## Mathematics

Instructional Coach: Lorenza Della Donna

Chairperson: Shaneka Woods

**Description of Courses:** The usual course of study for a Verbum Dei student is Algebra One, Geometry, Algebra Two, and Pre-Calculus. These courses are aligned to CCSS and include a focus on the Standards for Mathematical Practices (MPs). For students with exceptional background or aptitude in Algebra One and Geometry, there are honors distinctions as well as a Calculus course.

### Pre-Algebra

This one-year course is designed as an overview of the concepts necessary to be successful in Algebra One. The major themes addressed will be the real number system, properties of exponents and roots, scientific notation, proportional relationships, and linear equations. Students will engage in inquiry and problem solving skills, focusing on critiquing the work of others and persevering in challenging problems.

### Algebra One

This one-year course is designed as an overview of the most important concepts in Algebra. The major themes addressed will be analyzing data, creating graphs, linear equations and inequalities, and quadratics. Throughout this course, students will be challenged to develop problem solving and mathematical skills. Students will engage in inquiry, persevere in problem solving, think critically, evaluate the work of others, and communicate with mathematical vocabulary. These skills will allow students to apply the mathematics they learn to real-life scenarios.

### Geometry

This one-year course is designed as an overview of the most important concepts in Geometry. The major themes addressed will be geometric terminology, triangles, transformations and congruence, and similarity and right triangles. Throughout this course, students will be challenged to develop problem solving and mathematical skills. Students will engage in inquiry and proofs, persevere in problem solving, think critically, and communicate with appropriate mathematical vocabulary. These skills will allow students to apply the mathematics they learn to real-life.

### Algebra Two

This course is designed as a more thorough introduction to algebraic principles. Building on their work with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions, students extend their repertoire of functions to include polynomial, rational, and radical functions. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. The Mathematical Practice standards that are most important to the course are: MP 3 construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, MP 6 attend to precision, MP 7 look for and make use of structure, and MP 8 look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

### Pre-Calculus

In this course, students extend their repertoire of functions to include polynomial, rational, and radical functions building on their work with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. The Mathematical Practice standards that are most important to the course are: MP 3 construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, MP 6 attend to precision, MP 7 look for and make use of structure, and MP 8 look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

### Calculus

Calculus AB is a year-long, college level course designed to introduce the concepts of calculus and methods by which to apply these concepts to analyze real world contexts. The themes of this course, limits, derivatives, integrals, approximation, and modeling are all part of a unified whole and thus are not treated in isolation. The goal of the course is to understand the fundamental concepts of calculus and their applications graphically, numerically (e.g. using a data set), analytically (e.g. using an algebraic formula), and verbally. This includes a deep understanding of the relationships between each representation and the ability to use any representation to construct well-written, logically precise solutions to problems of any form.

## Science Department

Instructional Coach: Lorenza Della Donna

Chairperson: Shaneka Woods

### Physics

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the concepts of physics and help them define and explain natural processes (how and why objects behave the way they do). In this course students will be introduced to the study of the laws of nature including the areas of scientific methods, scientific application of mathematics, science and society, communicating in science, motion and forces, energy, heat and thermodynamics, and electricity and magnetism. First year high school students in the course will be engaged in activities that promote critical thinking and scientific inquiry while working to improve their organization, use of technology, and communication skills. The course will include laboratory experiences that focus on application of introductory level knowledge and skills related to the physical sciences, specifically Conceptual Physics.

### Biology

Biology is devoted to the study of living things and their processes. Throughout this course students will explore cell structure and function, photosynthesis and cellular respiration as fuel for life processes, genetics and heredity, evolution and classification, diversity of living organisms and their ecological roles. The primary goal of this course is to give students an opportunity to develop scientific and engineering ideas engaging in the practice of inquiry, problem-solving, critical thinking and reasoning skills. All together these skills will assist students in acquiring new knowledge and making decisions about their health, community, the safety and use of modern technologies, and a variety of everyday concerns that have a biological basis. Through the study of biology students will recognize how science and engineering contribute to meeting some of challenges that confront society today, such as preventing and treating diseases, addressing climate change and maintaining supplies of fresh water and food.

### Chemistry

This course is designed as an overview of the study of General Chemistry. Students will have an opportunity to engage with material that includes chemistry basics and history, periodicity, chemical compounds, conversions, reactions, stoichiometry, percent yields, titrations and thermodynamics. For each topic students will learn about the terminology and use of content in class and then within chemistry labs. Students in this course will have the opportunity to explore the content through labs, inquiry-based activities and readings. Students will develop the skills necessary for success in senior and college-level science courses. This course is intended to present an introduction to the study of chemistry and expose students to the practices and expectations of upper level science courses.