St. Michael’s offers a variety of courses at each grade level, meeting each child at his/her level and insuring that each has a strong foundation for the multi-leveled math classes that are offered in high school.
We recognize that students at this age develop at different rates and appreciate that there is more than one path through the math curriculum; for that reason we conduct careful student placement in the spring of each year, as well as careful assessment throughout the year to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged in his or her course of study.
6th Grade Mathematics
Students in grade six study pre-algebra topics in courses designed to develop an understanding of mathematics as a system of thought. A student’s ability to work independently and persevere with problems, along with his or her past mathematical performance in both class and on the Pre-Algebra Readiness assessment, determine class placement.
7th Grade Mathematics
Seventh grade students take Honors Pre-Algebra, Algebra I-Part 1, or Algebra I. This placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performance in both course work and on the Algebra Readiness test administered prior to 7th grade.
8th Grade Mathematics
Eighth grade students are placed either in Algebra I-Part I, Algebra I-Part II or Geometry. Again, this placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performances in both course work and on the Algebra Proficiency test administered prior to 8th grade.
This math course is designed to consolidate computational skills, enhance understanding of underlying mathematical concepts, and extend the skills of working with proportion, percent, linear equations, and geometric relationships. Students gain proportional reasoning skills and become proficient with integer operations.
This course covers a sequence of topics similar to Pre-Algebra, but it covers more complex problems, and it requires a demonstration of some independence in mathematical thinking. It is designed for students who have already mastered computational skills, who have demonstrated the ability to think more abstractly about mathematics, and who are self-motivated to work independently to solve problems.
Algebra, Part 1 and Part 2
This course covers the topics of the complete Algebra 1 course over two school years. It is offered to those grade seven and eight students who benefit from a more supportive pace to learn new topics and who need more guidance in learning how to tackle each new problem and recognize which skills to use when confronted with an unfamiliar format. In Part I, concepts include data exploration; proportional reasoning; direct and inverse variation; writing, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities; and systems of linear equations. During year two, in Part 2, concepts include exponential growth and decay, rational numbers and radicals, and a full study of quadratic equations and their solutions.
This is a complete Algebra 1 course. Topics in this class include proportional reasoning; direct and inverse variation; writing, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities; systems of equations; functions and their transformations; non-linear functions; and quadratic equations and solutions. A TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required and used for investigations, data analysis, graphing functions, and verifying results. Application of skills, procedures, and concepts to solve real world problems is an integral part of this course. An important goal of this course is for students to begin to see algebra as a language to model situations, in addition to solidifying their ability to manipulate symbols.
Geometry is a high school course that deepens students’ understanding of plane and solid geometric figures while fostering their abilities to analyze, justify, and communicate information about geometric relationships and write geometric proofs. Topics include congruent and similar triangles; parallel and perpendicular lines; right triangle trigonometry; polygons; circles and solids; transformations; and constructions. Algebra topics are integrated throughout the course to provide a solid and broad foundation for advanced mathematics courses. Geometry has a balanced focus on inductive and deductive reasoning, providing students with some practice with proofs.