8th Grade Mathematics
We design our mathematics program to ensure that every student develops skills and confidence as a mathematical thinker and applies a growth mindset to new learning. We keep the challenge level high and use differentiation so all students experience productive struggle. The math program advances every student through Algebra 1 and teaches in-depth mathematical thinking skills over the course of 7th and 8th grades, which research shows is the best foundation for higher-level mathematics and engineering.
Our program is guided by our long-term transfer goals for mathematics. Upon graduation, students will be able to independently use their learning to:
- Apply creative mathematical problem solving in both theoretical and real world contexts.
- Identify and seek opportunities to use mathematics, including in connection with other disciplines.
- Persevere in solving novel problems by employing a variety of mathematical tools and strategies.
- Communicate and critique mathematical thinking and reasoning in a variety of forms.
- Collect and analyze data and develop and apply mathematical models to make decisions, draw conclusions, and solve problems.
All of our math courses are led by dedicated teachers who get to know each individual student. They create ample opportunities for challenge including open-ended problem-solving activities, extensions, and projects. Mark Day’s approach to differentiation and challenge is based on extensive, ongoing research and reflection about mathematics instruction, which guides us to continue to offer depth and extensions as opposed to acceleration through future content.
To meet our goals, we offer two Math Pathways in the upper grades: the Algebra Pathway, covering our standard content and skills, and the Enriched Pathway in which students’ learning is further challenged by extension problems, alternative problems or assignments, or additional project elements. These two pathways are offered across all classes: In the Enriched Algebra 1 Class, all students pursue the Enriched Pathway. In the Hybrid Algebra 1 Class, students can pursue the Enriched Pathway or the regular Algebra Pathway or selectively pursue challenging learning activities from the Enriched Pathway at any time. The goal is to increase access to challenging math learning for all students through extensions and “high ceiling” tasks so any student can advance learning at any time. All students who enjoy math are encouraged to participate on our school Mathletes team, which practices once a week for a series of area competitions throughout the year.
8th graders begin the year with a review of linear equations, solving multi-step equations, working with functions, finding the slope of a line, graphing linear functions, and writing functions in slope-intercept, standard, and point-slope forms. The course then covers systems of linear equations and inequalities, exponents, exponential equations and functions, polynomials, quadratics, solving and graphing quadratics, solving and graphing square root functions, and rational equations and expressions. Students complete 8th grade ready to engage in challenging high school mathematics, and have the skills and mindset to approach new learning and novel problem-solving situations with tenacity, patience, and creativity. Mark Day graduates generally place in Geometry or Honors Geometry upon matriculation to independent and public high schools.
- 8th Grade