Content can be learned in ways that ask young adolescents to harness and develop their new cognitive abilities.
They finish middle school and begin high school usually embarking on year-long studies of content-intensive mathematical subject areas: a year of Algebra 1, then a year of Geometry, then a year of Algebra 2, and so on.
Though young adolescents begin middle school ready to think with more power, creativity, and independence, the accompanying increase in content expectations means that a balance between mathematical content and practice can be difficult to achieve.
Ideally, the middle school years provide educators with new opportunities to foster good thinking habits and mathematical practices.
Students begin middle school exposed to mathematics as a very broad subject covering a wide array of topics: 2D geometry, probability, percentages, number theory, logic, patterns, statistics, graphing, number operations, proportions, elementary algebra, 3D geometry, and so on.