and circles. Data Analysis is explored through the creation of circle graphs, line graphs, and bar graphs. Great importance is placed on organization and self-help skills, including learning to use books and notes as resources for homework help. Projects and hands-on activities are used to reinforce concepts taught through direct teaching and group activities, all of which continue the development of mathematical skills at an optimum level.
This year is primarily pre-algebra where evaluating expressions with integers is mastered. Writing expressions is practiced and simplifying expressions using the distributive property is emphasized. The students learn to solve two-step, one variable equations. The linear equation is introduced, and the concept of slope is explored. Problem solving is a significant component of the curricula, with emphasis placed on writing algebraic equations, such as area and volume formulas, and proportions to solve word problems. Material is presented through direct teaching, projects, and hands-on laboratory explorations.
The Eighth Grade algebra curriculum is a first-year algebra course. Students learn the fundamental algebraic concepts of variables and functions. In particular, linear and quadratic functions are addressed. Examples of situations that these functions model are presented. Students learn to translate these real-world applications to algebraic problems and then solve the problems using the methods and techniques of algebra. Emphasis is placed on justifying steps in the solution process, writing proper equations, drawing graphs, and applying computational skills and reasoning to evaluate numerical quantities.