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#201043  09/16/14 05:55 AM
Typical middle school math progression?

Member
Registered: 08/24/10
Posts: 3423

What is this these days for average, above average, and highly capable students? What do you need to know at the start of these courses? (I realize this is hard to answer.)
I am clueless. DD will be tested for middle school course placement at the end of 5th grade. She is a year ahead in math, though I'm not always convinced it is a true year ahead.

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#201044  09/16/14 06:12 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 10/04/13
Posts: 279

Our school district's highest math track is:
5th grade regular math 6th grade advanced math (I assume this is prealgebra) 7th grade algebra 8th grade geometry
Then if you don't make it into that, you have a chance for Algebra in 8th grade, or the regular track of taking Algebra in 9th grade. ETA: There is regular 6, 7, 8th grade math in the regular track.
There are apparently several tests and factors for placement, but I do not understand them yet.
Have you read the middle school handbook for your school district. It is probably available online, or you can request a copy. It may have the procedures written into it.
Edited by howdy (09/16/14 06:35 AM)

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#201045  09/16/14 06:12 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 2595
Loc: MA

Nowadays many middle schools post their "program of studies" online. At our middle school grade 6 math is undifferentiated. The grade 7 and 8 math courses, in decreasing order of difficulty, are
7: Advanced Algebra 7 Algebra 7 Prealgebra
8: Advanced Algebra II Algebra II Algebra 8 PreAlgebra 8
At the open house for 6th grade parents, the principal emphasized that the tracks in math and other subjects had some flexibility. Each math course can lead to two or more future math courses, depending on performance. So Algebra 7 students can in theory go into Advanced Algebra II the following year.

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#201047  09/16/14 06:20 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 04/16/10
Posts: 2498

Usual: Common Core 6, 7, 8 in those grades
Moderately accelerated path: Common Core 6 Common Core 78"Algebra" in two years instead of three
More accelerated: Common Core 6 in 5th grade Common Core 78"Algebra" in 6th and 7th grades (by placement test, not only for IDd gifted)
Still more accelerated (elementary option for giftedidentified only): Common Core 4 and 5 in 4th grade Common Core 6 in 5th grade Option to do 78Algebra in two years or in three
Subject acceleration within these sequences is also possible (not common).

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#201049  09/16/14 06:32 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: howdy]

Member
Registered: 05/26/12
Posts: 235

Ours is the same but the high school district is in the middle of change. My daughters(7th grade) magnet school track has 7th graders taking geometry but they are the only ones. Next year she will have Algebra II/pre calculus at the high school. There is a placement test taking for all kids before junior high.

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#201050  09/16/14 06:46 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 603

Our district:
Below average: 6th: 6th grade math 7th: 7th grade math 8th: 8th grade math 9th: Prealgebra or Algebra I
Average: 6th: 6th grade math 7th: 7th grade math 8th: 8th grade math or Algebra I 9th: Geometry or Algebra I
Highest: 6th: Prealgebra 7th: Algebra I 8th: Honors Geometry 9th: Honors Algebra II
Students with higher levels of achievement are sometimes placed at a higher level. For example, I know of a 6th grade boy who was placed in Honors Geometry (upon entry from homeschooling). But these placements are rare, especially among kids who have been in the system since K.

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#201051  09/16/14 06:51 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 03/27/10
Posts: 228

Ours is similar to what most have posted. Three tracks: regular: 6th grade general math, 7th grade general and 8th preAlg advanced: 6th grade general, 7th preAlg, and 8th Alg gifted: 6th grade preAlg, 7th Alg, 8th Geometry
For our school, the IAAT (Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test) and standardized scores were very important. Your daughter should know all grade level material (fractions/ratios/decimals and of course all facts), know how to interpret graphs/tables, and understand the concept of variables in order to do well in Alg or preAlg. The Art of Problem Solving website has some great pretests which can help you see where your daughter is (or you can do above grade level testing through a talent search, which convinced our school to accelerate my son more than any ability testing). The "regular" math for 6th and 7th grade just seems to go over these basics percents, ratios, decimals, fractions, reading charts, etc over and over again for kids who need a lot of repetition. They give the kids lots and lots of algorithms to solve equations (guess and check, draw a picture, estimate, make a table, etc) and if your dd is good at math she'll be ready to jump off a cliff when she had to draw a tree diagram or some other such nonsense instead of just calculating the answer. I think it can be really excruciating, so honestly, if you think that she is capable, but maybe has become bored or forgotten some things, I'd have her review (maybe take those AoPS placement tests) so she isn't bored silly over the next few years. However, I'd also ask the teacher if this test will be geared towards a specific curriculum. When my ds was skipped ahead in math early on, he was initially given an EM (Everyday Math) test that required him to show things like partial sums or lattice multiplication and he did poorly. It was only after I intervened and asked that he be given a test that didn't rely on him knowing odd ways to solve things (that he hadn't learned) and just relied on him actually knowing how to solve things in the normal way. So, you just want to make sure that the test reflects your dd's knowledge of math, not her knowledge of things specific to your school's math curriculum (and if it is very specific, make sure she reviews that).

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#201053  09/16/14 07:00 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 05/26/12
Posts: 235

Many schools in the Chicago area don't have junior high geometry at all or are just starting to offer it.

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#201054  09/16/14 07:06 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 690

I'm not entirely sure about 6th grade because DS skipped it, but they've recently changed it for the kids identified as gifted in math, and the high achievers in math, anyway.
For those gifted and high achieving kids:
6th: 6th/7th grade accelerated math (prealgebra) 7th: 7th/8th grade accelerated math (prealgebra, beginning algebra, with hints of geometry but still related to algebra) 8th: Integrated Math I or high school math (from what I can gather it's simply algebra).
For kids not accelerated I think they do prealgebra until the end of 8th grade.
in 5th grade, ds's teacher spent most of the year teaching fractions and division, the repetition of which had longlasting negative affects on our ds and nearly turned him off from math forever.
Edited by KADmom (09/16/14 07:10 AM)

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#201060  09/16/14 07:45 AM
Re: Typical middle school math progression?
[Re: ultramarina]

Member
Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 681
Loc: controlled chaos

Currently, we have the high math kids do Algebra in 7th and Geometry in 8th grade. We've seen a few kids do Geometry in 7th and Algebra II in 8th but that its not the norm. Quite frankly the system does not accommodate this level of acceleration well. Not sure how this will change with the adoption of common core.

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