# Mathematics

Mathematics instruction in grades six through eight focuses on the development of number sense, with emphasis on rational and real numbers. Rational numbers play a critical role in the development of proportional reasoning and advanced mathematical thinking. Students develop an understanding of integers and rational numbers using concrete, pictorial, and abstract representations. Flexible thinking about rational number representations is encouraged when students solve problems. Proportional reasoning is the key to making connections to many middle school mathematics topics. The content of the middle school mathematics standards is intended to support the following five process goals for students: becoming mathematical problem solvers, communicating mathematically, reasoning mathematically, making mathematical connections, and using mathematical representations to model and interpret practical situations.