# Math

## Uppers Course Description

6th graders will be studying number theory, geometric and measurement, and advanced computation using fractions, decimals and percentages interchangeably. In addition, experiential projects such as a student-designed Park Project and research-based Data Project will be added to enhance and reinforce learning. A Math Fair will close the year, allowing students an opportunity to research and present a math topic of their choice. Mathematical understanding in 6th grade comes through authentic problem-solving experiences with mathematics and in-depth examinations of mathematical reasoning.

According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, a solid understanding of fractions is the gateway to success in Algebra. Therefore, Â we begin 7th grade math by reviewing all operations with fractions and mixed numbers, with and without common denominators. Â Students practice using fractions in a variety of projects such as: measuring the perimeter and area of the Finer Building and creating a â€śMini-Meâ€ť scale drawing of themselves, measured to 1/4thinch. Â Once their knowledge of fractions is stable, the students begin building a foundation of pre-algebra skills, including operations with integers; order of operations; ratio, proportion and percents; and, solving for variables. Â After they are carefully grouped according to learning style and pacing needs, the students work individually, in pairs and as a group. Concepts are presented by using hands-on materials and manipulatives as well as material from the Connected Math series and by practicing traditional approaches. In order to prepare for and provide strategies for success when taking high stakes standardized tests, students are periodically given quizzes, tests and practice MCAS and SSAT questions in class. All students keep a math journal for class notes and for recording a glossary of math vocabulary.

Eighth grade math is designed to lay a strong foundation for using and understanding the skills and concepts necessary for successful algebraic thinking and to prepare students for 9th grade Algebra. The students use standard 8th grade textbooks. They are introduced to and practice at their individual level of skill and understanding the following:

• solve equations
• applying equations
• inequalities and absolute value
• powers and polynomials, including factoring polynomials
• rational expressions

Math Projects have included:

• Collecting, graphing and interpreting data from real sources relating to issues contributing to hunger in a diverse sampling of countries around the world. Topics that are researched include annual income, population and population density, meat consumption and life expectancy.
• Building a scale model of the Uppers Building.
• Calculating how many golf balls it would take to fill the Uppers Building, in order to understand the mathematical concept of and formula for calculating the volume of rectangles.

Students are evaluated based on the following criteria:

• Homework
• Class work/participation
• Conceptual understanding
• Problem solving skills
• Computational skills

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