Mathematics

The Besant Hill School Mathematics Department offers a substantive sequence of college prep 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. Our students learn what it means to collect data, observe patterns, make conjectures, and then generalize their findings. They know what it means to produce a coherent logical argument, to think deductively. They understand what it means to create a mathematical model and represent a solution analytically, geometrically, numerically, and verbally. At Besant Hill School, students learn what it means to analyze a problem and persevere until it is solved. In essence, students truly understand what it means to develop the habits of the mind of a mathematician and 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. 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 those just looking for a challenge, may take AP Calculus.

Our STEM Education initiative

It is the goal of the Besant Hill School 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 that allows students to play a necessary and informed role in our modern technological society. Through our STEM initiative, it’s 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 in a series of integrated mathematics courses primarily drawing from topics in algebra, geometry, and statistics. The primary topics include probability, perimeter, area, and volume, sequences, linear functions, single variable statistics, and coordinate proof.  Topics are clustered around themes; for instance the Pythagorean Theorem (geometry), the distance formula (algebra), and standard deviation (statistics) all make use of square roots. Problem solving and real-world applications serve as vehicles for students to develop skills in communicating ideas in written and oral work. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout, and students compare paper and pencil with calculator methods.

Math II

Math II is the second course in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. Primary topics include geometric constructions and sketches, transformations, quadratic functions, modeling, functions, and triangles including trigonometry and proofs. Topics are clustered around themes; for instance, visual displays is a theme in geometric and algebraic constructions, and in data representations. Problem solving and real-world applications serve as vehicles for students to develop skills in communicating ideas in written and oral work. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout.

Math III

Math III is the third course in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. Primary topics include exponential functions, circles, axiomatic systems and proof , polynomials, combinations and permutations, sampling and distributions, and parametric and polar equations.  Topics are clustered around themes; for instance, inductive and deductive reasoning are applied in axiomatic systems, the unit circle, and generalized ideas about polynomials.  Problem solving and real-world applications serve as vehicles for students to develop skills in communicating ideas in written and oral work. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout, and students compare paper and pencil with calculator methods.

Math IV

Math IV is a fourth course option  in an integrated four-year sequence of courses. Primary topics include algebraic proof, sequences and series, limits, trigonometric functions, non-right triangles, conic sections, and modeling. Topics are clustered around themes; for instance, modeling, conic sections, and trigonometric functions all require an understanding of transformations. Problem solving and real-world applications serve as vehicles for students to develop skills in communicating ideas in written and oral work. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout, and students compare paper and pencil with calculator methods.

Math IV Honors

Math IV Honors is a fourth course option  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. In addition to the primary topics in Math IV, the honors course investigates trigonometric identities, composition functions, and matrices. Topics are clustered around themes; for instance, modeling, conic sections, and trigonometric functions all require an understanding of transformations. Problem solving and real-world applications serve as vehicles for students to develop skills in communicating ideas in written and oral work. The relationship between data, graphs, and equations is stressed throughout, and students compare paper and pencil with calculator methods.

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 AB

AP Calculus AB covers the topics presented in a typical first year college Calculus course. The major topics are differentiation and integration. Both require the use of limits and utilize equations and graphic representations.  Topics addressed in the study of the derivative include maximization and minimization, second derivatives, and implicit differentiation and related rates. Definite and indefinite integrals are explored while examining area, distance, average values, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. Problems are viewed in a variety of real-world contexts such as physics, economics, and biology.

AP Statistics

AP Statistics is the equivalent of a traditional introductory college statistics course. The purpose of the AP course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. The course is divided into four broad conceptual themes: exploring data and describing patterns and departures from patterns, sampling and experimentation including planning and conducting a study, anticipating patterns through the exploration of random phenomena using probability and simulation, and statistical Inference including estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses. Students compare paper-and-pencil methods with use of calculators and computers.