The Pathfinder School: Traverse City Community School

Math

Subtracting the Divide.

Pathfinder students begin learning math early in their education, starting with kindergarten. Below is an idea of what's taught at each level.

Kindergarten

Our kindergarten math program is called Everyday Math from the University of Chicago. This program is used school-wide. In math, we teach them the basics of number recognition, numeral writing and working with partners to problem solve. They also cover geometry, measurement, time, graphing and patterns.

First Grade

In First Grade, we use the Everyday Math program. It is supplemented with other approaches. Our program is based on the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) math standards and stresses hands-on experiences, mathematical thinking and problem-solving, talking and writing about math. Students study patterns and algebraic thinking, number and number relations, measurement, data analysis, graphing and geometry. Play-oriented activities, like setting up a class café or a store, provide opportunities to apply math concepts and skills in meaningful ways.

Second Grade

Our Math program is entitled Everyday Mathematics and is part of the The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. This program is organized into six mathematical content strands that cover a number of skills and concepts including operations and computation, numeration patterns, functions and algebra, data and chance, measurement and reference frames, and geometry

Third Grade

Our Math program is entitled Everyday Mathematics and is part of the The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. This program is organized into six mathematical content strands that cover a number of skills and concepts including operations and computation, numeration patterns, functions and algebra, data and chance, measurement and reference frames, and geometry. Third Grade materials include a reference book, a journal and a tool kit, which houses some of the many manipulatives used in the program.

Fourth Grade

The Fourth Grade Mathematics program is Everyday Mathematics, the elementary school curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. The curriculum includes the following content strands:

  • Numeration
  • Operations and computation
  • Geometry
  • Data and chance
  • Measurement
  • Patterns
  • Algebra

This program utilizes a problem-solving approach for children. It offers practice with basic skills and provides opportunities for children to enhance communication and reasoning skills. Hands-on activities, projects and games are all a part of the learning experience in fourth grade mathematics. Frequently, students construct their own learning tools.

Fifth Grade

The math program is engaging and challenging. Strands studied are: number sense and operations, data analysis, algebraic expression, geometry in the form of area, volume and coordinates, and problem solving. Daily computation keeps skills sharp and students revisit concepts throughout the year to keep their thinking fresh. There are numerous hands-on activities, use of manipulatives, calculators and games, such as “Estimation Olympics,” as well as real life applications. The throughline “Math is Everywhere” is referenced all year. Students discover the importance and necessity for math. They develop an appreciation for its relevance and connections throughout the curriculum.

Texts used:

  • Everyday Mathematics Student Reference Book and Corresponding Math Journals, Volume I and II, Level 5,
  • Skills Link Cumulative Practice Sets
  • SRA McGraw Hill
  • Teacher generated materials and games.

Sixth Grade

The Sixth Grade curriculum is organized into six mathematical content strands that cover a number of skills and concepts. Attention is paid to numeration and computation without neglecting geometry, data, and algebraic thinking. Along with the basic four operations on fractions, decimals and integers, students study persuasive statistics and data analysis, as well as exploring scientific notation and patterns and generalizations that lead to solving equations and inequalities, and help students begin to formally recognize mathematical properties. The study of geometry covers understanding of vocabulary and notation, plane—such as area and perimeter, spatial relations in two and three dimensions, and construction of angles, simple figures and congruent figures. Student also study length, mass and capacity in both the metric and customary systems of measurement.

Everyday Mathematics
The Sixth Grade Math curriculum is guided by the University of Chicago Mathematics Project Everyday Mathematics text. Information is disseminated through teacher lecture, class discussion, mini discovery labs and peer mentoring. Information is further reinforced using arts integrated projects, cross-curricular projects, games and individual exploration reports and journaling. The curriculum is organized around five process strands: Problem solving, reasoning and proof, connections, representations and communication, which work to ensure deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Furthermore, the program is set up to spiral, enabling lessons to build on and extend concepts and understandings so that children approach each new challenge from a firmly established foundation. This mathematics program is aligned with the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards.

Seventh Grade

The Seventh Grade curriculum is organized into six mathematical content strands that cover a number of skills and concepts. Along with solidifying students’ arithmetic skills, they study data analysis and probability (compound probability for dependent and independent events, fundamental counting principle and persuasive statistics), geometry of plane and solid figures (finding area, perimeter and volume of regular and irregular shapes, Interpreting relationships between geometric figures and construction using protractors rulers and compasses), solving one and two-step equations and inequalities, as well as graphing linear equations, converting between metric and customary measurement systems and creating and interpreting scale designs. Emphasis is placed on students being able to read, write and speak mathematically and apply their skills to solve unique problems and real world situations.

Everyday Mathematics
The Seventh Grade Math curriculum is guided by the University of Chicago Mathematics Project Transition Mathematics text. Information is disseminated through teacher lecture, class discussion, mini discovery labs and peer mentoring. Information is further reinforced using arts integrated projects, cross curricular projects, games and individual exploration reports and journaling. The curriculum is organized around five process strands: Problem solving, reasoning and proof, connections, representations and communication, which work to ensure deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Furthermore, the program is set up to spiral; enabling lessons to build on and extend concepts and understandings so that children approach each new challenge from a firmly established foundation. This mathematics program is aligned with the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards.

Eighth Grade

The Eighth Grade curriculum is organized into six mathematical content strands that cover a number of skills and concepts. Although the curriculum consists of a full year of algebra, including such topics as graphing formulas and functions, working with domains and ranges, operations with sets, factoring and expanding polynomials, solving and graphing quadratic equations and solving systems of equations using various methods, Geometry probability and data analysis are not ignored. Students work with factorials, permutations and combinations as well as geometric expansions, contractions and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. Students end the year with an introduction to fractal geometry that uses many of their skills while instilling the pre-calculus ideas of recursion and limits.

Everyday Mathematics
The Eighth Grade Math curriculum is guided by the University of Chicago Mathematics Project Algebra text. Information is disseminated through teacher lecture, class discussion, mini discovery labs and peer mentoring. Information is further reinforced using arts integrated projects, cross curricular projects, games and individual exploration reports and journaling. The curriculum is organized around five process strands: Problem solving, reasoning and proof, connections, representations and communication, which work to ensure deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Furthermore, the program is set up to spiral, enabling lessons to build on and extend concepts and understandings so that children approach each new challenge from a firmly established foundation. This mathematics program is aligned with the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards.