For the most part, the scope and sequence of math skills varies little from curriculum to curriculum in junior high school. However, at Acaciawood we have found that two main factors are important to students’ progress in math. First, each student must be given the flexibility to advance according to his/her individual ability or need. By the time students reach junior high we expect that they can function as independent learners. This means that they are able to assess what they do or do not know. In turn, they are able to locate the help they need whether from a teacher, an answer key, another textbook or whatever other resources are available.

Second, each student must develop critical thinking skills through problem solving. Much of this can be done simply be accelerating the junior high math curriculum and allowing students to take Algebra by the eighth grade and Geometry in the ninth.

Most students at Acaciawood take Pre-Algebra in the 7th grade and Algebra 1 in the 8th grade. Pre-Algebra aims at automating basic arithmetic skills and introduces integers, rational numbers, simple equations, and basic geometric concepts. Algebra 1 consists of beginning algebra, including polynomials, irrational numbers, and quadratic equations, and an introduction to geometry.


  1. Math textbook. The Saxon series forms the scope and sequence of the math curriculum. Students learn math concepts by:
    • Reading about, or be taught a new concept.
    • Studying. Do practice problems or rework examples until the student can determine whether or not he/she understands the concept.
    • Practicing. Work a series of problems independently to insure mastery.
    • Assessing work. Spot check, take a quiz or test.
    • Planning followup as needed.
  2. Problem Solving. Problem solving develops critical and analytical reasoning. Specific time should be spent weekly with either the textbook, supplementary materials or thinking games.
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