Our mathematics program at Rivendell is the result of over 10 years of methodical review and curriculum modification. Our desire is to prepare our students to be able to use computation proficiency and problem solving skills to help them discover their place in God’s kingdom. Toward this end, our curriculum is designed to stress higher order thinking and critical problem solving. We approach math with the understanding that it is not separate from other subjects and can be incorporated in all areas of learning. We place a high priority on students developing automatic recall of the basic number facts, but we want students to go beyond basic facts and computation skills so they know when, how and why to use them. We recognize that computation is an important and practical part of mathematics and want to ensure all students can compute accurately in a variety of ways. Not only do we want a student to get the correct answer, we want them to understand the steps taken to reach the answer.
Rivendell’s math progression allows most of our students to leave Rivendell with an excellent foundation in algebra. With this foundation they are prepared for higher-level math and science courses in high school. Helping children to discover their own place in God's world means providing a strong math program that allows for differentiation at upper levels.
While emphasizing the above elements, our goal is to allow most students to reach Algebra I in 8th grade. Typical math progression at Rivendell is as follows:
- Math in Focus
- Math 7, a grade level course focusing on skills and drill
- Pre-algebra, a problem solving, critical thinking approach to pre-algebra
- Algebra (with a grade of C or higher in Pre-algebra or an A in Math 7)
Math in Focus
The Math in Focus curriculum is a Singapore Math® curriculum designed with problem solving as the center of math learning. Concepts are taught with a concrete–pictorial–abstract learning progression through real-world, hands-on experiences. Math in Focus is a research-based curriculum that focuses on classroom learning, discussion, and practice, while balancing conceptual understanding, visual learning, and problem solving in addition to the important problem solving approach, at Rivendell we also value quick computation. For this reason we emphasize memorization of math facts. We do this with timed drills, and we require students to master multiplication facts.