Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics

Mathematics is a common human activity increasing in importance in a rapidly advancing technological society. Our goal is for students to develop a positive attitude towards mathematics, appreciate the value of mathematics, make connections between mathematics and its applications, become mathematically literate adults, and be able to use mathematics to contribute to society.

At the completion of the mathematics program students will have a base of knowledge and skills related to number, patterns and relations, shape and space, statistics and probability, and be prepared to use these to solve problems.

The Alberta program of studies incorporates the following interrelated mathematical processes that will permeate through the teaching and learning of the different mathematical strands.

Students are expected to:

  • Communicate in order to learn and express their understanding
  • Connect mathematical ideas to other concepts in mathematics, to everyday experience and to other disciplines
  • Demonstrate fluency with mental mathematics and estimation
  • Develop and apply new mathematical knowledge through problem solving
  • Develop mathematical reasoning
  • Select and use technologies as tools for learning and for solving problems
  • Develop visualization skills to assist in processing information, making connections and solving problems 

The above information is from the Alberta Education website and for additional information refer to the Alberta Learning Website or

Cell Phones

  • Use of cellphones as calculators on quizzes and/or tests are not allowed


The assessment stems in mathematics include:

  • Understands mathematical concepts and relationships
  • Uses mathematical reasoning to analyze and solve problems
  • Explores and develops strategies for mental mathematics and estimation
  • Develops and applies appropriate and efficient strategies for computation
  • Models, represents and communicates mathematical ideas

Materials Required

Pen, pencil, eraser, ruler, scissors, graph paper, duo tang, 3 ring binder, loose leaf paper or coil note book, dividers with pockets and a calculator.


Students at John Ware Junior High will be issued a textbook or have access to e-textbooks. Depending on the class students will be using either the Mathlinks series or Math Makes Sense. Teachers will be using additional resources in many of the units to augment the work in the textbook.


Students will be allowed use of calculators and computers, as teachers feel appropriate. It is important to know how to use technology effectively. Calculators will be used as a tool in helping students do mathematics but not a substitute for mathematical thinking. Grade 9 students will be required to have a simple scientific calculator.

Course Content

The math Grade 7 to 9 program of studies has been derived from the Western Protocol to provide a common base for curriculum expectations in Western Canada. In each of Grades 7 through 9 topics within the following strands will be studied:

  • Number: develop number sense
  • Patterns and Relations: use patterns to describe the world and to solve problems; Represent algebraic expressions in multiple ways
  • Shape & Space: use direct and indirect measurement to solve problems, describe the characteristics of 3-D objects and 2-D shapes and analyze the relationships among them; describe and analyze position and motion of objects and shapes
  • Statistics and Probability: collect, display and analyze data to solve problems; use experimental or theoretical probabilities to represent and solve problems involving uncertainty.

The following is a brief outline of specific outcomes covered in Math Grades 7, 8 and 9.

Grade 7:

Number Concepts: Use numbers to describe quantities and represent numbers in multiple ways. Demonstrate an understanding of: divisibility; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of decimals to solve problems; solve problems involving percents, understand the relationship between positive terminating decimals, positive repeating decimals and positive fractions; addition and subtraction of positive fractions and mixed numbers, concretely, pictorially and symbolically; understanding of addition and subtraction of integers, concretely, pictorially and symbolically; compare and order positive fractions, and decimals.  

Patterns & Relations: Use patterns to describe the world and to solve problems. Demonstrate an understanding of: oral and written patterns and their equivalent linear relations; create table of values, graph and analyze to solve problems; preservation of equality; difference between an expression and an equations; evaluate and expression; model and solve problems in one-step linear equations.

Shape & Space: Describe and compare everyday phenomena using either direct or indirect measurement. Demonstrate an understanding of: circles; solve problems involving the radii, diameters and circumference of circles; developing formulae for area of triangles, parallelograms and circles; geometric constructions. Identify and plot points on a Cartesian plane; perform and describe transformations.

Probability & Statistics: Collect, display and analyze data to make predictions about a population. Demonstrate an understanding of central tendency and range by determining mean, median, and mode. Construct, label and interpret circle graphs. Express probabilities as ratios, fractions and percents. Probability: theoretical and experimental.

Grade 8:

Number Concepts: Demonstrate an understanding of perfect squares and square roots, concretely, pictorially and symbolically; percents greater or equal to 0% and greater than 100%; ratio and rate. Solve problems that involve rates, ratios and proportional reasoning. Demonstrate an understanding of multiplying and dividing positive fractions and mixed numbers, concretely, pictorially and symbolically. Demonstrate an understanding of multiplying and dividing integers, concretely, pictorially and symbolically.

Patterns & Relations: Use patterns, variables and expressions to solve problems. Graph and analyze two-variable linear relations. Model and solve problems, concretely, pictorially and symbolically, using linear equations. 

Shape & Space: Apply indirect measurement procedures to solve problems. Develop and apply the Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems. Draw and construct nets for 3-D objects. Determine the surface area of right rectangular prisms, right triangular prisms and right cylinders. Develop and apply formulas for determining the volume of right rectangular prisms, right triangular prisms and right cylinders. Draw and interpret top, front and side views of 3-D objects. Demonstrate an understanding of congruency of polygons.

Probability & Statistics:  Critique ways in which data is presented in circle graphs, line graphs, gar graphs and pictographs. Solve problems involving the probability of independent events.

Grade 9:

Number Concepts: Demonstrate an understanding of:  powers with integral bases and whole number exponents; of operations on powers. Demonstrate and understanding of rational numbers. Apply the order of operations. Determine the square root of positive rational numbers.

Patterns & Relations: Generalize a pattern arising from a problem solving context using a linear equation. Graph a linear relation, analyze the graph, and interpolate or extrapolate to solve problems. Model and solve problems using linear equations. Explain and illustrate strategies to solve single variable linear inequalities. Demonstrate an understanding of polynomials; model, record and explain the operations addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of polynomial expressions, concretely, pictorially and symbolically.

Shape & Space: Solve problems using circle properties. Determine the surface area of composite objects to solve problems. Demonstrate an understanding of similarity of polygons; line and rotation symmetry.

Probability & Statistics: Analyze a case study of data collection. Select and defend the choice of using either a population or a sample of a population to answer a question. Develop and implement a project plan for the collection, display and analysis of data.

What is the Parents Role in Mathematics Education?

  • ask mathematical questions
  • discuss what students are doing at school
  • have students explain questions and answers
  • don't just “tell them how to do it”, rather have them explain to you how they are understanding
  • encourage a positive attitude towards mathematics
  • encourage consistent practice: Not "practice makes perfect" but "perfect practice makes perfect"
  • help students organize their time so that homework can be completed effectively
  • keep in touch with the school and what your child is doing in classes through D2L and HomeLogic

The Alberta Learning website has useful information for parents:

Grade 9 Year: High School Planning:

Since 2010 there have been only 2 math courses in Grade 10. Math 10 Common will be available for students who pass Math 9. There will then be another sequence beginning in Grade 11. There will be more specific information on this when grade nine students are preparing for high school. Accelerated programs (AP and IB) are also offered.

Math Department

Justin Bechthold

Curriculum Leader; Grade 9

Christin Laudinsky

Grade 7

Tessa Miller

Grade 8

Myles Olsenmsolsen@cbe.ab.caGrade 7

Zach Patterson

Grade 9

Janice Ramsayjlramsay@cbe.ab.caGrade 8

Stacey Sterling

Grade 7

Katrina Watson

Grade 9

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