Mathematics

 

The study of mathematics at our school is both lively and comprehensive. The inherent beauty of mathematical world is highlighted, while skills are simultaneously being developed through practice and drill.
In kindergarten children experience counting, sorting, adding, subtracting, sequencing, and dividing as they collect toys, take things out of baskets, set up houses, set up chairs for story time or set the table. These activities are part of the kindergarten day through hands-on manipulation of objects during free play and the domestic activities the children participate in. Simple finger plays and counting rhymes are sometimes done at circle time and feed the child’s natural interest in the world of numbers.

Imaginative stories, games, and rhythmic movement form the basis for the arithmetic in the early grades. Teachers emphasize the development of a sense for numbers. “What feels different when I hold three apples in my hands or eight?” In addition, teachers will also bring forth the qualities of numbers. The number 2 may be presented as a pair of shoes, a set of twins, or as two individual things or people who came together to form a pair. The number 5 may be presented as the classic pattern of a flower, etc. Emphasis is on mastering the four processes and learning the times tables up to 12 by heart. Borrowing and carrying are also introduced. Mental arithmetic is practiced and the children solve simple equations arising from imaginative stories presented by the teacher. Third grade strengthens confidence in the four processes and introduces measurement in all of its form: time, volume, length, height, weight and distance. Progress is measured both in reviewing morning lesson books and in individual oral testing of children in their math memory and skill.

In fourth and fifth grade the children are ready to take things apart and explore fractions and decimals. Developing good work habits, including organization and completion of work, becomes a central theme. Students continue to work with mental arithmetic, estimation, rounding, even and odd numbers, borrowing and carrying, times tables up to 12, expanded notation, combined computation and freehand geometric drawing. Longhand division and ways to check their work are also introduced.

The middle school mathematics curriculum consists of an introduction to geometry, business math and introductory algebra. The sense of number and the interrelationship between division, fractions, decimals and percents is a continuing theme. Fractions play a primary role. Fraction to decimal conversions and decimal to fractions conversions, repeating decimals, converting repeating decimals to fractions are practiced. By the completion of eighth grade students have had a solid introduction to geometry and algebraic thinking and problem solving.