Math: Middle School to High School

student and tutor working on math

The leap from middle school to high school could be quite drastic.

Students do not always have the learning skills to manage their time and organize their work independently. They also often struggle with the fact that the subject material is being delivered differently compared to what they have been used to.

Mathematics, being the subject that many students perceive as important and challenging, even if they enjoy it, comes with all of the above and more. Therefore, when it comes to math, it is crucial for every student going into high school to ensure their proficiency with the concepts discussed below is at the highest possible level.


positive negative integers animationIntegers are positive and negative whole numbers. In elementary and middle school students often use a number line to order, compare, add and subtract, multiply and divide integers. However, in high school, referring to a number line every time they need to conduct integer operations or reaching for a calculator to find the answer to every simple problem involving integers can be counterproductive and time consuming. Students need to not only memorize the algorithm and the rules of integer operations, but have a solid understanding of where those rules are coming from. When they understand – they are able to transfer their skills to more complex mathematical problems.

Order of operations (BEDMAS) – is a very important concept that students also need to master.

Video lessons found here explain the concept of integers, go over operations with integers, as well as order of operations.

Some printable resources that include a well structured explanation of integer operations and offer additional practice are Project Maths and Face-Off! An Integer Card Game.

Technology could help visualize and master the skills.

Some effective and fun online activities on integer operations are: Integer Operation on Desmos, Integers Games and Integers on Kahoot


multiplying fractions exampleFractions are every student’s favourite – said no student ever ))

This is because students often find operations with fractions challenging and confusing. They may understand the abstract concept of a fraction, its relationship to a whole. However, when it comes to algebraic operations (especially without manipulatives) – it becomes a challenge.

Just like with any other concept – the key to being proficient with fractions is to understand how they are formed, what each part of the fraction represents, why certain rules apply when conducting operations with fractions, as well as completing lots of practice.

Video lessons found here will help students make sense of fractions and mixed numbers.

Here are some more interactive and effective resources on operations with fractions: Fractions: Math Drills, K5 Learning: Fractions

Online games and activities on fractions, that will help engage the student. They will not even notice they are learning fractions!

Math Games: Fractions

Fractions on Kahoot

Splash Learn: Fraction Games


operations with percent animation

Another essential set of skills that middle school students require is knowing how to conduct operations with decimals, as well as understanding the relationship between decimals and percent. These processes also involve ratios and proportions – skills that are transferable to a variety of situations and mathematical problems.

In order to improve their understanding of decimals and percent, students can start with watching the video lessons here.

Practice makes perfect, so here are some more cool resources that students can work on in order to master the skills on decimals and percent: 10 Study Jams: Interactive Math Activities, Math Academy: Dining Out (an excellent compilation of activities).


Pythagorean theorem animation

It is useful for students to understand the concepts of area and perimeter of 2D shapes going into high school. Problems involving Pythagorean Theorem are also very common, therefore, mastering the skill of rearranging basic formulas and solving simple equations is important.

These skills and knowledge are later applied to working with composite 3D shapes, solving optimization problems and finding solutions when discussing real life situations.

To review the above mentioned concepts, students can watch brief video lessons here.

Here are some more resources, that will help students develop a better understanding of area and perimeter, as well as master the skills of rearranging simple formulas and equations: Math In English: Area and Perimeter, Math Interactives, Pythagorean Theorem Worksheets.


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