The math curriculum at the Middle School is designed to appropriately challenge all learners by enabling students to attain mastery of basic skills and develop problem-solving strategies. As students complete grade 8, they should approach problems with curiosity, confidence, perseverance and enthusiasm.

Enduring questions include: How is math essential to a student’s understanding of the world? How do the different curricular strands intertwine to deepen mathematical understanding? How do problem solving and critical thinking skills prepare students for the global workplace of tomorrow?

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  • What a Grade 8 student will know and be able to do in math:

    • Algorithms – Students will be able to effectively apply algorithms and understand why they work.
    • Communication – Students will be able to correctly use math terminology in context in both spoken and written work.
    • Problem-Solving – Students will understand that math is a process and will be able to choose and apply an appropriate problem-solving strategy for a given situation.
    • Interconnections –Students will be able to use and recognize connections between multiple mathematical topics and build on those relationships to develop an understanding of the world around us.
    • Technology – Students will be able to use technology effectively and appropriately as it applies to their mathematical understanding.
    • Algebraic Reasoning – Students will be able to describe and quantify problems through algebraic reasoning.

Mathematics Curriculum by Course

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  • Math 6

    Math 6 is designed to integrate a prior foundation of number sense and basic operations with more complex problem solving. The main concepts of sixth grade math include an introduction to statistics and probability; understanding of and operations with integers; order of operations including exponents and integers; factoring large numbers; integration and application of fractions, decimals, and percents; understanding ratios and proportions including simple conversions using dimensional analysis; and basic equations and functions.  Students develop note-taking skills through completion of guided notes. Under the umbrella of the sixth grade theme of self-awareness, students learn to reflect on, self-assess, and revise homework. Students also take ownership of their learning and develop study skills through the completion of homework packets that expect them to make connections between their daily performance and assessment review work.
  • Pre-Algebra

    Pre-Algebra is a rigorous course incorporating all strands of mathematics. The course serves as a critical link in the transition from arithmetic to algebra. Advanced arithmetic concepts are reviewed and used extensively, and the primary foundations to all algebraic concepts are introduced and practiced.  Topics covered include variables, equations, patterns, problem solving strategies, functions and graphing, geometry, and polynomials. There is a strong emphasis on the application of concepts through daily practice, in-class discussions and problem solving, and in-class projects. Students are expected to use the language of mathematics in reading, writing, and discussion to further develop their understanding. In addition, students are encouraged to reach beyond memorized rules or strategies in order to fully comprehend the reasoning.
  • Algebra 1A

    Algebra 1A is designed to meet the needs of a student who is ready for Algebra, but at a pace that provides greater time for the development and reinforcement of new topics.  Students in Algebra 1A will complete the Algebra I curriculum in a two year program by enrolling in Algebra 1B as a ninth grader. Topics covered include rational numbers, percents, equations, inequalities, polynomials, and factoring.  Problem solving techniques and strategies designed to improve critical thinking and organizational skills are developed and reinforced throughout the year. Algebra 1A is further enriched by cross-curricular units and projects.  Placement into Algebra 1A is determined by diagnostic testing, previous coursework, and teacher recommendation.
  • Algebra 1

    Algebra I is designed to give all students a solid algebraic foundation before moving on to higher-level mathematics courses. Topics covered include functions, equations, inequalities, linear equations, systems of open sentences, graphing, polynomials, factoring, rational expressions, radical expressions, and quadratic equations.  Problem solving opportunities throughout the year give students a deeper understanding of algebra concepts and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Cross-curricular units and projects further enrich the Algebra 1 course. Placement into Algebra 1 is determined by diagnostic testing, previous coursework, and teacher recommendation.
  • Algebra 1 Honors

    Algebra 1 Honors is designed to be a rigorous and challenging course that requires students to draw upon all prior mathematical understandings. The scope and sequence challenges students to think critically, using full comprehension and retention, and apply arithmetic and algebraic concepts to many various scenarios. The pace of the course is quick, yet will still require extensive use of math vocabulary to ensure that the discussions demonstrate a depth of knowledge deserving of an Honors level course. Algebra I Honors covers topics such as equations, inequalities, polynomials, factoring, rational expressions, functions, graphs, systems, radical expressions, and quadratic equations.  Problem-solving techniques and critical thinking skills are expanded and explored throughout the year. A unit on the stock market further enriches the Algebra 1 Honors course as students learn about the stock market and establish, maintain, and analyze their own stock portfolios by using formulas within spreadsheets. Placement into Algebra 1 Honors is determined by diagnostic testing, previous course work performance, and teacher recommendation.
  • Geometry Honors

    Geometry Honors emphasizes a logical approach to the solution of geometric problems. Deductive  reasoning skills are developed by using theorems to solve problems and create formal proofs. Topics covered in plane geometry include angles, lines, triangles, polygons, circles, congruency, similar figures, area, volume, trigonometric ratios, logic and constructions. The course is supplemented with long-term projects designed to re-emphasize a particular approach to problem solving or to introduce another approach to examining geometric or mathematical thinking. Two-column proofs are emphasized and students are expected to attempt the most challenging work available, independently and critically.
  • MS Programming

    This introductory Computer Programming class is one trimester long and designed to give students a feel for writing computer programs. Unlike platforms such as Scratch and LabVIEW that use a visual programming language, this course uses Processing, a textual programming language similar to Java. Students will write code in Processing to develop static images, animations, and video games throughout the course while developing an appreciation for the technical art of computer programming.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900