Math Department

The Middle School Mathematics Department aspires to equip students with the skills necessary to:
  • value mathematics and recognize its importance in real-life.
  • demonstrate confidence in their mathematical abilities.
  • develop into enthusiastic mathematical problem solvers.
  • communicate mathematically both verbally and in writing.
  • reason mathematically.

The overarching goal of the Middle School Mathematics program is to provide a sequential transition between the basic arithmetic, geometric, statistical, and problem solving skills studied in the elementary grades to the advanced mathematical skills of algebra, geometry, analysis, calculus, and statistics caught at the high school. The study of pre-algebra at the middle level prepares students for a successful transition to high school mathematics.

Our mixed ability groupings in the middle grades provide high expectations for all, with support for those who need it.  It is important to build a strong foundation in mathematics in middle school, where we emphasize conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application of the mathematics students have learned. Our curriculum enables each student to develop deep mathematical understanding and opportunities to competently apply math concepts and skills in a variety of school, home, and outside settings.  Throughout the middle school experience, students will begin developing proficiency in precise mathematical communication, honing skills in both verbal and written mathematical presentation. Students will be challenged by sophisticated mathematical ideas as they move through our program and will develop perseverance, and the ability to reason, prove, and justify.

An important part of student mathematical work in the middle grades is the Massachusetts Standards of Mathematical Practice. These eight practices frame how teachers and students engage with school mathematics:
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Whenever possible, the middle school teachers attempt to integrate the mathematics curriculum with other disciplines. This integration demonstrates to the students that all subjects are connected and not separate entities. In these units students take knowledge learned in one subject and apply it in situations in other classes. The skills of analysis, synthesis, and generalization are the expected outcomes.

Calculators are an essential part of the middle school mathematics program. Students will use calculators to study certain mathematical topics where tedious computation detracts from the learning of concepts and development of problem-solving strategies. Calculators will not be used for all units. Mathematical competency should not be dependent upon the use of a calculator.

 Photo of Tammy Ghizzoni Tammy Ghizzoni
Department Chairperson, 6-8
Tammy_Ghizzoni@needham.k12.ma.us
781.455.0455 x44504 



Cluster

Teacher

Email Address

1

Sarah Leftin

Sarah_Leftin@needham.k12.ma.us

2

Gwendolyn Kalian

Gwen_Kalian@needham.k12.ma.us

3

Jonathan Glover

Jonathan_Glover@needham.k12.ma.us

4

Paul Liner

Paul_Liner@needham.k12.ma.us

5

Joanna Murphy

Joanna_Murphy@needham.k12.ma.us

Interventionist Barbara Manley Barbara_Manley@needham.k12.ma.us

 

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