The goal of mathematics instruction at St. Paul Lutheran School is to provide a challenging environment for every student. The curriculum is designed to move students from concrete to abstract, developing the computational and thinking skills necessary for math success. The school’s technology initiative allows for individualized, differentiated instruction, yet there remains a strong traditional approach to exploring mathematics. Programs are in place to meet the needs of students excelling in the area of mathematics and those in need of remediation. In the intermediate and middle grades (4-8), mathematics is taught simultaneously throughout the school and students are placed in a math class that corresponds to their ability level and achievement. New students entering grades 4-8 are given a placement test in order to assist with math class placement.
St. Paul uses Saxon Math, an incremental learning program. Saxon Math scaffolds instruction of each concept and continues to review information introduced earlier. This allows students the time and practice to retain math concepts to the level of mastery. Research shows that Saxon Math consistently yields increased retention, higher test scores, and sustained performance in higher-level mathematics.
In the early childhood and primary grades (K-2), the development of number sense and mathematical concepts are introduced through hands-on learning experiences. Students begin to utilize mathematics vocabulary and develop problem solving skills working both independently and collaboratively. In the intermediate grades (3-5), students continue to develop competency in the use of basic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and begin to work more extensively with large number operations. Problem solving tasks are integrated throughout the curriculum as students are challenged to apply multiple problem solving strategies in order to solve real world problems. The concepts of fractions, decimals, geometry, and measurement are explored while continued hands-on opportunities and technology resources are utilized. Students at the middle school level (6-7) may continue work in the Saxon Math program. At this level an emphasis is placed on refining basic computation skills with whole numbers, decimal numbers, and fractions. Students increase their knowledge of integers, ratios, proportions, and percents; review geometric terms and concepts; and begin the fundamental concepts of pre-algebra.
Some students are introduced to the Larson math curriculum in pre-algebra. This curriculum allows students to develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and provides a rigorous program that prepares students to advance to algebra. The Larson curriculum is continued for Algebra I. Students excelling in the area of mathematics have an opportunity to complete a high school level Algebra I class in 7th grade and Geometry I using Florida Virtual School.