The goal of the OES Math Department is to develop confident problem solvers who have a deep understanding of math and they can apply it meaningfully to the world around them.
We recognize that, in addition to mastery of the content, students in today’s world need to be able to:
- Think creatively
Our desire is to develop students who take great joy in learning and can apply their methodology and skills to complex and unfamiliar problems.
Students in the Lower School at OES learn a variety of methods for solving math problems. They develop and share strategies, generate new ideas, and decompose numbers to make them friendlier to work with. They also create visual models by drawing number lines, moving around base-ten pieces, and making t-charts to arrive at answers in a variety of ways.
In the LS teachers strive for for students to develop a deep conceptual understanding of numbers that allow them to mathematize their world, be competent consumers of information, and be capable of working with numbers confidently. This is done by posing real problematic situations for students to grapple with, by presenting strings of related problems that lead students to realizations about relationships and efficient methods, and by asking students to communicate and defend their thinking so that all can benefit from their collective insights. Don’t be surprised if your children come home with some new methods to teach you. Indeed, you might find a discussion around this at home to be a great way to connect with your child’s mathematizing of the world.
Middle School students begin a sequential study of math in courses that develop their skills and understanding of algebraic and geometric thinking. Students begin to investigate statistical thinking and math modeling, strengthen problems solving skills, and work to become more confident and independent abstract thinkers in courses that include Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry.
Upper School students continue their sequential study of Math in courses that are designed to deepen their understand of Math as a tool for understanding the world, with an emphasis on modeling, applications, and statistical analysis. The US math department offers a sequence of courses that are designed to challenge students to deepen their mathematical thinking and ability to use these skills in creative and flexible ways. As students grow in their understanding, they can navigate a sequence of courses that matches their progress. Students with a particular affinity for math will find many opportunities to grow including several approaches to calculus, including multivariable, and topics that include statistics, math modelling, number theory, differential equations, and linear algebra.