Approximately 93% of Americans report having some amount of math anxiety, and it is believed that roughly one in every five US adults have severe arithmetic anxiety.

And according to a 2016 survey, 11% of university students had high enough levels of mathematics anxiety to require counseling. Therefore, math anxiety needs to be addressed much earlier for students, i.e., middle school.

Middle school is a transitional period for students as they face increased educational difficulty levels, and nowhere is this felt more than in math class.

A pair of dice showing an accumulative score of six, but sideways
Middle school math prepares students to learn advanced concepts like probability. This topic predicts the possibility or impossibility of an action occurring, making it one of the most practically relevant subjects of Mathematics (Source: Visual Hunt)
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Math In The US

No child likes math. They could be American children or even young adults across the world; if they're studying, they have probably been irked by arithmetic science at some point.

According to the most recent results of an international exam taken by teens, the United States placed ninth in reading and 31st in math literacy out of 79 countries and economies.

Moreover, America has a lower-than-average proportion of top-performing math pupils, and scores have been practically unchanged over the past two decades. One possible explanation is that math is taught differently in high schools in the United States than in other nations.

Experts say that classes frequently focus on formulae and processes rather than educating pupils to think creatively. This makes it more difficult for kids to compete globally, whether on an international exam or standardized tests.

Several modern math experts now recommend adopting new methods to bring America's math curriculum into the twenty-first century, making it more representative of what pupils in higher-performing countries study.

As a result, some schools are experimenting with strategies to make math more engaging, practical, and accessible.

Why Does Math Hold Such Importance?

Mathematics is an essential component of human intellect and logic and attempts to understand the world. Therefore, it is an excellent tool for developing mental discipline and encouraging logical reasoning.

Furthermore, mathematical knowledge is essential for comprehending other academic fields such as :

  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Music
  • Art

You may be wondering why math is so significant and distinct from other subjects. Specifically speaking, what role does mathematics play in the whole school curriculum?

As a starting point, here are some perspectives on why mathematics should be seen as an essential subject in the entire curriculum:

  • Mathematics is a cross-disciplinary subject. Looking at the history of education, you can see that mathematics (geometry and algebra) was two of the seven liberal arts in the Greek and medieval eras. This historical function lends credence to the idea that mathematics ha`s provided the foundation to sustain other fields
  • Mathematics is employed in various sectors and disciplines, such as science, engineering, and economics – where mathematical concepts and techniques are used to solve issues. (For example, comprehending complex numbers is required before learning many topics in electronics.)
  • Mathematical literacy is defined as having fundamental computational skills, spatial ability, numeric thinking, and so forth. And it is essential for people who live more productive lives as reflective, caring, and constructive citizens
  • Mathematics is a part of the human cultural legacy
  • Mathematics supplies foundational knowledge and abilities for other school topics such as sciences, art, economics, etc. It is seen as an 'instrumental subject' as it supplements the study of different school topics

Students will be able to build global connections using their arithmetic skills. Furthermore, they can benefit from a math model that reflects the complexity and interconnectedness of international circumstances and events.

However, this is only possible if they have the correct content and context for a globally infused math curriculum. As a result, they will be able to use arithmetic strategies to solve problems and explain the applicability of a given math idea in a broader context.

And they'll be able to utilize the appropriate math tools in the proper settings, as well as explain why a math model they chose is suitable.

More importantly, students will learn to analyze data to develop defensible conclusions and apply mathematical knowledge and abilities in real-life situations.

A young middle school student finishes his math homework
Middle school math topics are challenging for some students to wrap their heads around. Therefore, the best way to ace math is to practice and get the right tutor to help you understand formulas, keeping you on the right mathematic track (Source: Unsplash)
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Middle School Math

Sixth-grade math prepares students for the advanced arithmetic they will study in seventh and eighth grades. Many of the topics are extensions of 6th-grade study, delving further into the comprehension leading up to algebra.

Hence, students in 7th and 8th grades are prepared for high school algebra and geometry. These foundational elements of math curriculum middle school will be critical to their overall comprehension and achievement in high school.

Therefore, the four main middle school math topics include:

Geometry

In middle school math, students place a high value on geometric vocabulary and use it correctly. In addition, they apply their knowledge of volume and area to compute the surface area of 2-D and 3-D objects.

And this compels them to understand formulas for calculating the area and circumference of various shapes. Finally, around the eighth grade, students are tasked to tackle the Pythagorean and apply it to real-world and mathematical situations.

Moreover, students must also understand the formulas for calculating the volume of spheres, cylinders, and cones.

Number System

Students will thoroughly learn how to comprehend and compute all rational numbers by the seventh grade. They can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and solve all decimals and fractions, as well as percentages.

Furthermore, they are tested on all four basic operations to compute positive and negative integers and grasp the meaning of absolute value.

In eighth grade, students progress from rational to irrational numbers. They understand decimal expansion and can interpret and locate both rational and irrational numbers on a number line.

Functions

Students in the eighth grade will begin to learn about functions. This will teach them how to define, compare, and evaluate various mathematical situations. They will utilize functions to simulate relationships between multiple quantities.

They will compare functions algebraically, visually, numerically in tables, or verbally.

Equations And Expressions

When students learn about expressions and equations in 7th and 8th grade, their expectations skyrocket. They start using variables and working on multi-step real-world situations. This will introduce them to the concepts of inequalities and how to interpret them.

As a result, they prepare to tackle algebra by looking at and understanding linear equations and determining:

  • The slope of a table
  • Graphs
  • Equations

Ratios

In sixth grade, students will apply their knowledge of decimals and fractions to solve ratio and rate problems. Hence, they will need to apply their understanding of multiplication and division to real-world problems using ratios.

Models (tables, double number lines, diagrams, etc.) will assist pupils in making these linkages and solving unit rate problems. In addition, students will study percentages and how they relate to fractions and decimals.

Decimals

Other decimal subjects and concepts, including partitioning, rounding, and sorting, will be introduced to children in junior high math. This covers fundamental skills, such as the ability to count in decimal steps from any given number.

And when dealing with partitioning, pupils will also have to divide any decimal number presented to them into tenths and hundredths, such as 7.56, which is 7 + 0.5 + 0.06. Again, this is to assist them in performing mental calculations using decimal numbers.

A child playing a math game on their tablet
There are many math games for middle school students. Some are available online, a few are math board games, and many others one can play at home with the help of basic stationery: paper, and pen (Source: Unsplash)

Math Games

When math is only about addition and subtraction, it is easy to do. But as soon as students are tasked with arithmetic, algebra, and geometry questions, they tend to run from the subject.

Teaching middle school math is not an easy job. However, the journey can still be made a tad bit easier with math games for middle school. These are fun activities that enlighten students' interest in the course and make them less intimidated by the numbers and alphabets coming together.

Furthermore, these activities can also compel students to learn maths outside the classroom. Hence, some math games that you can play with your students are:

Minecraft

That's right; you read that accurately! Minecraft helps you learn math as it includes a fantastic math educator's guide that is sure to pique the interest of young gamers.

Alongside that, there are crafting tasks that will compel students to practice their basic math skills.

Tic-Tac-Toe

There are new versions of this game online, a simple spin on an old favorite. This involves students solving algebraic problems to check a box.

It adjusts the classic Tic-Tac-Toe game for a variety of skill levels and grade levels. However, the game is best suited for elementary and middle school kids and can serve as a quick mental break or an all-out challenge with an incentive, for example, a gift for the winner.

Sandwich Fractions

Kids will be especially encouraged to master proportions and fractions with this lunchtime activity. Influence students to learn fractions by playing games that focus on fraction equations.

Is it possible to convert decimals to fractions or vice versa? These lessons will assist your learner in quickly converting the numbers.

Matching Bottle Caps
Matching bottle caps is about students trying to compare decimals, percentages, and fractions.

Bingo

To claim a square, players must know their decimals, percentages, and fractional equivalents, just like the original.

Can You Make It?

Select a random two-digit number and six single-digit numbers. The goal is for pupils to use all of the single integers to create an equation that equals the enormous number.

Four In A Row Mental Math Game

This is a game similar to Bingo. However, the problems require a mix of cognitive flurry and quick responses. Nevertheless, it's an excellent technique to practice mental math.

Mathematics Pictionary

Surprise surprise! There is a version of Pictionary for mathematics, and it is played roughly the same way. The plot twist here is the cards are all related to math.

Square Root Car Racing Board Game

Children race the track while tackling square root problems.

Get Help With Middle School Math

Now mathematics is not everyone's cup of tea, and that is okay. If calculations are not your forte and you struggle with middle school mathematics, there is no need to worry.

There are several ways to foster an interest in the subject. For instance, you can find math camps in the US, refer to one of the games we've mentioned, or seek a private tutor.

The latter will bring the best results, and there is no place better for that than Superprof. Our tutors at Superprof have helped many like you and are there to help you too!

Get the guidance you require as our instructors understand where you lack and which area needs more attention. As a result, you get undivided attention and plenty of time to address your queries.

Our tutors strive to solve all your math problems, and they won't rest until you have fallen in love with numbers. Therefore, if you have any math-related problem, Superprof experts are there to help you.

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