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.
The mathematics curriculum is designed to give students an education which is both broad and deep. Students learn to think mathematically; perform mathematical operations; experience mathematics from numerical, algebraic, and graphical perspectives; relate their knowledge to real world problems; and ideally, enjoy mathematics for its own sake.
Students must earn a C- or higher to progress to the next class in the series.
Technology: Students are required to own a TI-84 plus graphing calculator beginning at the Algebra 2 level. The calculator is used as a tool to develop a deeper understanding of the mathematics and explore multiple perspectives on a given topic. Computer software, including GeoGebra, Desmos, and Excel, is used as a tool in a number of our courses.