“I remember the first time I saw him. I wondered, ‘Who is that huge man step-dancing in front of the entire school.’ This year I got to know the dancer, Ethan Tannen, as my math teacher. He is a huge but gentle man, with a funny laugh, “hahaaa,” and hilarious quotes to help us remember how to multiply fractions – “straight across!”
~ Tyler, Class of 2016

The mathematics program at The Philadelphia School develops curious and disciplined mathematical thinkers who view mathematics as a body of knowledge, a language, and a way of making sense of the world. The program consists of a progression of math skills, concepts, and procedures that build in complexity from grade to grade. We stay abreast of new strategies and technologies to make our teaching more effective to our wide range of math thinkers. 

How We Teach Mathematics

Our teaching aligns with our core values: we approach mathematics from a relational, developmental, innovative, and constructivist perspective. Through whole-group and small-group investigations, students learn how to communicate their thinking and to make connections to real-world situations. At each grade level, students build critical thinking skills and conceptual understanding through authentic explorations in posing and solving problems that can be applied to situations beyond our classrooms. In this way, students strengthen their foundation for further mathematical thinking and learning, and they grow to recognize the power of systematic mathematical thinking across all disciplines.  

Instead of racing to cover many topics in a "mile-wide, inch-deep curriculum," we provide a program that emphasizes depth of study.  This targeted focus helps students gain a solid understanding of concepts, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply the math they know to solve problems inside and outside the classroom. We are committed to developing both conceptual knowledge and procedural understandings in our mathematics students. Below is a brief list of the scope and sequence of our program.

Preschool - Grade 2

Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to addition and subtraction

Grades 3 - 5

Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions

Grade 6

Ratios and proportional relationships, and early algebraic expressions and equations

Grade 7

Ratios and proportional relationships, and arithmetic of rational numbers.

Grade 8

Linear algebra and linear functions.