Kris Bennett, Friends School of Minnesota’s new middle school math teacher, spent substantial time last year reviewing middle school math benchmarks, along with the new Common Core Math Standards. She identified that students would benefit from more in depth study of each concept, along with more practice with computation and algorithms. We have revised our middle school benchmarks and programs to address these and other goals.
Friends School of Minnesota’s new 5th through 8th grade curriculum materials, copyrighted 2014, are from McDougal Little. Fifth grade will use the Go Math series (a consumable workbook), and 6th-8th will use Larson’s Big Ideas Math (a hardcover textbook). We are particularly excited about the new algebra textbook because it is written specifically for 8th graders and not for high school. We are confident that it will make a difference.
In addition, we will be supplementing our math curriculum with an online math program called ALEKS. This highly individualized program assesses a student’s strengths and individual areas of weakness, can provide challenge for continuous progress, and zero in on any skill development gaps. This program can be accessed from any computer and students will have their own accounts that they, Kris, and parents can review at any time.
Once a week, Kris will schedule time to address student learning needs in a more individualized and small group format. Students may work with Kris to review a concept or skill, they may work on ALEKS, or they may be working with other students applying their learning.
We will continue to integrate math and science as much as possible, and will have well grounded projects that incorporate the new math curriculum. We are very pleased to be able to have a math program that is so aligned to our progressive educational philosophy.
If FSM parents have any questions, they can contact Jeannette Lutter-Gardella during the summer, or Kris Bennett after school starts.