Building on the Lower School Investigations 3 curriculum, the MS curriculum, Connected Math Program 3 and Integrated Math in 8th grade, focuses on student-centered, problem-based learning with rich investigations and problems that allow the students to use multiple perspectives and strategies.
The K-12 Integrated Math Program at RPCS encourages students to take risks, notice and test patterns, form conjectures, brainstorm strategies, analyze their responses for reasonableness, support their opinions and solutions, and consequently, develop solid problem-solving skills.
In Connected Math Program (CMP) students in grades 6 and 7:
- explore mathematical concepts through problems presented in Investigations.
- Actively collaborate with their peers to answer the questions presented and derive solutions to real-life problems.
- Build on basic math facts learned throughout LS.
- Learn mental math and other strategies for quick computation as well as when and how to use calculators.
- Learn actively as they test ideas and conjectures, defend their thinking, or analyze other perspectives presented.
- Learn persistence and develop flexibility in their thinking and strategies.
In Integrated Math 8:
- The text used for this course is a set of carefully sequenced problems, with a glossary of terms provided. As additional concepts/theorems emerge from the problems, teachers ensure that students keep track of these to build an accompanying reference.
- Students use a One Note notebook as a resource for class notes, practice problems, key ideas, and resources.
- Students are not presented with a ‘recipe’ before each problem as they would be with a traditional textbook; instead, they use previous problems and ideas as resources to develop an approach to each problem, giving them deep experience and practice with critical thinking and problem-solving.
- Students receive support at Math Workshop which is held daily during study hall.
The teacher’s role in Middle School math is to guide and facilitate student-led problem solving, helping students identify salient ideas and clarify their thinking. Teachers:
- Ensure that students put up solutions to assigned problems;
- Facilitate discussion among students during investigations and presentations;
- Encourage questioning;
- Ensure that students clearly know the correct answer and KEY IDEA;
- Point out connections among problems- past and present;
- Extend problems or give additional examples, as needed;
- Summarize key concepts;
- Maintain a classroom atmosphere that promotes a growth mindset and respect and support for individual student learning styles.