Parents of current Academy 5th and 6th Graders:
This is the information for the transition to Algebra I Pre-AP (Part 1, 7th Grade & Part 2, 8th Grade)
Because one of the primary goals of the Academy is to meet the needs of all of its students we level the upper school math classes according to each studentís current math-specific developmental level. Those who have shown that they are ready for more rigorous mathematics are placed in the Pre-AP math classes. This is not a subjective placement. Placement in Pre-AP courses is determined by an objective rubric that includes past math grades, and standardized test results. Pre-AP means, preparing for the Calculus AP Exam. AP is for Advanced Placement college credit earned by showing mastery of certain high school courses.
Algebra I, Pre-AP (Part I, 7th Grade & Part II, 8th Grade)
By design these courses are more rigorous, faster paced, include writing, incorporate more non-traditional problem solving, and incorporate the use of technology. This includes use of the SmartBoard, and TI-84+ Graphing Calculators. The ChromeBook computers the boys have are used when Blended Learning is employeed as a teaching technique. Students access specific websites that offer video presentations of pre-selected topics. This may be assigned as homework, or as directed class work. This is the "Flipped Classroom" method of providing students with a wider range of learning procedures that allow them to self-teach certain skills. It is also used as a source for remediation.
Pre-AP classes include all of the material that is found in traditional Algebra classes, and then cover material that is traditionally not discussed until later in the math sequence. Students who qualify for these courses at SAA, and who work hard, can expect to earn grades that are commensurate with the grades they are used to earning in past math classes. Students completing Algebra I in 8th grade will begin their freshman year taking Geometry (unless they also complete the optional Geometry course that the Academy offers as a paid elective during 8th grade).
Suggestions from the AlgebraGuy
For students who earn high school credit for Geometry completed at the Academy the high school sequence begins with Algebra 2*, followed by Pre-Calculus. For students with a high level of mastery in Pre-Calculus (90% +) I suggest Calculus BC, AP, as a Junior, and AP Statistics or some other upper-level math course as a Senior. For students who struggle some with Pre-Calculus, I suggest they take Calculus AB as a Junior and then take Calculus BC, AP, as a Senior.**
Regardless of which math course students begin with in high school it is imperative that all college-bound students complete 4 years of math in high school.
I invite all interested parents and students to peruse my website (algebraguy.com) for lots more information about the courses I teach at SAA, and about lots of other information concerning math.
2 years of Algebra 1 is significantly better than the traditional 1 year that is dedicated to this course in most other schools.
|* Students who attend TMI will need to spend a little extra time with me before they begin school in the fall.|
|** I am always available for discussion/suggestions concerning the math path for Academy graduates.|