Early exposure to advanced mathematics gives students a definite advantage over their peers. The explosion in popularity of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs indicates the high demand for these educational categories, even for middle school students.
At St. Joan of Arc Catholic School, students are introduced to higher level math instruction at an early age. “Pre-Algebra is taught in 6th and 7th grades, and Algebra I, a high school-level class, is taught in 7th and 8th grades,” said Jane Svitak, 7th and 8th grade Algebra teacher at SJA. “We also utilize Simple Solutions, a workbook that gives students the opportunity to practice skills they learned in previous grades, while introducing and reinforcing grade level concepts. Students complete a lesson every day, with a quiz over the four lessons at the end of each week.” SJA also provides students with test-taking preparation for the area high school entrance and placement exams.
Math teachers at St. Joan of Arc strive to ensure that students are receiving the appropriate level of instruction. “We regularly assess students to plan the appropriate curriculum,” added Svitak, who has been teaching math at SJA for almost twenty years. “Our students tend to work ahead of grade level, allowing them the opportunity to place into higher level courses in high school.”
Differentiation, which recognizes various talents and needs for each student, is achieved through small group instruction, partner activities, and independent work as part of each lesson. Students at SJA receive over 330 minutes of math instruction weekly, well above the required amount.
“Last year, SJA participated in the Illinois Math League Math Contest,” said Svitak. “At the 8th grade level, SJA was third in DuPage County and 10th in the state of Illinois. Patrick Barenak, one of our students, placed third in the state.” For more information about SJA’s excellent Junior High Math Program, please contact:
St. Joan of Arc Catholic School and Church
Pre K-8th grade
820 Division Street, Lisle, IL