Mathematics is the study of patterns.
Mathematicians NOTICE patterns.
Mathematicians DESCRIBE patterns.
Mathematicians GENERALIZE patterns.
In the math program at Albany Middle School, students learn by actively investigating patterns. Our curriculum, College Preparatory Mathematics, provides daily opportunities for students to notice and explore patterns. We want students to wonder about patterns in the mathematical world and pursue them further. Our goal is that students learn math by developing skills in observation, critical thinking, and analysis with the ultimate goal of becoming good problem solvers.
Rather than being told what they need to learn, students take ownership of their learning through their corporate exploration of concepts in real-world contexts. Teamwork is a vital part of our learning process. In working together, students develop skills of communicating their mathematical thoughts, listening to other perspectives, processing/analyzing ideas, and solving problems together. As students explore math together, they come to realize that they are not doing math for doing math's sake; rather, they are using math as a tool to analyze and solve problems.
We believe in having a growth mindset for learning and thus we structure our instruction around the idea of mastery over time. Students learn in different ways and at different rates. Rather than just covering a concept and moving on, we regularly revisit topics throughout the course of the year because we believe that all the concepts are important and worthy of mastery. Thus, all our homework assignments and tests are always cumulative. We are committed to providing students with sufficient practice, time, and support to master grade level standards and thus be able to confidently apply those concepts in the future.
Our goal is to develop and nurture critical thinkers who are able to draw upon their mathematical tool belt to solve real life problems.
In 8th grade, the math curriculum focuses on:
- formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations
- grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships
- analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem