Mathematics Classes Overview
The math department blends skills with constructivist, project-based practices. Classes are designed by our experienced team of teachers who use a variety of curricula, aligned to the Common Core Content and Mathematical Practices Standards. Teachers do not use one specific textbook or curriculum; each grade level uses Math’s Mates (worksheet), MobyMax, and Khan Academy for skill practice and homework. Grade acceleration in math is offered to qualifying students (usually starting in 6th grade for a 7th grade Algebra track, 8th grade Geometry track). Algebra track is also offered in 8th Grade for those who meet specific criteria.
In 6th Grade, students get a wide exposure to geometry, algebraic concepts, data analysis, and number sense, with a focus on the relationship between decimals and fractions. Classes are designed in the Workshop Model to provide a short mini lesson, followed by strategic, need-based grouping. This allows students to receive targeted support in specific areas.
In 7th Grade, students are exposed to the same mathematical principles as 6th grade but with an emphasis on rates, ratios, and proportions. Classes use a lot of blended, online activities so that the teacher can work in small groups and one on one with students. Projects include a carnival game activity where students create their own game based on probabilities. In the second semester, the “Road to Algebra” is discussed with students and families as determinations for 8th grade placements are made.
In 8th Grade, three math classes are offered: 8th Grade Math (Pre-Algebra), Algebra, and Geometry. *Students must be meet specific criteria to be accepted into Algebra and Geometry classes* Pre-Algebra exposes students to the content needed for high school math classes. Our 8th grade Algebra and Geometry classes are equivalent to their high school level counterparts and prepare students for the next level math class. Students enrolled in either Algebra or Geometry in 8th grade WILL receive high school level credit for these classes.
Math Accelerator Courses
AI* Math Class (* AI= Algebra-Infused, Accelerated Inspiration): The purpose of this class is to increase GALS students’ agency, fun, success, power, and fluidity with Algebraic skills before reaching high school. Supporting every level of challenge, this class takes a non-linear approach, meaning that a student can work with advanced mathematical concepts within Algebra and beyond, even if she/he/they are still developing proficiency in earlier concepts. This allows students to move fluidly within the math curriculum, feel challenged by working from their strengths while simultaneously tending their own developing skills. Students can stay with early concept work as long as needed and go much further into concepts both at and beyond grade level. Individually customized learning plans will help students feel ownership over the content and pace of her/his/their own learning, reinforcing middle school math skills while at the same time exploring transcendent math topics that have inspired humans throughout time. To increase high-order thinking, collaboration, and the pure fun of math, this class will include a weekly Math Seminar alternating with targeted Math Games sessions. Our Math Seminar experience and in-school Math Olympiad contests will culminate in the annual DPS Math Olympiad Competition, in which select group of hard-working and inspired students will represent GALS. A few sections of AI Math will participate in an official World Peace Games simulation, which is a bit like the game of Risk meets Model United Nations. Students will garner all their math and logic skills, use a four-tiered game space, take on roles such as Prime Minister, World Bank President, Trader, Diplomat, Weather Goddess, or Saboteur and solve a multitude of real world predicaments and global challenges.