The Math Department at Columbia Prep believes everyone learns math best through exploration, discovery and problem solving. Our students are asked to be thoughtfully engaged in problem solving at every level and be inspired by mathematics as well as appreciate the process of productive struggle.
The Math Department collaborates to design the problems that shape our curriculum with the belief that every concept is best explored from four different perspectives: numerical, visual, algebraic and verbal. Teaching through these four lenses ensures genuine and comprehensive understanding. Teachers help students recognize patterns and construct knowledge through questions and observations. In the Columbia Prep mathematics program, students begin with an introductory Algebra 1 course followed by Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus and Calculus. All of the courses are problem-based and student-centered: students are exposed to problems for which they have not been given specific procedures to follow, allowing them to grow as mathematicians through a productive struggle that helps develop independence, creative thinking and flexible mathematical habits of mind. Each of the classes are taught in a way that reflects the department’s commitment to all eight New York State Standards for Mathematical Practice. Our math classrooms are dynamic places. Students are often at the board working in groups or pairs. Creative assessments and homework assignments stretch students beyond memorization and promote collaborative, thoughtful work.
New York State Standards for Mathematical Practice
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Model with mathematics
- Use appropriate tools strategically
- Attend to precision.
- Look for and make use of structure
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning