The primary goals of the Mathematics Department are to provide students with solid foundation in the basics of the various fields of mathematics (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, functions, as well as numerical, graphical and statistical analysis); and the ability to solve application problems in a variety of ways; and with an appreciation for the beauty and power of mathematics.
Calculator technology is emphasized and teachers make use of interactive whiteboards and various software packages to provide dynamic visualizations of the concepts being studied. Students are provided with opportunities to practice standardized testing skills and they can participate in local and national competitions through our Math Club program. We encourage our most advanced Upper School students to accelerate through our summer Honors offerings, thereby allowing them to complete AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC and Multi-Variable Calculus before graduating.
The Honors Sequence
Tailored to develop the depth of understanding, flexibility, creativity and critical thinking that will be required of a student in any university major that is intensively math-related.
The Advanced Sequence
Tailored for the majority of our students, this is the standard college preparatory sequence in mathematics.
The (Regular) Sequence
This is tailored for those students with career goals in fields which are not heavily dependent on mathematics. This sequence provides the fundamentals necessary for admission to a post-secondary institution.
The course progression for a Buckley student in the “Advanced” mathematics program consists of Math 6 Advanced in the sixth grade, Pre¬-Algebra Advanced in the seventh grade, Algebra I Advanced in the eighth grade, Geometry Advanced in the freshman year, Algebra II Advanced in the sophomore year, Pre-calculus Advanced in the junior year, and Calculus Advanced in the senior year.
The course progression for a regular-level student, after Algebra II, would be Pre-Calculus in grade eleven and Topics in Math in grade twelve.
Placement in mathematics classes is determined by the department in conjunction with the administration and is based on performance in the current and past mathematics classes, teacher recommendations, and performance on standardized tests. In addition, in order to remain in the “Honors” sequence, a student must maintain a B or better and in order to move from the “Advanced” to the “Honors” sequence, a student must maintain an A average.
Manipulatives are used whenever possible in the Middle School and in the Geometry course where a hands-on approach is beneficial. Cooperative learning is employed in various ways throughout our program, thus encouraging cooperation and enhancing comprehension. Numerous aids are employed including interactive whiteboards, computer graphing software (to analyze functions in Algebra I and beyond), dynamic algebraic applications using Geometer’s Sketchpad software. In addition, several math teachers offer on-line support and discussions to assist students.
The use of calculators is incorporated throughout the Middle and Upper school programs. Students are formally instructed in the use of this technology, but only after they are able to do the computations, algebraic manipulations, and functional graphing exercises by hand. Students in Math 6 and Pre-Algebra must purchase the TI-34 (a Texas Instruments scientific calculator), those in Algebra I must purchase the TI-83, TI-83+, TI-84 or TI-84+ (a programmable graphing calculator),.
The Math Lab is a tutorial setting designed to help students with any problems they may be experiencing in mathematics. The Lab is staffed with a mathematics teacher and several volunteer students who excel in the subject. The Lab is open during “sunrise” period and during both the Middle and Upper school lunch periods.
An in-depth review of the properties of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions precedes the development of equality, metric measurement, and the definition of basic geometric figures and geometric relationships. The concepts of ratio, proportion and percent are explored, and integers are introduced. Data organization and the creation and interpretation of graphs are studied. Problem-solving strategies are reinforced throughout the year. An introduction to algebraic expressions and equations, functions, patterns, graphing, and number theory is also provided.
This course presents the language of algebra and explores a variety of conceptual applications. The relationships among method, application, and theory are examined. Equations, polynomials, radicals, functions and graphing are studied. Developing critical thinking skills, and applying concepts are encouraged and enhanced through problem solving. Graphing calculators are introduced and incorporated throughout the curriculum.
Pre-Algebra 6 Honors
Students study algebraic expressions, equations, inequalities, ratios, proportions, coordinate geometry and radicals. Additional topics may include polynomials, Euclidean geometry and elementary statistics and probability. Facility in computation with whole numbers, integers, decimals and fractions is reinforced throughout the year. Problem-solving techniques are emphasized.