Mathematics and the mathematical patterns found throughout our surroundings offer us a powerful and beautiful way of viewing the world. The St. Stephen’s Mathematics Department seeks to enable students to recognize and assimilate mathematical relationships and use them to make predictions and draw conclusions. The department’s objectives are to:
Stimulate curiosity about the application of mathematics in the world around us;
Foster independent, creative, and critical thinking in a cooperative learning environment;
Develop students’ ability to persevere in the face of difficulty;
Encourage articulate communication of ideas in oral and written form;
Promote the use of technology in the learning of mathematics; and
Cultivate solid foundational skills necessary for complex mathematical analysis.
The curriculum serves students with varying abilities, enabling them to gain confidence in and expand their mathematical skills and to become effective problem solvers and communicators of mathematical ideas. Students develop logical reasoning and critical analysis skills and an appreciation for the beauty and unified structure of mathematics.
Advanced sections cover the subject in greater depth and breadth and are designated as such on students’ transcripts. Admission to and retention in an advanced course is by departmental approval and may require confirmation of ability by a placement examination.
Math I focuses on developing a solid foundation in problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as computation skills. Students work with all types of numbers and operations, including fractions, decimals, integers, exponents, ratios, rates, and averages. Algebraic thinking is introduced through the study of topics such as patterns, functions, proportions, percents, and formulas from geometry.
Advanced Math I is a rigorous, fast-paced course designed for students who have a solid foundation in computations with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers, as well as prior experience with algebraic thinking, basic geometry concepts, and a variety of non-routine problem-solving strategies. Students must have good organizational skills and a strong work ethic. In addition, students in the advanced level must be able to work independently and should enjoy tackling challenging problems. Students are selected for the advanced course based on their abilities and previous academic record.
Math II addresses the transition from arithmetic to the basic elements of theoretical mathematics. Previously learned skills, including manipulation of decimals, fractions, ratios, proportions, percentages, and basic geometry, are reviewed and strengthened. This course also introduces set theory, multi-step equations, word problems, properties, and practical applications for geometry. Throughout the course, students investigate everyday situations that involve mathematical principles.
Advanced Math II is a rigorous course designed for students who have demonstrated mastery of our Advanced Math I curriculum. Advanced Math II covers the topics in Math II in greater depth and with more complexity and explores additional topics as well. Applications that challenge students to follow an extended chain of reasoning and employ a wide variety of problem-solving strategies are emphasized. Students are selected for the advanced course based on their abilities and previous academic record. This course includes an introduction to using a graphing calculator.
Prerequisite: V- or higher in Advanced Math I or departmental approval.
This course enables students in the eighth grade to refine and strengthen their computation skills with rational numbers and equations, with an emphasis on applications and problem-solving. Percents, rates, proportions, statistics, and geometry topics are explored in greater depth and with a higher degree of complexity. Polynomials and linear graphing are introduced. The course gives students a solid foundation from which to approach algebra.
Algebra I integrates knowledge of variables and their use with concepts and operations of arithmetic in a formal, logical development of elementary algebra. Accuracy and precision are essential components of instruction, as is the development of problem-solving strategies. The content of the course includes an in-depth study of linear equations and inequalities, graphing, operations with polynomials, factoring, rational expressions and equations, introduction to functions, radical expressions and equations, and the quadratic formula. Word problems and applications of increasing complexity are addressed throughout the course.
Prerequisite: V or higher in Math II or departmental approval.
Advanced Algebra I is a rigorous course designed for students who have completed the equivalent of our Advanced Math II course. In addition to covering the Algebra I topics listed above, applications that challenge students to follow an extended chain of reasoning and employ a wide variety of problem-solving strategies are emphasized. Students should have a strong foundation in signed numbers, algebraic expressions, equations, and properties. They also should have a strong affinity for math and a desire to pursue advanced coursework in the Upper School. Students are selected for the advanced course based on their abilities and previous academic record.
Prerequisite: V- or higher in Advanced Math II or teacher recommendation.
Middle School Faculty
University of Texas at Austin - B.S. Towner Master Teaching Chair, 2017