Middle Grades 6 – 8:
During the middle grades, math often leads to frustration and boredom for advanced learners as well as anxiety and feelings of failure for learners who are not yet ready to advance. Children’s math skills develop naturally in tune with their unique interests but advanced students naturally begin to make connections of algebraic and geometric thinking to other contexts earlier than others. Students who miss concepts are left behind feeling as though they cannot do math or that math is not beautiful and creative as it does not have an inherent logic. At Stellar Learning, we address the frustration of both advanced learners and those who feel they are not good at math through individualized attention.
The foundations of the algebraic and geometric concepts learned in the early grades is advanced by our tutors by thoughtfully developing the logic of applying the concepts flexibly in different contexts in the moment that they become relevant to your child. Often the same problem that a student is exposed to in a tutorial session during elementary grades is used with middle grade students to elicit the transition from concrete solutions to more flexible and abstract solutions.
We continue to build numerical fluency by demonstrating logical ways to represent patterns that students recognize in their more concrete solutions. During the middle grades, we continue the importance of explaining why particular solutions work and push students further to explain general rules that they develop and help them recognize how their rules relate to generalized rules that are commonly encountered in advanced algebra and geometry courses.
We encourage students who have been enrolled in Stellar Learning tutoring for several years to take our Algebra Honors course if they do not have access to a similar course in their own school. This course covers all the content of an honors high school algebra course and is an excellent preparation for independent school placement tests such as SSAT/HSPT. Students who complete the Honors Algebra course often place out of high school algebra requirements and can take more advanced courses during their high school years.