# Math

The Middle School Math program seeks to empower students to use the tools of mathematics, as well as to help them develop an appreciation for the beauty of the subject and how it relates to other academic topics and the world outside the math classroom. Students experience math as a hands-on discipline. Whenever possible, instruction includes activities and projects, and we use technology to help math come to life.

In fifth and sixth grade math, the primary focus is proficiency on problem solving with fractions, decimals, and percents. Starting in sixth grade, students begin to grapple with pre-algebraic ideas, and explore geometric ideas and statistics. Seventh graders develop strong foundations in working with rational and irrational numbers, writing equations from problems and solving more complex equations to prepare for Algebra I, a required full year course for all eighth graders. Students who complete Algebra I in 7th grade take Upper School Geometry in 8th grade.

In order to promote girls’ enthusiasm for math and math-related fields, the math department has introduced a once-per-cycle math workshop in fifth and sixth grades in groupings based on gender identity. In these classes, students expand upon the regular curriculum by actively engaging in open-ended problem-solving in an environment meant to build camaraderie among developing mathematicians.

In fifth grade math, the focus is on fraction, decimal, and percent fluency. Students gain proficiency in operating with these forms of numbers in order to solve problems. To this end, students work with place value, estimation, order of operations, and geometric topics (including angle, polygon, and polyhedra identification, area and perimeter). They explore statistics, including identification of graph types, construction of graphs, methods of central tendency, survey methods, and the misuse of statistics. When students demonstrate a readiness for more challenging material, they begin to explore exponents, integers, simple equations, and four quadrant graphing. All fifth grade students are given an iPad and these are used frequently in mathematics classrooms.