Mathematics

Aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) Curriculum Focal Points and Curriculum and Evaluation Standards, the Academy’s Math program is guided by the principle that "people who understand and can use mathematics in a variety of environments will be successful in college and in life." The Academy’s program is inspired by NCTM’s challenge to the notion "that mathematics is only for the select few. On the contrary … all students should have the opportunity and the support necessary to learn significant mathematics with depth and understanding." The Academy uses EnVision Mathematics, including text and online resources, in Grades 1 through 6.

[Click on a Grade below to read the description]

List of 13 items.

  • Early Childhood (PK-K)

    Young children learn by exploring. The approach of the Early Childhood Mathematics program is hands-on and experiential, encouraging discovery and application of mathematical concepts to everyday life. Children develop number concepts through counting skills, numeral recognition, and one-to-one correspondence. They learn to sort and classify and to identify, create, and extend patterns. By the end of Kindergarten, most students can solve simple problems, are familiar with the concept of time, and have been introduced to value through manipulating coins. They are also familiar with the concepts of addition and subtraction.
  • Grade 1

    The Academy's Math program is developmental and recognizes that children are at different places on a continuum. Throughout the early years, children are exposed to activities designed to explore essential mathematical building concepts. Everyday Math and Primary Concepts are used through the middle of Grade 1, while EnVision Mathematics, Techniques of Problem Solving (TOPS), Spectrum Math Skillbuilder, Minute Math, and manipulatives (Cuisenaire rods, Unifix cubes, base 10 blocks, geoboards, etc.) are used throughout the entire Lower School Math program.
    In Grade 1, children master numbers through 100 and develop familiarity with numbers through 1000. They begin to understand place value are able to write three-digit numbers. The concept of fact families and the reciprocity of addition and subtraction are introduced. They begin to identify geometric shapes, congruence, and symmetry. By the end of Grade 1, most students are able to translate words into math by practicing solutions to word problems.
  • Grade 2

    Children develop competency in manipulating numbers, including working with number sense, place-value concepts, fractions, money with decimals, measurement operations, and computation. Mental computation is introduced, along with estimation, developing simple thinking strategies for basic facts and studies of patterns and relationships. In Grade 2, instructional practices include use of manipulatives, cooperative work, learning to frame good questions, writing about mathematics problems and solutions, and beginning to use calculators and computers as tools in mathematics.
  • Grade 3

    In Grade 3, students build on their counting skills, counting forward and backward and adding whole numbers. They begin to understand and practice multiplicative reasoning, the understanding that certain situations require multiplication or division as appropriate operations. They solidify counting patterns and place value to read and write whole numbers through 100,000. Students begin multiplication and division, develop addition and subtraction multi-digit procedures, and explore properties of addition and subtraction. They develop accuracy with basic operations and relations.
  • Grade 4

    Three central mathematical themes become increasingly important throughout upper elementary student development: multiplicative reasoning, equivalence, and computational fluency. After focusing on multiplicative reasoning in Grade 3, equivalence is introduced. Equivalence is the manipulation of numbers and figures of equal values in different forms; for example, a fraction can also be represented as a decimal and inches can be represented as feet. Within this context, students learn the properties of operations and work with fractions and decimals. They also organize and interpret data, learn to use appropriate units and tools for measurement, and demonstrate a consistent understanding of patterns, relations, and functions.
  • Grade 5

    Computational fluency with whole numbers is a major focus in Grade 5. Students practice and experiment with basic number combinations and develop the ability to formulate efficient methods of computing. Problem solving in new environments begins the process of "transfer," the capacity for a student to apply a set of rules or concepts to a new situation. The classroom is a place where students begin to take intellectual risks as they try new approaches and strategies. Students solidify their understanding and practice with whole numbers and decimals, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, measurement, and integers.
    Students are given an opportunity to participate in the MATHCOUNTS program.
  • Grade 6

    Grade 6 students are expected to master the basic skills related to fractions, whole numbers, decimals, and percents, and recognize the equalities associated with these different numerical representations. Students also focus on introductory algebra and geometry skills and mathematical vocabulary.

    Grade 6 Math has two sections: Mathematics 6 and Mathematics 6 Honors (Occasionally students may be placed in Pre-Algebra, which is typically a Grade 7 course.) The main differences between the levels are the pace of the class and the ability to move deeper into analytical processes beyond the practice of skill building and problem-solving. Students’ ability to think conceptually varies widely at this age when maturity factors figure so much into readiness. All math placements are determined by a Skills Assessment Test, previous grades, and teacher recommendations. Over the course of Middle School, there is fluidity in math placements, which are reviewed periodically and adjusted as needed. 
    Students are given an opportunity to participate in the MATHCOUNTS program.
  • Grade 7

    Grade 7 Math seeks to develop and strengthen students’ calculative skills in basic operations with whole numbers, integers, positive and negative fractions, and decimals, as well as solving simple equations, factoring, working with ratios, proportions, and the interrelationships among fractions, decimals, and percents. 
     
    There are four levels of Grade 7 mathematics – Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Honors Pre-Algebra, and Honors Algebra. Students may be moved from one level to another throughout the year or at the end of the school year. Pre-Algebra includes solving multi-step equations and inequalities, computing and applying statistical data and probability, solving and graphing linear equations, and applying basic geometric principles in plane figures. Honors Pre-Algebra is an intensified course that addresses the same topics of pre-algebra and geometry but in greater depth and complexity. In Algebra, working with linear relationships and corresponding representations in graphs, tables, and equations, is critical. Students will be required to demonstrate proficiency in their ability to accurately and effectively communicate in algebraic language orally and in writing.
    Students are given an opportunity to participate in the MATHCOUNTS program.
  • Grade 8

    Students are required to develop and use critical thinking skills while incorporating technology to solve every day problems and situations through Math. Students will understand, appreciate, and ultimately express with clarity the power of algebra in the development of effective problem solving, as well as its role in providing a firm foundation for success in all subsequent higher level mathematics courses. Several interdisciplinary projects are implemented, including the Grade 8 Career Project, a research project that integrates mathematics, English, and life skills. Students are given an opportunity to participate in the MATHCOUNTS program.
     
    There are four levels of Grade 8 mathematics - Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Honors Algebra I, and Honors Geometry. Students may be moved from one level to another throughout the year or at the end of the school year.
  • Grade 9

    Most students in Grade 9 study Algebra I, Geometry, or  Algebra II. Algebra I establishes the vocabulary and symbol systems of algebra; it includes evaluating expressions, properties of real numbers, rational and irrational numbers, square roots, function theory, solving and graphing linear equations and systems, solving and graphing linear inequalities and systems, applying exponent expressions, solving polynomial equations, basic factoring, and solving quadratic equations.  Geometry is a year-long course that employs a deductive approach to student learning and discovery in the development of logical reasoning. The course requires prior mastery of algebraic concepts, including quadratics and radical expressions. Students explore both Euclidean and solid geometries, with a particular emphasis on plane geometry. Topics include introduction to logic and proofs, triangles, special quadrilaterals, polygons, perimeter and area of figures, surface area and volume of solids, shapes, circles, and trigonometry.  Algebra II assumes a high level of proficiency with algebraic topics and functions introduced in Algebra I, sufficient enough to engage in advanced problem solving along with an in-depth examination of functions.
  • Grade 10

    Geometry, Algebra II, or Precalculus/ Trigonometry are the focus of Grade 10. Geometry is a year-long course that employs a deductive approach to student learning and discovery in the development of logical reasoning. The course requires prior mastery of algebraic concepts, including quadratics and radical expressions. Students explore both Euclidean and solid geometries, with a particular emphasis on plane geometry. Topics include introduction to logic and proofs, triangles, special quadrilaterals, polygons, perimeter and area of figures, surface area and volume of solids, shapes, circles, and trigonometry.
    Algebra II assumes a high level of proficiency with algebraic topics and functions introduced in Algebra I, sufficient enough to engage in advanced problem solving along with an in-depth examination of functions. Precalculus/ Trigonometry covers a variety of topics. The Precalculus portion includes counting principles, probability, logarithms, exponentials, and functions. The trigonometric topics include right triangle trigonometry, graphing trigonometric functions, verifying trigonometric identities, solving trigonometric equations, and applications including the Law of Sines and Cosines.
     
     
  • Grade 11

    Juniors will typically take either Precalculus/ Trigonometry or Calculus. Precalculus/ Trigonometry covers a variety of topics. The Precalculus portion includes counting principles, probability, logarithms, exponentials, and functions. The trigonometric topics include right triangle trigonometry, graphing trigonometric functions, verifying trigonometric identities, solving trigonometric equations, and applications including the Law of Sines and Cosines. Calculus students explore and master topics in differential and integral calculus as they simultaneously strengthen skills involving algebraic, precalculus, and trigonometric concepts. The focus is on method, process and application. Topics include limits, continuity, velocity and other rates of change, differentiation of polynomial, rational, radical and transcendental functions, implicit differentiation, linear approximations, chain rule, logarithmic differentiation, Newton’s Method, Riemann sums, and numerous additional topics.
  • Grade 12

    Students in grade 12 will take Calculus or Statistics. Calculus students explore and master topics in differential and integral calculus as they simultaneously strengthen skills involving algebraic, precalculus, and trigonometric concepts. The focus is on method, process and application. Topics include limits, continuity, velocity and other rates of change, differentiation of polynomial, rational, radical and transcendental functions, implicit differentiation, linear approximations, chain rule, logarithmic differentiation, Newton’s Method, Riemann sums, and numerous additional topics. In the Statistics course, topics require a varied experience with applied mathematical concepts including data analysis and interpretation, methods of data collection, and planning/conducting studies.

List of 8 members.

  • John Basinger 

    Senior School Mathematics Teacher
    Penn State - B.A
    West Virginia University - M.S.
  • James Boone 

    Middle School Mathematics Teacher
    St. Vincent College - B.A
  • Mary Donovan 

    Senior School Mathematics Teacher
    University of Pittsburgh - B.S.
    University of Pittsburgh - M.Ed.
  • Bevan Koch 

    Director of Teaching and Learning
    McNeese State University - B.S.
    Sam Houston State University - M.Ed.
    Sam Houston State University - Ed.D.
  • Matthew Michaels 

    Chair, Mathematics Department; Senior School Math Teacher
    University of Pittsburgh - B.S.
    University of Pittsburgh - M.A.
  • Shane Mills 

    Senior School Mathematics Teacher
    Grove City College - B.S.
    Saint Vincent College - M.S.
  • Hanna Mincemoyer 

    Senior School Mathematics Teacher
    Penn State University - B.S.
  • Frederick Moreno 

    MS Math Teacher
    Duquesne University - B.S.
    Duquesne University - M.Ed.

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Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, PA 15143
Sewickley Academy is a nationally recognized Pittsburgh private school enrolling students in Pre-K through Grade 12 on a single campus.