The teaching of mathematics is characterized by two main aspects: (1) learning to relate real-life observations to schematic diagrams and geometric figures; and (2) learning to use these diagrams to understand more abstract concepts. Both elements are based on drawing, problem solving and calculation, allowing students to discover and use mathematics as a tool in everyday life.
Rising Secondary students prepare for higher mathematics courses such as algebra, geometry and calculus. They are placed in appropriate levels based on their preparation. Topics include modeling linear, inverse, and exponential functions, solving equations and 2- and 3- dimensional geometry. At the same time, students enrich their math background with topics such as statistics, data analysis and proportional reasoning. Mini-projects, open-ended problems, group work, and writing assignments play vital roles in our core curriculum. These activities are important for developing both higher-order thinking skills and communication skills. There is extensive use of graphing calculators.
The objectives of mathematics are to develop an appreciation of mathematics as a language through the use of algebra; to develop a sense of mathematical and non-mathematical tools. The course focuses on the interrelations of the most important ideas of elementary algebra, using variables, writing and solving equations, and modeling with functions. Although students still learn how to do standard manipulations and problems, they do so in more meaningful contexts and with a better understanding of why these manipulations lead to the solution. Graphical solutions using technology are also emphasized.