Mathematics

Mathematics

UPPER SCHOOL

'Iolani's mathematics curriculum is both traditional and innovative. The basic skills of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are emphasized and current technologies are integrated throughout grades 7-12.

All students must satisfactorily complete Algebra 2 in order to graduate and must earn credit in mathematics through their junior year. An honors program is available for those exceptionally gifted in mathematics, and Advanced Placement Calculus is usually elected by those who have completed Precalculus as juniors.

Acceleration in the Mathematics department's curriculum is possible through approved summer school courses. Such acceleration is based on the recommendation of a student's current mathematics teacher, counselor, and the Mathematics Department Chair to ensure that the student's best interest is met.

LOWER SCHOOL

The goals of the K-6 mathematics program are to provide each student with a firm foundation of basic skills and to encourage each student to use logical and independent reasoning when applying these skills to solve mathematical problems. Lessons foster intellectual curiosity as teachers strive to encourage an atmosphere of success. The curriculum emphasizes problem-solving and logical thinking skills as well as computation skills.  Writing skills are used to create word problems and explain how answers are formulated.

The department's spiraling curriculum addresses the needs, abilities, and interests of the students. Concepts introduced at one grade level are reviewed and reinforced at the next. Classroom lessons often relate to real-life situations. Listening and discussing are important parts of learning.  Computer usage enhances the learning process as well as enriches the concepts taught.

Grades K-2 use materials gathered or developed by the teachers to meet the needs of the students. Hands-on activities abound at each grade level. Children work independently and in groups. Learning takes place in and out of the classrooms as children learn basic addition and subtraction facts as well as geometry, measurement, time, and money. Brainteasers encourage critical and creative thinking.

The grades 3-6 curriculum focuses on strengthening problem-solving skills in addition to emphasizing accuracy in computation. Students do well in the Continental Math League, which is administered in schools nationwide. Participation in the Math League maximizes students' opportunities to improve their math skills. In grade 3, students add multiplication and division to their list of concepts learned and apply them to problem-solving experiences. In grades 4-6 concepts that were previously covered are reviewed and further developed, while new concepts are introduced. Math vocabulary, estimation skills, and critical thinking receive greater emphasis.

Math is integrated into the curriculum whenever possible. For example, as second graders learn about immigrants and the Statue of Liberty, they review measurement.  Students walk out the length of the statue on the football field to appreciate its dimensions.  As fourth grade students learn about ecology in social studies, they take water tallies to better understand their water consumption and how they can conserve this precious resource.  Experiences such as these build a lifetime interest in mathematics.