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Middle School Math Curriculum

Students in Durham Academy’s Middle School math courses are challenged to use problem-solving and apply their mathematical thinking to everyday situations. The Math Department’s goal is to give students a strong skills foundation while continually strengthening their ability to think critically and flexibly.

Our teachers address the needs of all of our students, recognizing that Middle Schoolers' ability to think abstractly develops at different rates. We believe mathematics is much more than just applying algorithms. Our hope is that students enjoy, appreciate and experience the beauty of mathematics. 

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  • Recognize, appreciate, and utilize math as a universal language.

  • Embrace mathematical challenges with perseverance and a growth mindset. 

  • Use mathematical tools to investigate and find innovative solutions based upon a given issue, situation, or problem. 

  • Apply numeracy skills and habits necessary for mathematical fluency and precision. 

  • Communicate viable arguments using sound mathematical reasoning in both independent and collaborative settings, while valuing the perspective of others.

Middle School Math Course Sequence

*Durham Academy Middle School does not permit current students to take a course outside of DA to place into a higher level of math. The math courses that students take in the Middle School contain critical foundational material and it is not developmentally appropriate for students to take these in a shortened time frame. 

**Durham Academy loves when students are excited about math, but strongly discourages students from taking outside courses that cover the same content as the next level DA course a student will take. If students are looking for enrichment opportunities outside of the DA classroom, their math teacher or the math specialist can give them some suggestions. 

Middle School Math Course Offerings

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Math 5

Math 5 is a middle school foundational course that will connect work done in the Bridges fourth-grade curriculum to concepts, strategies and techniques that will ultimately prepare students for the courses beyond fifth grade. Over the course of the year, using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as units of study, skill work with whole numbers, fractions, mixed numbers and decimals will be spiraled throughout the course.

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Math 6

Math 6 is a course designed to build upon skills learned in fifth grade and extend students’ mathematical understanding to increasingly complex and abstract concepts. Students experience content embedded in context, productive struggle, and collaborative learning. Major skills emphasized in sixth-grade math include positive and negative number operations, ratios and proportional relationships, statistics and probability, expressions and equations and geometry.

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Pre-Algebra is a course that serves as a bridge between a student’s earlier math courses and the more conceptual Algebra courses that will follow. Skills that are explored in Pre-Algebra include complex order of operations; solving one-step, two-step and more complex linear equations; rational algebraic expressions; percents and percent applications; ratio and proportion problems with applications; square roots; the Pythagorean Theorem; Geometry problems to include perimeter, area, circumference, congruence, and similarity; probability; statistics and data analysis.

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Elements of Pre-Algebra

The Elements of Pre-Algebra course will have a smaller class size than the Pre-Algebra courses with greater opportunities for individual support, time for more repetition, and concepts delivered at a more appropriate pace.

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Algebra I

Algebra I is a foundational course for Geometry, Algebra II and Precalculus. The major topics studied are solving linear equations and inequalities, word problems based on linear relationships, working with polynomials to include factoring, solving systems of equations to include word problems, solving quadratic equations to include the quadratic formula, completing the square, and factoring, properties of exponents, working with rational expressions, and working with radical expressions to include the Pythagorean Theorem.

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Elements of Algebra

Elements of Algebra is designed for students whom we believe will be best served by developing their Algebraic development over a two-year sequence. The course emphasizes a variety of foundational skills that will position these students to be successful in Algebra I. These skills are focused on executive functioning, improving numerical fluency, developing number sense, presenting work on paper in an organized manner, developing the ability to question effectively, building knowledge to interpret mathematical terminology, and being able to communicate mathematically in oral and written formats. This course is designed to be flexible in order to meet the needs of the individual learners. Students typically work on a review of Pre-Algebra skills as well as many of the early concepts from Algebra I. 

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This course provides an introduction to Euclidean Geometry by examining geometric figures in two and three dimensions. Algebraic methods are reviewed and used in geometric applications. Topics include deductive reasoning, parallel lines and planes, triangles, congruence, polygons, and inequalities. We will also introduce the proof process to include two-column and indirect proofs. In addition, we will investigate applications of similarity, Pythagorean theorem, special right triangles, right triangle trigonometry, circles, area, surface area and volume of solids and coordinate geometry. 

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