Mathematics

The Besant Hill School Mathematics Department offers a substantive sequence of college-preparatory courses for students with varied learning styles and academic interests.

Our goal is to prepare every student to reach his or her potential in a supportive, academically-focused environment. In every mathematics course, we want students to learn what it means to explore and discover mathematics. We want students to know what it means to collect data, observe patterns, make conjectures, and generalize these findings; what it means to produce a coherent logical argument-to think deductively; what it means to create a mathematical model; what it means to represent a solution analytically, geometrically, numerically and verbally; what it means to analyze a problem and persevere until it is solved; in essence, what it means to develop the habits of mind of a mathematician and to think critically. We believe all students can succeed and come to appreciate the power and beauty of mathematics.

Honors Algebra Class Quadratic Equation Song

The Mathematics Department offers several courses for a variety of instructional levels. At Besant Hill School, students are required to take at least three years of math. As such, beginning students will take either Algebra I, Geometry, or both classes depending on skill level. After completing these two courses, students are offered Algebra II, or Advanced Algebra, and then Pre-calculus. Students wishing to pursue a career in math or science or just looking for a challenge may take AP Calculus.

Our STEM Education initiative

It is the goal of the BHS Science and Mathematics Departments to ensure that every student engages in problem-based learning investigations through daily classroom STEM instruction. Through our STEM education initiative, students learn how to think with a critical mind and approach realistic problems with a foundation in scientific and mathematics literacy. We provide learning both inside and outside of the classroom using advanced computer programs and laboratory equipment which allows students to play a necessary and informed role in our modern technological society. Through our STEM initiative, it is our hope to enhance motivation, interest, and achievement among students. This not only motivates and aids our students in pursuing a STEM-related career field but also helps them make informed decisions for a better life.

Course Descriptions

Math I

Math I is the first course in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. The goals of the program are to build student skills and interests in the use of algebra as a means to describe the physical world and solve problems, to develop spatial relationships, logical arguments, problem solving skills, and an understanding of axiomatic systems through the study of geometry, and develop skills in compiling, representing, and analyzing data, and gain insights into the likelihood of events in the study of probability and statistics. All of these topics (algebra, geometry, and statistics) are intertwined, and efforts have been made to introduce multiple topics that utilize the same mathematical skill (for instance, standard deviation and the Pythagorean theorem both require the use of square roots) in a logical progression. Regular features of the class are formative and summative assessment as a means to tailor instruction and measure student growth, daily warm up activities that reinforce previous material and preview upcoming topics, the use of interactive notebooks as final draft of daily studies, a daily classwork/homework grade as a means to encourage student involvement and reward desired student behavior, reading assignments to help students to become more independent learners, regularly scheduled opportunities to clearly and concisely convey ideas both orally and in writing, and assessments in the form of tests and quizzes, long-term projects and papers, class presentations.

Math II

Math II is the second course in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. The goals of the program are to build student skills and interests in the use of algebra as a means to describe the physical world and solve problems, to develop spatial relationships, logical arguments, problem solving skills, and an understanding of axiomatic systems through the study of geometry, and develop skills in compiling, representing, and analyzing data, and gain insights into the likelihood of events in the study of probability and statistics. All of these topics (algebra, geometry, and statistics) are intertwined, and efforts have been made to introduce multiple topics that utilize the same mathematical skill (for instance, visual displays is a theme in geometric and algebraic constructions, and data representation) in a logical progression. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout. Regular features of the class are formative and summative assessment as a means to tailor instruction and measure student growth, daily warm up activities that reinforce previous material and preview upcoming topics, the use of interactive notebooks as final draft of daily studies, a daily classwork/homework grade as a means to encourage student involvement and reward desired student behavior, regularly scheduled opportunities to clearly and concisely convey ideas both orally and in writing, and assessments in the form of tests and quizzes, long-term projects and papers, class presentations.

Math III

Math III is the third course in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. The goals of the program are to build student skills and interests in the use of algebra as a means to describe the physical world and solve problems, to develop spatial relationships, logical arguments, problem solving skills, and an understanding of axiomatic systems through the study of geometry, and develop skills in compiling, representing, and analyzing data, and gain insights into the likelihood of events in the study of probability and statistics. All of these topics (algebra, geometry, and statistics) are intertwined, and efforts have been made to introduce multiple topics that utilize the same mathematical skill (for instance, inductive and deductive reasoning are applied in axiomatic systems, the unit circle, and generalized ideas about polynomials) in a logical progression. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout. Regular features of the class are formative and summative assessment as a means to tailor instruction and measure student growth, daily warm up activities that reinforce previous material and preview upcoming topics, the use of interactive notebooks as final draft of daily studies, a daily classwork/homework grade as a means to encourage student involvement and reward desired student behavior, regularly scheduled opportunities to clearly and concisely convey ideas both orally and in writing, and assessments in the form of tests and quizzes, long-term projects and papers, class presentations.

Math IV

Math IV is the fourth course in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. The goals of the program are to build student skills and interests in the use of algebra as a means to describe the physical world and solve problems, to develop spatial relationships, logical arguments, problem solving skills, and an understanding of axiomatic systems through the study of geometry, and develop skills in compiling, representing, and analyzing data, and gain insights into the likelihood of events in the study of probability and statistics. All of these topics (algebra, geometry, and statistics) are intertwined, and efforts have been made to introduce multiple topics that utilize the same mathematical skill (for instance, modeling, conic sections, and trigonometric functions all require an understanding of transformations) in a logical progression. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout. Regular features of the class are formative and summative assessment as a means to tailor instruction and measure student growth, daily warm up activities that reinforce previous material and preview upcoming topics, the use of interactive notebooks as final draft of daily studies, a daily classwork/homework grade as a means to encourage student involvement and reward desired student behavior, regularly scheduled opportunities to clearly and concisely convey ideas both orally and in writing, and assessments in the form of tests and quizzes, long-term projects and papers, class presentations.

Precalculus

Precalculus at Besant Hill School integrates functions and trigonometry and applies the algebra and geometry that students have studied in the previous years. As the course progresses, we will more closely explore the tools used in further calculus classes. Students will use the mathematics they have learned to examine and discuss the theorems studied during the course. As with all our Mathematics Classes, our STEM initiative is included in our daily language, literacy, content, and investigations.

AP Calculus

Advanced Placement Calculus at Besant Hill School analyzes functions and their behavior and goes in-depth with trigonometric functions studied previously. As the course progresses, we will more closely explore the derivative of a function, and what it means in terms of rate of change and approximation. The relationship between the derivative and the integral will be probed, and an understanding of the reasonableness of solutions will be gained. Students completing AP Calculus will be able to use technology to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results and verify conclusions, and communicate mathematics both orally and in well-written sentences to explain solutions to problems. As with all our Mathematics Classes, our STEM initiative is included in our daily language, literacy, content, and investigations.

Math IV Honors

Math IV Honors is the fourth course in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. As compared to Math IV, the Honors level course investigates more challenging topics within each unit and includes three units of study not in the standard Math IV course. The goals of the program are to build student skills and interests in the use of algebra as a means to describe the physical world and solve problems, to develop spatial relationships, logical arguments, problem solving skills, and an understanding of axiomatic systems through the study of geometry, and develop skills in compiling, representing, and analyzing data, and gain insights into the likelihood of events in the study of probability and statistics. All of these topics (algebra, geometry, and statistics) are intertwined, and efforts have been made to introduce multiple topics that utilize the same mathematical skill (for instance, modeling, conic sections, and trigonometric functions all require an understanding of transformations) in a logical progression. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout. Regular features of the class are formative and summative assessment as a means to tailor instruction and measure student growth, daily warm up activities that reinforce previous material and preview upcoming topics, the use of interactive notebooks as final draft of daily studies, a daily classwork/homework grade as a means to encourage student involvement and reward desired student behavior, regularly scheduled opportunities to clearly and concisely convey ideas both orally and in writing, and assessments in the form of tests and quizzes, long-term projects and papers, class presentations.