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RSSAA - Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor

Mathematics

Daily Math Classes

Students take mathematics for one period a day, four days a week throughout their four years in the High School. Ninth grade students are placed by examination into Pre-Algebra, Algebra I or Accelerated Algebra, depending on their mathematical knowledge and experience. For most students the classes progress from Algebra I to Geometry to Algebra II to Pre-calculus. Students who face significant challenges with mathematics often progress from Pre-Algebra to Algebra I to Geometry to Fundamentals of Algebra II A. Students who take the Accelerated Algebra in ninth grade then take Geometry in tenth, Pre-Calculus in eleventh and Calculus in Twelfth.

Teachers: Katie Andrews, Tim Chambers, Nick Devinny, Britta Keener, Alex Perrin, Eddie Van Riper, Geoff Robb, Gary Banks

Main Lesson

Ninth grade students study Permutations, Combinations and Probability as well as a Geometry course that focuses primarily on the conic section curves. Permutations, Combinations and Probability is a course that examines the various aspects of permutations, combinations and probability, asking students to develop their logical thinking as they consider the possibilities. During the Geometry class the students explore the three geometric shapes and other mathematical concepts that arise from the intersection of a plane with a cone, namely the ellipse, the parabola and the hyperbola.
The tenth graders complete one mathematics main lesson block¬, Trigonometry. Additionally, students take an afternoon Statistics class. The Trigonometry block introduces the concepts, terminology and practical application of trigonometry. This block is supplemented by the tenth grade class trip to Camp Lookout where students use theodolites and trigonometry to create a detailed and accurate map of the camp grounds. The Statistics class focuses primarily on the summary and presentation of data as well as the interpretation of tables and graphs. Students begin to develop critical thinking skills needed to understand true and false statistical arguments.

There is a single eleventh grade mathematics main lesson block, Projective Geometry. In this block students consider infinity as a ponderable concept. Drawings are undertaken to illustrate some of the principles of projective geometry, including Pappos’ Theorem, Desargues’ Theorem, Pascal’s Theorem and Brionchon’s Theorem. Each of these theorems is also considered with certain points or lines at infinity. The duality of point and line is a theme that runs through the course and students are asked to discover the duals of many theorems. The concepts of perspectivities and projectivities are introduced through their historical counterpart in art: perspective drawing.

Teachers: Katie Andrews, Geoff Robb and Gary Banks