# Academics: Mathematics

We believe math should be interactive, exciting, and applicable. All students have different aptitudes and interests in mathematics, and our job is to individually address these ranges. Whether a student is interested in music or physics, our goal is to show them the value, beauty and usefulness of mathematics.

Mathematics is more than a series of equations, it is an exercise in rigorous thought and a way of explaining the physical world around us. In the 9th and 10th grades we focus on developing an intuitive understanding of mathematics through the Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) Curriculum. The IMP curriculum allows students to explore real world problems mathematically while developing the sophisticated ideas of math required for their induction into the challenging International Baccalaureate (IB) program in the 11th and 12th grades.

Some students are also fascinated by the beauty and simplicity of theoretical mathematics. For those students, we offer the IB Higher Level Mathematics course to challenge those passionate in pursuing a mathematically intense college experience (majoring in physics, mathematics, or the sciences). This course is designed to explore concepts at a whole new level of depth.

We want students to be able to use the language of mathematics to effectively convey mathematical ideas and justify these ideas with rigor and appropriate terminology. We strive to develop students that can intelligently discuss mathematics with peers and teachers. If you walk into a math classroom at Verde Valley School you should see a buzz of activity: students discussing problems, doing experiments, interacting in groups, and becoming mathematical thinkers and doers.

**Interactive Mathematics Program **(IMP) is a problem-based mathematics curriculum. Each book of the curriculum is divided into five- to eight-week units, each having a central problem or theme. The IMP curriculum integrates the algebraic, geometric, trigonometric, statistics and probability topics traditionally taught in separate courses. There is an emphasis on students working together in collaborative groups. Together, they tackle problems that are usually too complex to be solved by any one individual. The development of communication skills is embedded throughout the curriculum, through the use of group and whole class discussions, the use of writing to present and clarify mathematical solutions, and formal oral presentations. IMP 1-4 is offered.

**Mathematics HL 1 & 2 **is for students with a strong background in mathematics and competence in a range of analytical and technical skills. Students will be likely to include mathematics as a major component of university studies— either in its own right or within courses such as physics, engineering or technology. The course focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensive, coherent and rigorous way through a balanced approach. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems set in a variety of meaningful contexts and to justify and prove results. Students develop insights into mathematical form and structure and become intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between concepts in different topic areas. They will also be urged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.

**Mathematics SL 1 & 2 ** provides students with a sound mathematical background to prepare for future studies in subjects such as chemistry, economics, psychology and business administration. Students will be introduced to important mathematical concepts through the development of mathematical techniques in a way that emphasizes subject comprehension rather than mathematical rigor.

**Mathematical Studies SL 1 & 2 **is for students with varied backgrounds and abilities. The course is designed to build confidence and encourage an appreciation of mathematics in students who do not anticipate a need for mathematics in their future studies.