Middle School Mathematics endeavors to accomplish three tasks:
- to create a bridge between the concreteness of arithmetic and the abstractions that will follow in algebra and geometry.
- to provide opportunities to tap into the natural curiosity and enthusiasm for activities and learning that Middle School students bring to their classes.
- to provide experiences and opportunities in mathematics that address the academic needs and talents of each child.
Embracing the idea that math involves reasoning and problem-solving skills to foster curiosity, persistence and attention to detail, the sixth grade course strives to strengthen and extend work with integers, fractions and decimals, then move into percentages and three-dimensional geometry while establishing a solid foundation for the abstract language and mechanics of Pre-Algebra. While our mathematics teachers use a variety of resources to teach our students, the primary source is the Math in Focus program, formerly known as Singapore Math.
In either Pre-Algebra or Advanced Pre-Algebra, seventh graders continue to develop an appreciation for the aesthetics of mathematics, with special emphasis placed on the processes used to solve problems rather than on the answer itself.
Most eighth graders take either Algebra I or Advanced Algebra I. Both cover the same material, but the advanced course does so at an accelerated pace and with higher expectations. Each course presents material to both interest and challenge students while using real-life applications to make the learning more relevant.
For students who demonstrate exceptional talent in mathematics, Penn Charter offers an Accelerated Middle School Math Program. The math department will determine placement in this program. Students qualifying for this program must demonstrate:
- a love for mathematics and an eagerness to be challenged.
- high achievement in previous grades.
- exceptional achievement on the SSAT test.*
Teacher recommendations are also considered.
In addition, placement tests are given to ensure mastery of prerequisite topics before assigning a student to an upper level math course. Because of the sequential and cumulative nature of mathematics, it is very important that students receive instruction in prerequisite topics before taking an advanced level course.
*Fee waivers are available for this test.