The ESA mathematics department provides courses that are grounded in foundational mathematical content, but emphasize students’ critical thinking skills with respect to logical thinking and data analysis. All of the math courses at ESA focus on creating a classroom of students that can work independently, problem solve persistently, and use patterns they observe to make overarching connections. All courses require students to work in groups, complete homework assignments, and develop a portfolio of projects.
The main purpose of this course is to introduce students to concepts of geometry while strengthening their algebra skills by integrating the two. Much of what’s included on the SAT forces students to be able to apply a combination of concepts and skills covered in this class. This course will endeavor to strengthen the students’ ability to reason, problem solve, conjecture, recognize patterns/relationships, and to clearly and effectively communicate their thought processes and solutions. Students will be asked to write down their predictions and thoughts individually as well as discuss their thoughts and findings within pairs and small groups to facilitate peer discussions and mutual understanding.
In trigonometry class, students investigate the relationships between the sides and angles of triangles. They use trigonometric functions and their inverses to describe those relationships, the relationships of angles and coordinates on the unit circle, and the motion of waves. Working mainly in small groups, students explore when, why, and how trigonometry can be used to solve practical problems and model real world phenomena.
This course is designed to teach students the fundamentals of calculus. Students will begin the course by reviewing the concept of a function, then moving on to the ideas of limits and continuity, and finally will formally learn differentiation (they have already been introduced to the general power rule last semester in their final project and the idea of a derivative without being given a name for it) and how to apply it. This will set students up for next semester, when students will learn integration and how to apply it to area and volume problems. We will constantly be reviewing topics from last year’s pre-calculus course as needed to strengthen problem-solving, graphing, and algebra skills, all of which will be helpful in whichever math courses students wind up taking next year (and in college).
This course is designed to teach students the fundamentals of calculus. Students will begin by reviewing last semester’s topic of differentiation and learn how to use implicit differentiation for related rates problems. The remainder of the semester will focus on integral calculus, where students will learn to calculate area and volume under curves and apply it to real world problems. We will constantly be reviewing topics from the previous year’s pre-calculus as well as last semester’s calculus course as needed to strengthen problem-solving, graphing, and algebra skills, all of which will be helpful in whichever math courses students wind up taking in college.