Program Approach for Middle & High Math
How We Ensure Conceptual Mastery
The BJU Press middle and high school math courses ensure conceptual mastery using a variety of teaching techniques. Teachers use essential questions to flesh out the significant concepts in each lesson. They will also help students recognize and correct ineffective solutions to problems. Modeling helps students progress from simply viewing numerical equations on a page to recognizing and understanding mathematical problems in everyday life. Teachers also facilitate abstract reasoning and foster collaborative learning and classroom discussion. Students are encouraged to assert their own positions and examine the reasons behind those positions. Each course includes exercises that use a spiral review to develop understanding of the newest concept and to review previous concepts. Our Pre-Algebra course also provides QR codes that link students to additional instruction and practice.
How We Support Procedural Fluency
The middle and high school math courses also foster procedural fluency in students. Students are able to select and execute mathematical procedures relevant to individual problems. The courses use mathematical models to teach students the relationships between quantities and structure within the numerical system. By using modeling, students learn how to lay out mathematical equations, analyze them, and predict an outcome based on previous experience so they can come to a reasonable conclusion and contribute to solving real-world problems. Working through problems and equations in this way helps them to understand the procedures necessary for using mathematical practices effectively. The spiral review exercises not only contribute to conceptual mastery but also enhance fluency by helping students develop more understanding and refresh prior knowledge. The courses enable students to use abstract reasoning and analyze incorrect solutions to problems. Teaching material includes discussion prompts and reminders to direct students’ attention to key ideas and step-by-step reasoning to ensure they understand concepts beyond simple rote memory.
How We Develop Real-World Problem Solving
The middle and high school math courses encourage real-world problem solving through STEM activities. These projects promote greater understanding and appreciation for the role math plays in science, engineering, and design. STEM projects use a variety of disciplines to nurture holistic problem solving and student collaboration. For example, Fundamentals of Math includes a project requiring students to create five common weather observation instruments. Students will use the constructed instruments to record weather observations for several consecutive days. Course teaching material provides suggested questions that encourage students to think about their processes, how they can improve their instruments, and how they might use their instruments best. Once each STEM project is complete, students will report their results to show what they’ve learned and what they can accomplish by using STEM processes. These STEM projects present multifaceted problems and guide students through crafting optimal solutions for the best results. Multiple courses also feature a “then and now” series that demonstrates how problems have previously been solved using mathematical skills. Students also engage in strategic questioning to focus on key concepts and apply those concepts to real-world problems.
How We Use Technology
The BJU Press middle and high school math courses introduce students to multiple technological resources to make resolving math problems simpler and more accessible. Students are taught to handle advanced calculators, and they also have access to After School Help with additional math problems and videos explaining challenging mathematical concepts.
How We Nurture a Biblical Worldview
In a world of complicated and involved issues, students can learn to use mathematics to simplify or solve problems. Throughout BJU Press math courses, we direct students to determine the root issues of real-world problems according to a biblical worldview and solve them using mathematical processes. As students break down and define problems and make assumptions about the causes and contributions to those problems, they do so with an understanding of what the Bible says and expects. Ultimately, we encourage students to develop solutions that are appropriate and ethical. Additional features prompt worldview development as well. Fundamentals of Math uses engaging cartoons to discuss biblical worldview shaping objectives. Pre-Algebra also provides thorough explanations of why mathematical principles consistently work effectively. Students will verify that mathematical principles based on the timeless truths in God’s Word provide effective solutions for problems in our world.