In order to address a wide range of abilities, and to make mathematics challenging and exciting to all children, our mathematics program follows three guidelines.
First we believe children should develop core competencies at the earliest possible age, referring specifically to computation skills – whole number operations, fraction and decimal operations, and basic geometry vocabulary and concepts. These skills become tools in the student’s math “toolbox,” and as students gain fluency with their “tools,” they learn to enjoy math and are prepared to do higher- level mathematics.
Second, because students gain a strong working knowledge of computational skills, we are able to give them extended experience solving word problems that require critical thinking, logic, and a variety of problem solving strategies. All students in second through eighth grade take classes that prepare them to participate in an assortment of math contests requiring higher order thinking and problem solving skills.
Third, we allow considerable flexibility in accommodating each child’s math aptitude. It is not unusual for children to be working on math content that is one, two, or even three years ahead of current grade level. We offer our junior high school students formal classes in high school honors algebra and geometry.
We also support the interest of the highly motivated and able math students who wish to compete at the state or national levels in math contests such as the American Mathematics Contest 8,Continental Math League, and Math Olympiads. We also enable these students to take online math courses through Northwestern University Gifted Learning Links program for both enrichment and acceleration.