Mathematics

We strive to develop autonomous analytical thinkers who are capable of solving interesting problems in novel situations.

Goal

Students graduate from Maret with the knowledge and skills necessary to continue their study in mathematics, science, engineering, and technology, and to make decisions and communicate as numerate adults. Maret mathematics students are encouraged to take intellectual risks, to learn from their mistakes, and to persevere.

How We Teach

Our approach to teaching mathematics engages our students in the very deepest of ways. Making sense of truly interesting problems, breaking them apart, and being curious about how things work are essential pathways to becoming a confident risk-taker, a collaborative problem solver, and a competent lifelong learner. We incorporate flexible teaching and assessment strategies to address the needs of individual learners within the context of the classroom experience. With a variety of problem-solving tools and technologies, our teachers enhance learning and allow students to focus on reasoning and decision-making. Our teachers model mathematics as an exciting exploration, and they foster genuine enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and curiosity in our students.

Curriculum Snapshot

LOWER SCHOOL math focuses on mathematical communication and inquiry.

MIDDLE SCHOOL classes develop fundamental arithmetic and algebraic skills.

UPPER SCHOOL students progress through Precalculus or complete four years of mathematics coursework.

Benefits of a K-12 Campus

MATH BUDDIES

Math Buddies is a reciprocal service learning program in which high school pre-calculus students work with kindergarten through fourth grade students on math.

Project Overview

Each Precalculus student works with one lower school class during their math instructional time once a week for the entire year. The Precalculus student may work with lower school students one-on-one or in small groups to offer extra help or enrichment. At other times, the student may move around the classroom to answer questions as lower school students work individually.

Precalculus students write journal entries weekly and participate in class discussions biweekly to reflect on their experiences. Student reflections emphasize the connections of mathematical concepts and learning processes between lower and higher grades.

MATH BUDDIES IS MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL.

Precalculus students teach mathematical skills and concepts and serve as role models for lower school students, while gaining a greater appreciation and understanding of math. Both the younger and older students benefit from the relationships and improved math confidence from working with their partners all year.

Each week, Precalculus students have one less homework assignment because they go to their Math Buddies sessions during a free period. Attendance and journal reflections account for 15% of their final Precalculus grade.

Teacher Reflection

ONE OF MY GOALS WAS FOR MY PRECALCULUS STUDENTS TO REALIZE THE MATHEMATICAL CONNECTIONS BETWEEN BASIC ARITHMETIC CONCEPTS AND SKILLS AND ALGEBRAIC CONCEPTS AND SKILLS.

Students did make mathematical connections, but many students reported that learning how to teach was equally valuable. More often, my students observed how people learn, how hard it is for the young ones to maintain focus, and the ways that interactions among students can be productive or detrimental. The biggest challenges for my students were learning how to help by asking questions, and how to deal with several students in a small group who were at different stages of mastery.

Upper School Mathematics Teacher


EACH WEEK LOWER SCHOOLERS ARE EXCITED TO HAVE UPPER SCHOOL BUDDIES JOIN THEM FOR MATH CLASS.

These Upper Schoolers serve as role models and quickly build connections with the younger students. In addition, they have become an important component of our math program. This partnership allows teachers to meet the needs of their students in many different ways. The upper schooler may work individually with a young student struggling with a concept by providing one-on-one instruction for an extended period of time. He or she may also play a math game with a group allowing the teacher to focus on another group or work on enrichment activities. The positive nature of these relationships allows lower school students to be open to new strategies and hear information from a different perspective, which can be clarifying. While the benefits of this exchange are clearly evident to lower schoolers and their teachers, it is gratifying to see the enthusiasm of Precalculus students as they witness their buddies have an "Ah-ha moment" and know they played a part.

Kathy Richardson, Fourth Grade Teacher

Student Reflections

ON THE LAST DAY BEFORE WE LEFT, THEY ALL SCREAMED "THANK YOU" BUT ONE BOY RAISED HIS HAND AND SAID "I APPRECIATED YOUR HELP AND STICKING WITH ME DURING MATH."

His thank you made me realize the real benefit math buddies was this year. Even though we had a small amount of time, the students didn’t care and every second counted to them.

From an Eleventh Grade Student's Math Buddies Journal


THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE OF WORKING WITH THE FIRST GRADERS WAS REMARKABLY EDUCATIONAL AND FUN.

I learned how to communicate, how to teach, how to translate, how to control, and most importantly: how to learn. The benefit of working with first graders with some of the most basic math in education is that one learns how to simplify and teach. If one can do this, then they too can apply this simplistic approach to their own learning....Whether I am stuck on a math problem or just starting it, I now take a step back and truly think and plan out what I am going to do to get the answer I want....Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn something about myself as a student and myself as a person.

From an Eleventh Grade Student's Math Buddies Journal


THIS EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN AMAZING FOR ME.

It has really drawn out the realization that I love working with kids.

From an Eleventh Grade Student's Math Buddies Journal

This experience has been amazing for me. It has really drawn out the realization that I love working with kids. FROM AN ELEVENTH GRADE STUDENT'S Math Buddies Journal

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