The RZJHS Mathematics Department offers a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum that incorporates traditional teaching methods along with the most current research in mathematics education and concepts included in the Common Core State Standards and endorsed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
The objectives of the mathematics curriculum for students are as follows:
-to achieve proficiency in the skills studied
-to develop an independent, creative and analytical approach to problem solving
-to develop a sense of exploration and to enjoy the process of discovery
The RZJHS Mathematics Department offers 13 mathematics courses including two advanced placement courses and a post-AP calculus course. The courses include: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Algebra II with Trigonometry, Trigonometry/Statistics, Pre-calculus, Introduction to Calculus/Statistics, Advanced Placement Calculus AB/BC and Advanced Topics in Mathematics/Multivariable Calculus. An honors option is available in Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus. To see the flow of the courses, view image below.
The appropriate placement of students is important to their success. Each incoming 9th grader’s mathematics background is assessed with the help of 8th grade teacher recommendations, the Explore score, and if necessary, an entrance exam taken at RZJHS. Students are then placed into a regular or honors course in the proper position in the sequence. Student placement is reassessed on an annual basis by his/her teacher, and movement between the honors and college preparatory tracks is allowed depending on the changing needs of the student.
The approach to teaching employed by RZJHS mathematics teachers is guided, in part, by the principles set forth by the College Board and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Students are exposed to concepts in a number of ways:
-Graphically/visually: students work with a graph or a diagram to relate visually to the concepts being studied.
-Numerically: students recognize the patterns within data collected from real world phenomena.
-Analytically: students manipulate the symbolic structure of mathematics efficiently and correctly.
-Verbally: students express their understanding of problems and concepts well in both spoken and written language.
The effectiveness of the RZJHS mathematics curriculum is evident in the levels of student achievement. Students consistently score well on standardized tests such as the SAT, the ACT and the AP Calculus exams. Students also earn competitive marks in the American Mathematics Competition. In addition to producing high scores, the RZJHS math curriculum stimulates student interest in mathematics. In classroom discussions, students display high levels of curiosity and a “can-do” attitude. Nearly all RZJHS students take four years of mathematics rather than the required three. Both student and parent evaluations reveal enthusiasm for mathematics at RZJHS.
Did You Know:
RZJHS has an active mathematics team that participates in a variety of contests and organizes school-wide events including PI and e days. The contests include: North Suburban Math League meets, Annual ICTM Team Scramble vs. Ida Crown, American Mathematics Team Scramble, Math Madness League Contests, American Mathematics Competition and if students qualify, the American Invitation Mathematics Examination (AIME).
"Clearly, there are the lessons that are in our textbooks, like algebra, chemistry and Spanish. But at RZJHS, we also learned essential midot, or values, such as diligence and morality, that you can’t find in a textbook."