Strategies to Support Student Success in Learning Math

Middle School Students Face Challenges in Learning Math

Middle school students in Cupertino are known for their motivations to learn and take the most challenging coursework. However, often time they are working too hard for something that may not reap them the most benefits. Math is often an area where students experience the most frustration. There are a few contributing factors to current situations.

Factors Contributing to Challenges Learning Math

  1. Math learning is consecutive and in sequences. Alignments are important. Parents and students often are not aware of the math sequences and contents that make up each individual math course. The different names of the math courses are not intuitive, especially when it is named such as integrated.
  2. Teachers may or may not follow through with the sequences and finish all contents areas required of. Grades that students received only indicate how well they learn those topics and concepts that the teacher covers but never the assurance of how complete they have learned the course.
  3. There is no coordination between two different levels of math or collaborations among teachers at different levels. The higher-level teachers know very little about the status of learning in the student’s prior course. Each teacher teaches on his/her own in his/her own classroom.
  4. Students are already struggling to understand the curriculum and assessment strategies for each course. Most of them do not comprehend what to anticipate next.

What Is Needed to Advocate for Our Students?

Therefore, we need a common thread through different levels in math learning. We need a proper scaffolding in contents. We need enforcement of finishing all contents required of in each course at each level. These are what we need to ensure success in the math learning at each level. Successful math learning rests on the successful learning and completion of prior concepts and contents. Because of that, there have to be a robust overall strategy in curriculum structure and delivery.

To address the current problems in math learning in the middle school, Young Scholar Program (YSP) at Legend College Preparatory offers middle school math with an overall strategy that makes learning intuitive and effective. Algebra 1 and 2 are combined into one course and so are Geometry and Trigonometry. This kind of arrangement ensures continuation and completeness in math learning. It also takes away the traditional gaps in learning math when students are studying them out of sequences over time with different teachers that have no collaborations. Moreover, the combined courses are taught with the clear goal of getting students ready for Pre-Calculus Honors and AP Calculus. All math courses at LCP are UC approved.

A Clear Pathway to Ultimate Success

In addition to a clear and properly aligned curriculum, middle school math at LCP also fully incorporates Pre-AP curriculum of College Board. Middle school students who finish these UC approved courses will earn a transcript with official Pre-AP Algebra 1 and Pre-AP Geometry designations in their transcripts starting 2020-2021 school year.