Middle School Mathematics

Menlo School students work out a math problem. Photo by Crystal Bai.

Problem-solving. Abstract thinking. Analytical reasoning.

Menlo’s Middle School Mathematics program aims to create and strengthen the foundation that students will need and use in the years ahead. Emphasis is on strengthening computation skills, developing both verbal and written communication skills that use appropriate mathematical justification, and stretching toward abstract thinking. Analytical reasoning and strong problem solving skills are weaved throughout the curriculum. Students are constantly encouraged to question “why” rules work, not just “how” they work. The goal of the program is to provide students with the mathematical skills and understandings that will allow them to successfully take on the challenges and opportunities of their future.

 

Course Catalog

  • Mathematics 6

    The goal of this course is to create a solid foundation in mathematics that students will need and use in the years ahead. Emphasis is on strengthening computation skills, especially those involving fractions, decimals, and integers, and developing a thorough approach to problem-solving. Students will be challenged daily to develop mathematical habits of mind such as making sense of problems, utilizing appropriate solution strategies, communicating their methods with mathematical justification, and persevering through challenges. Organization of thinking and documentation of work are strongly emphasized. This course is designed to meet the needs of students with a variety of math backgrounds and provide challenge and engagement at all levels.

    Topics covered include number theory, problem-solving, proportional reasoning, integer operations, data and statistics, probability, and geometry. The use of variables is woven throughout the curriculum to help prepare students for pre-Algebra.

    By the end of 6th grade, students should feel confident in their abilities to reason through complex problems and be comfortable working with variables.

  • Pre-Algebra 7

    This Pre-Algebra course provides students the opportunity to stretch their abstract thinking, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning. Students will continue to work on documenting in organized steps and sharing verbally their thinking and solution strategy.  In addition, they will learn to defend their methods in peer review. In this course students will be presented with challenging but accessible problems, and asked to reason through them collaboratively with their peers.


    Students will be introduced to formal algebraic thinking and apply algebraic concepts to their prior problem-solving strategies. Other topics include exponents, geometry (angle relationships, surface area and volume of 3D shapes), scale, ratios, proportions, percents, statistics, and probability.

  • Pre-Algebra (E) 7

    Topics studied include those listed in Pre-Algebra 7. In addition, students are further challenged to investigate connections between concepts and pushed towards deeper understanding and flexibility in problem-solving, through more rigorous applications.

  • Algebra 8

    This Algebra 1 course prepares students for the rigors of future classes by providing a strong foundation of algebraic concepts. Students will explore multiple representations of the linear, quadratic, and rational functions. Extensive treatment of the fundamental skills that underpin various relationships precedes the study of these functions. Real-life applications will be explored whenever possible. Additional topics covered include a review of operations with integers and rational numbers, solving equations and inequalities, operations on polynomials, radicals and rational expressions, factoring, functions and graphs, linear systems, and quadratics.

    Students practice cooperative problem solving and learn effective communication skills that use the appropriate mathematical language to present problem solutions.

  • Algebra (E) 8

    Topics studied include those listed in Algebra 8. In addition, students are further challenged to investigate connections between concepts and pushed towards deeper understanding and flexibility in problem-solving, through more rigorous applications. Students are also introduced to the idea of a mathematical proof.