Our Middle School uses the Connected Math Project (CMP3) program, which is a natural extension of the constructivist Investigations in Number, Data, and Space curriculum from the Lower School. This program allows students to build their knowledge of mathematics through exploration of real-world problems, engaging math activities, and opportunities to construct their own understandings of mathematical concepts. The focus is not on rote memorization of algorithms, but rather on determining strategies and finding different routes to the solution of a problem. We encourage students to reason abstractly, persevere in problem solving, and explain their solutions clearly. Math is another lens through which to see the world as students explore questions that address authentic applications such as economics, statistics, and architecture.
The four math strands that are taught throughout the Middle School years are:
NUMBER AND OPERATION
DATA ANALYSIS AND PROBABILITY
GEOMETRY AND MEASUREMENT
ALGEBRA AND FUNCTIONS
Each year builds upon what was learned in the prior year with the concepts and skills deepening as students progress. Middle School students may also participate in a weekly math seminar, an opportunity to dig more deeply into complex mathematical problem-solving.
- Why do we use variables?
- How can prime factorization help us solve problems?
- How can I design a data investigation to answer a question?
- What display is appropriate for a given set of data?
- When are negative numbers used and why are they important?
- How do you find the value of the unknown?
- How can objects be represented?
Sixth grade students analyze operations. They develop an understanding of prime factorization and the use of order of operations. Students study ratios, rational numbers, and equivalence. They deepen their familiarity with fractions and expand their ability to perform operations with fractions, decimals, and percents through working with number lines, examining rate tables, and making comparisons. Later in the year, sixth graders study geometry as they work with area, perimeter, and volume of two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes.
Seventh graders use logical reasoning to analyze geometric attributes. They develop their understanding of similarity, congruence, and proportional relationships as part of a geometry strand. Students embark on a study of integers and rational numbers, looking at order of operations and mathematical properties as a way to make computational sequences clear. Students become more flexible and skilled in using strategies for comparing fractions, ratios, rates, and percents.
Eighth grade students learn about mathematical models such as data tables, graphs, and equations, and their application in problem solving. They focus on linear relationships, examining equality, equations, and data analysis. As part of a geometry strand, students learn about the Pythagorean Theorem, making connections among the concepts of area, distance, and irrational numbers. Exponential functions are used to solve real-world problems involving topics like population growth and decay. Building upon their 6th and 7th grade exposure to variables, 8th graders look at the characteristics of quadratic relationships as they continue to explore algebraic concepts.