- Math Circle Diaries, Year 1: A Complete Curriculum
- by Anna Burago
Prime Factor is an extracurricular math and computing program for elementary and middle-school students. In our classes, students develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as learn the principles of logic and mathematical reasoning. Our curriculum includes interesting and educational math topics that generally lie beyond school curriculum.
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Prime Factor students meet weekly in a small-class setting. A circle session consists of an hour and a half of interactive teaching, mathematical discussion and problem-solving. The problems and discussion topics are selected to stimulate students' creative abilities and to develop their problem exploration skills and mathematical reasoning. Some of the class time (especially in circles with younger students) is devoted to mathematical contests and tournaments.
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Our main goal in this circle is to develop students' reasoning and creative thinking abilities, and to explore mathematics outside school arithmetic. We will engage kids in discussions, problem solving, hands-on activities, and games.
This circle is for students who want to explore mathematics beyond the school arithmetic. We will talk about advanced mathematical concepts, learn creative word problem solving, and master useful problem solving technique. This class engages children in both theoretical discussions, independent and team problem-solving work, and hands-on activities.
This class accepts Junior 1 graduates, as well as new students. We will explore a wide variety of new and exciting mathematical topics, and refine our problem solving skills, while building up on the ideas and knowledge that comes from Junior 1 class. The hands-on activities and team games remain the essential part of the curriculum.
This circle is devoted to more advanced math concepts and more challenging problems than Junior Circle 2. It is about both hands-on problem solving and building a solid foundation for our middle school program. While working on a variety of math enrichment topics and problem solving techniques, the students will be exposed to all elements of mathematical inquiry: creative exploration, rigorous proof, and clear explanation.
For students who want to know more about the world of extracurricular mathematics. Potential students should be ready to explore, learn, and work on challenging problems. This class is open to Junior Circle graduates (with teacher recommendation) and to new students.
For students of grades 7-8 who are familiar with the Circle 1 topics or are ready to put in extra work to catch up with our program.
A challenging and fast-paced class focusing on the topics in discrete mathematics (graph theory, number systems, logic) and their applications in computer science.
This course is a three trimester class. The fall trimester starts as a beginner Scratch programming class. The students will learn to code in Scratch environment, will create animations, pattern designs, and computer games. The intermediate and advanced levels are offered in winter and spring.
Programming course for Scratch graduates and new students. Prerequisites: The course assumes no prior programming experience, but does assume good mathematics/algebraic skills as well as motivation, curiosity, and desire to code. Testing or recommendation of Prime Factor teacher is required.
This year-long class is a continuation of our Intermediate Programming 1. The emphasis is on algorithmic programming, computational problem-solving, more extensive use of data structures, and practicing and developing good coding habits.
This year-long course is designed to give the basics of computer programming at a pace targeted at advanced 9th–10th grade students. The goal of the course is to establish firm understanding of the essentials of object–oriented programming and architecture through games, simulations, graphical programs, and algorithmic practice.