**Sara Beck, Mathematics**

Phone: 503-649-5518

E-mail: sarab@tvja.org

## About Mrs. Beck

Sara Beck completed a Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics and Minors in Chemistry and Education in 2000 and a Masters of Science in Teaching Mathematics in 2005. She holds Professional Teaching credentials with both the State of Oregon and the North American Division. She taught Algebra I though AP Statistics from 2001-2009 and has taught 7th and 8th grade math at Tualatin Valley Academy since 2014. Her constant goal is for every student to become proficient in applying the essential tools and skills of mathematics. When she isn't devising the next math lesson, she enjoys gourmet cooking, watching cooking shows, reading and spending time with her family.

## Mathematics Philosophy

Students often have one of two perspectives of math. A few students see math as logical and reasonable, a set of rules to follow. These students generally do well until they reach the level where they can either no longer memorize all the rules or they are asked to apply the concepts in new and novel ways. Other students view math as a complete mystery or a foreign language. They can't see how math is at all related to their world. They struggle to remember which rules apply when and often end up frustrated and discouraged. I strive to bridge the gap for both students. Instead of memorizing the rules, learn the concepts. See how math describes what you already know. Use it as a tool to interact with your world. Once you start to see the connections within mathematics and between mathematics and your world, you'll have the groundwork to support curiosity about additional connections and applications.

Learning math is like learning to swim. In order to learn to swim, one must have a specific skill set and be able to integrate those skills in a way that allows one to move through water efficiently and without sinking. I view math the same way. At each level there are specific concepts and skills that students must master in order to be successful in the next set of skills. If you don't have those skills yet, you need to spend more time learning and practicing them. A solid foundation of math tools and the ability to apply them opens many doors for students' futures. My goal is for each one of my students to have the tools and resources they need to achieve their dreams.

## Curriculum

**Algebra I (9)**

The goal in Algebra I is mastery of the foundational concepts and skills required for success in all subsequent math courses. Students will write, solve and graph linear equations, inequalities, functions and systems of linear equations; factor, solve and graph quadratic equations and functions; simplify, write and graph exponential expressions and functions; and explore data analysis through probability and statistics topics.

**Geometry (9/10)**

Geometry focuses on logic, reasoning and problem solving skills using both traditional and technological tools to evaluate conjectures and construct proofs. Topics include properties of lines, triangles, polygons, quadrilaterals, circles and 3D figures, similarity of figures, and right triangle trigonometry. Connections to and review of Algebra concepts occur throughout the course.