• Mathematics

    Exciting changes are taking place in our math curriculum.  In order to prepare our students for a more technological and constantly changing world, a committee, including educators from 48 states, recently released new Mathematics standards.  These standards are more rigorous, focused, and demanding than before. The Common Core State Standards are based on many years of research in the United States and other successful countries. They are rigorous and aligned with the college and work expectations of the 21st century. Schools and teachers will use the standards as guidelines for what students should learn as well as what and how teachers should teach. By the end of 2014, 44 states including Massachusetts will be expecting schools and students to meet these new standards.

    In addition to rigorous mathematical concepts, the Common Core Standards also include mathematical practices in which students have to engage. These practices include making sense of problems and persevering in solving them, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others, modeling with mathematics, using appropriate tools strategically, and looking for structure and regularity in their reasoning. In order for students to engage in the mathematical practices, we will be asking them more challenging problems than many of them are used to. These problems are designed to stimulate curiosity, create enjoyment of mathematics, and to develop depth of understanding.

    The Common Core suggests that high schools use one of two sequences of course: Traditional (Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra II) or Integrated (Mathematics I, Mathematics II and Mathematics III). Regardless of the sequence they take, upon completion of the three courses, all students will be prepared for additional courses in higher level math. Greater Lawrence Technical School made the decision to follow the Integrated (Mathematics I, II and III) course sequence.  The same standards will be covered as in the Traditional sequence, but in a different order and with more emphasis on connections between different aspects of mathematics.   Each course will be focused on problem-solving and require students to regularly complete a portfolio.

     

    Partial implementation for the Common Core Integrated (Mathematics I, Mathematics II and Mathematics III) courses will occur through school year 2013- 2014.  Full implementation of the three Integrated Common Core courses will begin in school year 2014-2015.

     

    Grade 9 Mathematics

    All mathematics courses, except electives, are yearlong, two-credit courses.

    Common Core Integrated Math 1

    The fundamental purpose of Mathematics I is to formalize and extend the mathematics that students learned in the middle grades. The critical areas, organized into units, deepen and extend understanding of linear relationships, in part by contrasting them with exponential phenomena, and in part by applying

    linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend. Mathematics 1 uses properties and theorems involving congruent figures to deepen and extend understanding of geometric knowledge from prior grades. The final unit in the course ties together the algebraic and geometric ideas studied. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations.  This course will be focused on problem-solving and require students to regularly complete a portfolio.

     

    Honors Common Core Integrated Math I *

     

    This course involves an enriched, challenging curriculum, and in-depth work that requires a serious commitment from the student. This course differs from Common Core Integrated Math I with respect to the difficulty and the quantity of assignments expected of students. Freshmen math entrance exam scores, along with the students’ math MCAS scores are the determining factors for placement in this course.

     

    Grade 10 Mathematics

    Common Core Integrated Math II

    The focus of Mathematics II is on quadratic expressions, equations, and functions; comparing their characteristics and behavior to those of linear and exponential relationships from Mathematics I as organized into 6 critical areas, or units. The need for extending the set of rational numbers arises and real and complex numbers are introduced so that all quadratic equations can be solved. The link between probability and data is explored through conditional probability and counting methods, including their use in making and evaluating decisions. The study of similarity leads to an understanding of right triangle trigonometry and connects to quadratics through Pythagorean relationships. Circles, with their

    quadratic algebraic representations, round out the course. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations.  This course will be focused on problem-solving and require students to regularly complete a portfolio.

     

    Honors Common Core Integrated Math II*

     

    In addition to the description above, this course differs from Common Core Integrated Math II with respect to the difficulty and the quantity of assignments expected of students. Math department recommendations are required for this course.

     

     

    Grade 11 Math

    Common Core Integrated III

     

    It is in Mathematics III that students pull together and apply the accumulation of learning that they have from their previous courses, with content grouped into four critical areas, organized into units. They apply methods from probability and statistics to draw inferences and conclusions from data. Students expand their repertoire of functions to include polynomial, rational, and radical functions. They expand their study of right triangle trigonometry to include general triangles. And, finally, students bring together all of their experience with functions and geometry to create models and solve contextual problems. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations.  This course will be focused on problem-solving and require students to regularly complete a portfolio.

     

    Honors Common Core Integrated III*

     

    In addition to the description above, this course differs from Common Core Integrated Math III with respect to the difficulty and the quantity of assignments expected of students. Math department recommendations are required for this course.

     

    Grade 12 Math

     

    College Prep Math

    This course will explore in more depth the topics of linear and quadratic functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, polynomial functions, and provide an introduction to trigonometry, probability and statistics, and applications of these mathematical concepts.

     

    College Algebra and Trigonometry

     

    This course will prepare students for college-level mathematical courses.  This course will give students the understanding of algebra and trigonometry needed to develop and intuitive foundation for college

    level mathematics.  The sequence of topics will include concepts of algebra, algebraic equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, trigonometry, systems of equations and inequalities, and matrices and determinants. Math department recommendations are required for this course.

     

    Pre-Calculus (12th grade)

     

    This course is designed to prepare students for college level Calculus.  It is an in-depth study of logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, conic sections, polar coordinates, analytical geometry, vectors, limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and applications.  Students will be challenged to write, verbalize and use critical thinking skills to solve problems.  Math department recommendations are required for this course.

     

     

    MCAS Math

    This course will provide students in Grades 11 and 12, who have not passed the MCAS math exam, with opportunities to diagnose and then improve any weaknesses in mathematical skills.  The goal is to help the student achieve a level of math competency that will enable him/her to be career and college ready.  There will be 4 content areas of focus for the course:

     

     

    ·         Number Sense

    ·         Patterns, Relations, and Algebra

    ·         Geometry and Measurement

    ·         Statistics and Probability

    Test preparation strategies will be emphasized along with open response literacy, problem dissection and analysis.  Students will remain in the course until a passing Math MCAS score is achieved.

    ELECTIVE – 1 CREDIT

    Career and College Readiness Math

    This course will provide students in Grades 11 and 12 with opportunities to understand real numbers in the context of real life applications while helping to improve any weaknesses in mathematical skills.  The goal is to help the student achieve a level of math competency that will enable him/her to be career and college ready.  There will be 4 content areas of focus for the course:

    ·     Real Numbers

    ·     Finance

    ·     Geometry and Trigonometry

    ·     Statistics, Data and Probability

     

    * Honors courses involve an enriched, challenging curricula incorporating in-depth work that requires a serious student commitment. Students will work at an accelerated pace and are expected to be self-motivated learners.