Saint Mary’s mathematics program supports students as they become mathematically literate citizens who know the appropriate mathematical and technological tools to use and when to use them in various problem-solving settings. Students work in independent, whole-class, and small-group settings to increase their mathematical confidence and their communication skills. The types of problems and the learning environment in the mathematics classrooms foster persistence, critical thinking, and reflection. All courses require students to communicate conceptual understanding (both verbally and in written form), justify and explain results, and apply mathematics to real-world situations.
Students build their mathematics education through a sequential progression of courses in the math department. Recognizing students may be at different levels of mathematical development upon entering Saint Mary’s School, the department uses a variety of assessments to place students into appropriate courses for successful experiences. Regardless of where a student begins in the progression, with each new course, students come to see that the learning of mathematics includes procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, and applying both to real-world contexts. They also gain experiences to help them think critically and build a solid foundation for further study of mathematics, both in high school and college.
The use of a TI-83+ or TI-84 graphing calculator is required of all students. Other types of technology, such as GeoGebra, Desmos, Microsoft Excel, TinkerPlots, TI-89 calculators, TI SmartView, and a variety of online applets may be incorporated into classes.