Math in 6th Grade
The sixth grade Mathematics course uses the first trimester getting to know students and assessing them, in order to determine which students will move to an honors section for second and third trimester. The course builds and solidifies critical thinking abilities, computational skills and basic algebraic concepts in preparation for a full course of Algebra. The encouragement of independent thinking, creative problem solving, and excellent study habits are included throughout the course. Topics include operations with integers, fractions, decimals, and percents, problems involving perimeter, area and volume, solutions, applications of equations and inequalities, coordinate graphing concepts, and concepts of probability and statistics. The course also builds skills related to problem solving, critical thinking, note taking, and test preparation.
The Honors section moves at an accelerated pace and delves more deeply into topics and concepts. It culminates in a project that requires students to find area, perimeter, and circumference of multiple different shapes of the Bentley campus and on converting measurements and working with fractions and decimals.
Math in 7th and 8th Grade (Algebra I)
Students learn the concepts and skills of Algebra and apply algebraic problem solving techniques to a variety of situations. Students solve complex equations and inequalities of different functions including linear, quadratic, radical, exponential and rational. They solve and graph systems of functions. Students learn to apply an algebraic process to solving word problems and critical thinking to evaluate the concepts behind the solutions. Algebra students are also introduced to other topics in geometry, trigonometry, and statistics.
At the beginning of the Algebra curriculum, students learn to translate sentences into algebraic expressions and equations, use the distributive property, solve for a missing variable, and discover the power of organizing data into an organized chart to help solve word problems. Later in the seventh grade year, the students participate in hands-on investigation of multiplying, dividing and factoring polynomials with the use of Algebra Lab Gear Blocks, relating them to area and perimeter. This investigation leads to a thorough treatment of factoring polynomials, using a variety of methods. By the end of the seventh grade they are learning to solve mixture, work, and percentage problems as well as scientific notation and negative exponents.
Skills included in the eighth grade include learning to solve and graph systems of inequalities in one and two dimensions, as well as problems involving absolute values. Students also explore set theory through Venn diagrams, the Pythagorean Theorem, simplifying rational and irrational square roots of variable expressions, and learning to derive and apply the Quadratic formula.
Along the way, students improve their listening and note-taking skills, maintain an organized notebook and practice time management.
Algebra I Honors
This course covers all of the topics of first-year Algebra as well as a few additional topics from more advanced Algebra. It moves at an accelerated pace and adds more challenging problems. The pre-requisite is mastery of pre-algebra concepts and skills. Advanced topics include geometry and trigonometry units, focusing on angle relations, similar and congruent triangles, solving proofs, and special right triangles.