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Grade 9 Mathematics, MTH1W, has been reinvented into a math course unlike any other high school math course! This might make you uneasy, and you might be wondering, “Should math change?” These sentiments are understandable; math is based on unchanging principles that have been part of our history for hundreds of years. However, the ways in which our society uses mathematical concepts in job settings have changed dramatically and are continually evolving. It’s important that students are taught math in a contemporary way now so that they don’t need to learn these things on their own later in life.

The topics covered in MTH1W are topics that everyone should have a foundation in. Prior to the 2021-2022 school year, students had to choose either the academic or applied pathway. The academic stream focused on abstract reasoning and theoretical concepts, whereas the applied stream focused on practical applications and hands-on learning. Students in the Grade 9 age bracket are not necessarily ready to make such a choice, especially when some consequences of that choice may still be 4+ years away. This is primarily why the Ontario Ministry of Education is looking at de-streaming all Grade 9 courses in the near future.

In MTH1W, students begin every new lesson with an introduction. These pages start with a preview of a real instance where the mathematical idea about to be taught could be used. Next, students are shown which previous concepts will be relevant to this new lesson in a series of helpful hints, which are then followed by a warm-up quiz. Lastly, all of the important math terminology needed for the lesson is defined in advance so that students don’t misinterpret an important idea later on. Students of all levels will benefit from this outline of clear expectations in each lesson.

MTH1W explores topics like coding and data, which are currently two of the most in-demand fields of work related to mathematics. Previously, students would learn about fractions, equations, and linear relations. Now, they will learn about these things in a context more easily applied to the real world. That tired, old math question, “When will we use this in real life?”, might finally get a bit of a rest with the new Grade 9 math curriculum.

The new course also features learning extensions in more than 40% of its lessons. Students can choose to take advantage of these snippets and extra pages, or they can focus on the task at hand. The extensions add extra value to the learning experience but are never evaluated as part of the course. Students will learn how to use a spreadsheet to make repetitive calculations much easier and how to understand financial language. There is even an opportunity to submit a drawing assignment using an introductory computer-aided design program (CAD) that could then be used with a 3D printer!

If you register for MTH1W, then you’ll have access to rich, diverse content, including instructional images and videos. Take some time to explore the course outline on our website. We hope to see you in the course soon!