Shaker Middle School’s mathematics curriculum reflects a balanced approach to developing students’ conceptual understanding, computational proficiency, and problem-solving skills. Students entering sixth grade have a wide range of mathematical reasoning skills and knowledge; therefore, offering appropriate math experiences are crucial as students move through the progression of concepts leading to high school mathematics. Shaker Middle School’s goal is for all students to become proficient with math concepts and practices to ensure college and career readiness.
In an effort to place each student in the sixth grade math course that will offer the appropriate level of challenge, Shaker Middle School offers two pathways: a Traditional Pathway and an Accelerated Pathway.
- The Traditional Pathway progresses through grade level Common Core math concepts at an appropriate pace. Students moving along this pathway are projected to take the Common Core Algebra Regents in grade 9.
- The Accelerated Pathway exposes students to concepts at a faster pace and content is above grade-level of the Traditional Pathway. The Accelerated Pathway typically leads students to take the Common Core Algebra Regents in grade 8 and Advanced Placement (AP) and College in the High School course work in grades 11 and 12 at Shaker High School.
Sixth Grade Accelerated Math is the first course in the accelerated mathematics pathway. Students should be prepared to move through and apply concepts at a rapid pace. To prepare students for Common Core Algebra in eighth grade, Shaker Middle School has developed a sequence of compacted courses. The term “compacted” means to compress content, which requires a faster pace to complete, as opposed to skipping content. To prepare students for Common Core Algebra in grade eight, Shaker Middle School will compact the math curricula in Grades 6, 7, and 8 into two years. Sixth grade students following the accelerated model will be immersed in a rigorous classroom experience.
The complete list of our Traditional Pathway courses and Accelerated Pathway courses can be found below:
|Grade||Common Core Pathway||Accelerated Pathway|
|AP Calculus AB|
AP Calculus BC
UHS College Calculus
|11||CC Algebra II||UHS Precalculus or|
|10||CC Geometry||CC Algebra II|
|9||CC Algebra||CC Geometry|
|8||Math 8||CC Algebra|
|7||Math 7||Math 7 Accelerated|
|6||Math 6||Math 6 Accelerated|
The criteria for entrance into Sixth Grade Accelerated Mathematics, as recommended by Shaker Middle School, are designed to identify high achieving and highly motivated mathematics students. The selection process uses the multiple criteria and students must meet all criteria to be eligible for Sixth Grade Accelerated Mathematics.
- Recommended by the 5th grade Math teacher. Teachers will use overall assessment performance on tests and quizzes as well as evaluating a student’s overall math ability, including work ethic.
- Students must have received a level 4 on the NYS Grade 4 Math assessment. The NYS Grade 5 Math assessment results do not get published until the following school year and cannot be used.
- Students must achieve a scaled score of 517 or higher on the middle of the year Iready Math diagnostic and a scaled score of 527 or higher on the end of the year Iready Math diagnostic.
- Students must achieve a 90% or higher average on all lesson quizzes and unit assessments from Grade 5 Math.
- All criteria will be evaluated and reviewed by the K-12 Mathematics Supervisor.
*Participation in the LEP program has no bearing on criteria for the Accelerated Math Program.
Students who are enrolled in Math 6 and Math 7 Acceleration must maintain an FSM above an 80 to stay in the program. Quarterly grades will be monitored and evaluated by the department supervisor.
Parents of students who meet the selection criteria will be notified of their child’s opportunity to participate in Sixth Grade Accelerated Mathematics by the Shaker Middle School course planning sheet which will be sent in May. If you have any questions regarding the North Colonie School District Math Pathways, please contact Mr. Nicholas Verdile, K-12 Mathematics Supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Double Acceleration or higher Criteria:
Students who demonstrate a high level of understanding and evidence of a deep understanding of above grade level Math standards may be considered to be “double” accelerated in their Math program. This option is only available for our most advanced Math students who demonstrate excellence on our diagnostic assessments and evidence of understanding of Math standards above grade level. Students must demonstrate understanding of grade 6, 7 and 8 Math standards. Students who meet this criteria will take Algebra 1 in 7th grade.
To be considered for this option students must meet the following criteria:
- Students must be in Grade 7 or higher to be double accelerated.
- Students must be in or have taken the Math 6 accelerated course.
- Students must have achieved a level 4 on all Grades 3-5 NYS Math assessments.
- Students must achieve a scaled score of at least a 575 on the 6th grade Iready EOY Math diagnostic.
- Students must achieve a final school mark of 95 or above in Math 6 accelerated.
- Demonstration of completing a core instructional Math program (self-studying) that includes competency in grades 6-8 standards outside of the school setting.
All criteria will be evaluated and reviewed by the K-12 Mathematics Supervisor.
Criteria for Math 6 students moving to Math 7 Accelerated the following school year:
- Students must achieve a final school mark of 95 or above in Math 6.
- Students must achieve a scaled score of at least 525 on Iready Winter diagnostic and a scaled score of at least a 540 on the Iready Spring diagnostic test.
- Teacher Recommendation.
- Students meeting the criteria will be required to complete summer work in Math 7 standards.
Criteria for Math 7 students moving to Algebra 1 the following school year:
- Students must achieve a final school mark of 95 or above in Math 7.
- Students must achieve a scaled score of at least 535 on Iready Winter diagnostic and a scaled score of at least a 545 on the Iready Spring diagnostic test.
- Teacher Recommendation.
- Students meeting the criteria will be required to complete summer work in Math 8 standards.
Students who have demonstrated readiness for high school level mathematics in middle school will take the Common Core Algebra course in grade 8. To prepare students for high school mathematics in eighth grade, Shaker Middle School has developed a sequence of compacted courses. The term “compacted” means to compress content, which requires a faster pace to complete, as opposed to skipping content. Upon successful completion of Common Core Algebra in grade 8, students will be ready for Common Core Geometry in grade 9.
- Compacted courses will include the same Common Core State Standards as the non compacted courses. It is recommended to compact three years of material into two years, rather than compacting two years into one. The rationale is that mathematical concepts are likely to be omitted when trying to squeeze two years of material into one. This is to be avoided, as the standards have been carefully developed to define clear learning progressions through the major mathematical domains. Moreover, the compacted courses should not sacrifice attention to the Common Core Math Standards.
- Decisions to accelerate students into high school mathematics before ninth grade should be based on solid evidence of student learning. Research has shown academic discrepancies in the placement of students into accelerated classes at the middle school level. While such decisions to accelerate are almost always a joint decision between the school and the family, serious efforts must be made to consider solid evidence of student learning in order to avoid unwittingly disadvantageous opportunities for students, both in the short and long term.
- A menu of challenging options should be available for students after their third year of mathematics—and all students should be strongly encouraged to take mathematics in all years of high school. Traditionally, students taking high school mathematics in the eighth grade are expected to take Pre-calculus in their junior years and then Calculus in their senior years. This is a good and worthy goal, but it should not be the only option for students. Advanced courses could also include AP Statistics, Topics In Advanced Math, Introduction to Data Science or College Algebra and Trigonometry. An array of challenging options will keep mathematics relevant for students, and give them a new set of tools for college and/or career readiness.
Other Ways to Accelerate Students
Just as care should be taken not to rush the decision to accelerate students, care should also be taken to provide more than one opportunity for acceleration. Some students may not have the preparation to enter an Accelerated Pathway in middle school, but may still develop an interest in taking advanced mathematics, such as AP Calculus, AP Statistics or other University in the High School math courses in their junior or senior year. Additional opportunities for acceleration may include allowing students to take two mathematics courses simultaneously such as AP Statistics and Pre-calculus or to complete summer work to proficiency in content not studied.