The mathematical experience at The Albany Academy provides the lens for boys to raise their appreciation of the language’s ability to significantly transform our world, to become robust problem solvers who can communicate their investigations, and, through mastery of math’s internal processes, to instill the confidence to pursue quantitatively rigorous Upper School courses.
The learning of mathematics is centered on the integration of visual, oral and symbolic tasks to fully develop the depth and breadth of a student’s cognitive abilities. The interactive classroom maximizes focused engagement through cooperative and meta-cognitive learning. Individual and group project investigations into the applications of the language to science, the arts, business and the home enable the student to discover meaning through use.
The Middle School Program has several levels -- comprehensive to accelerate -- that allow boys to establish a pace commensurate with their current abilities and knowledge. However, universal is the objective of an intensive experience culminating in mastering the fundamentals of algebra. The daily commitment of teachers to provide the structure for success enables the student to embrace the wisdom of Aesop: "achievement belongs not to the swiftest but the persistent."
The intensive development of number theory and skills are enhanced by explorations into algebra and geometry. Numeracy is a major focus as operations with fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions and percents are given considerable emphasis through visual mediums. Manual and virtual manipulatives employ the Concrete > Pictorial > Abstract approach as symbolic operations are integrated within geometric relationships. Expanded use of the Singapore Modeling Method encourages the active thinking process, emphasizing the communication of mathematical ideas and problem solving. Aligned with Common Core Standards, the foundation is developed for advanced mathematics.
Topics from Primary 5 are pursued in greater depth with an emphasis on the transition from numerical operations to algebraic manipulation, promoting mastery of the necessary skills. Pedagogy continues its focus with the Concrete > Pictorial > Abstract approach, providing the students with a meaningful way to traverse the path from the procedural to the conceptual. Within the Singapore Modeling Methodology, metacognition is employed as a strategy for learners to monitor their thinking processes, fostering the communication and independence of a mature student. At the conclusion of the course, the foundation exceeds the goals of the Common Core Standards, a focus honed to maximizing achievement in Algebra.
STRUCTURE & METHOD
As an accelerated alternative to Pre-Algebra, this course intensifies the problem solving experience for those students who have thoroughly mastered the numeracy and procedural elements of Primary 6. Problem sets throughout the course challenge the students to extend cognitive awareness beyond traditional rubrics with metacognition playing an integral role. Algebraic expressions and statements become the primary medium for exploration.
INTRODUCTION TO ALGEBRA
An accelerated version of Course III for students who desire a greater challenge through problem-solving activities that significantly deepen and broaden the investigations into the core strands necessary for success in Algebra I. Designed for highly motivated, independent students, research into advanced topics assumes mastery of the core skills and concepts covered in previous levels. Evidence of readiness for includes previous body of work, teacher recommendation, and B+ or higher in Course II.
Following an intensive review of the strands in Primary 6, algebra, geometry, and coordinate geometry receive significant attention. Symbolic manipulation, linear equations & systems, and polynomials are covered through investigations that bridge the divide from the concrete to the abstract. Extensive analysis of two and three dimensional objects refines the student’s ability to generate spatial solutions. Activities are approached from a variety of methodologies, as students explore the relative strengths of different techniques, nurturing the transference of concepts through applications. Problem solving focuses on mastering the basic modeling rubrics so often employed in Algebra.
The foundation for success in future mathematical endeavors, the course thoroughly reviews properties and operations of real numbers in the transitional process to the higher-order symbolic expressions of algebra. Linear and nonlinear functions as well as systems receive considerable emphasis as students learn to develop models for essential applications. Skills and concepts are integrated through problem solving activities which are used to explore as well as critique various types of approaches. Lab/project investigations strive to develop the concepts through cooperative adventures emphasizing the development of oral and written communication.
H GEOMETRY AA
This level is for students who desire a greater challenge through problem-solving activities that significantly deepen and broaden the investigations of the comprehensive course. Evidence of readiness for honors includes previous body of work with a necessary condition of B+ or higher in Algebra I.