6th grade: We offer general 6th grade mathematics, but have made arrangements in the past for exceptional students to take pre-algebra in 6th grade (with the seventh grade class).
7th grade: We offer pre-algebra for all seventh graders. As mentioned above, individual students who take pre-algebra in 6th grade would take algebra I in 7th grade (with the eighth grade class).
8th grade: We usually offer pre-algebra (repeat) for students who struggled in pre-algebra as seventh graders and algebra I for the on-level eighth grade students. Any eighth grade student who took algebra I in seventh grade would be allowed to take algebra II at either Saint Gertrude High School or Benedictine College Preparatory.
Regurgitating math facts, concepts and formulas isn’t going to impress anyone. After all, the majority of all middle school math classes learn the same material. What separates my class from others is classroom environment. I make it a priority to ensure all students are comfortable and confident. I stress mutual respect. There are no “dumb” questions and students should never feel ashamed to give an incorrect answer. Within a short period of time, shy students tend to come out of their shells and I start seeing smiles that I never thought I would. And all of this in math class! In short, yes, students are going to learn all of the concepts mandated by the diocese — but what makes my class different is the welcoming environment that tends gets lost in the all-objective world of middle school mathematics. A happy math teacher = happy students.