Algebra 2: Anyone else having a restructuring of the course?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mathemagician, May 30, 2012.

  1. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    May 30, 2012

    I student taught algebra 2 in the fall. We started with a brief review of linear functions and absolute value/piecewise functions, and then proceeded to do systems with 3+ variables and linear programming. After this we did matrices and solving systems with matrices. After this, we started quadratics.

    This year I found out that the school where I will be working has adopted a new textbook for the Common Core. As such, essentially the entire first marking period of what I did in my student teaching has been totally cut out. Instead there is a greater emphasis on trig functions at the end. Chapter 1 of alg 2 is now quadratics. 1.1 is all about vertex form and graphing.

    Is anyone else experiencing this massive change in the course?
     
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  3. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    May 30, 2012

    I know New York did a major overhaul a few years ago. I went through their Math A, A/B, B sequence instead of Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2/Trig, so a lot of the stuff in Algebra 2/Trig I never even saw, like matrices.

    I still haven't taken a class that has taught me matrices. I'm just waiting for Linear Algebra in the Spring :p
     
  4. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I'm a little sad...matrices was like my favorite chapter to teach...so many great activities for it...plus my favorite visit to the "Matrix Zoo".
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    RANT COMING ON!!!!!

    That was a 25 year nightmare.

    In about 1980 or so, NY decided that instead of teaching the same syllabus as the rest of the COUNTRY (You know, all those other people who were going to take the same SATs as our kids) they would do integrated math. It started off as "Sequential I, II, III. You would teach a little bit about a whole lot of things each year, then pick up and teach a bit more the next. So kids who can't remember Friday's lesson for Monday's quiz were now expected to remember material they had learned a year ago and just pick up from where they left off.

    Of course, it also gave them a valuable opportunity to water down the tradtiional courses. After all, it was so much more fun to teach truth tables than word problems, right??? Apparently no one in Albany realized that kids will find material easier if it's actually taught to them.

    Then, when money started to get tight, they realized how expensive it was giving 3 math Regents. So they repackaged the courses again, this time as Math A/B. Voila!!! Lots of money saved by eliminating one Regents. Of course, that meant that kids-- those same kids who don't do well on Monday quizzes-- had to take a Regents on material they learned a year and a half prior.

    It took them over 20 years to realize that this was idiocy--- maybe there's a REASON why 49 other states chose NOT to follow their lead?????
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OK, deep breaths, to answer the original question:

    We don't follow state standards. (As you might guess from my rant, ours are more rigorous than those of NY State.) So if we change the textbook, it tends to be for a different sort of reason-- we don't like the new edition or the one we're using is out of print. But then we hunt for one that teaches what we want to teach.

    A lot of what you're bumping is what we cover in Precalc-- did it land there?'

    For what it's worth, I'm in favor of a strong trig background. Even though I love matrices too, they're going to need the trig for the vast majority of college math courses How nice to have the time to really explain it well.
     
  7. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    :spitwater: Oh boy. I was one of the very few to succeed in the Math A/B sequence. Lots of my classmates did well in Math A and Math A/B, but once we hit Math B, they dropped like flies.

    I guess it was a good attempt... not a very successful one though. Call me crazy but I prefer the way I learned everything than the way my brother is now (he's in Integrated Geometry).
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Our entire state is debating whether to stay with the traditional route or go with an integrated approach where geometry and statistics is taught every year for three years. I'm sure that this will have a drastic impact on the organization of classes.
     
  9. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Yeah, a more detailed chapter on statistics was thrown into the algebra 2 mix as well.
     
  10. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    May 30, 2012

    Mathemagician, that sounds like my algebra 2 curriculum now. We did a lot of quadratics and then all of a sudden jumped to statistics. I don't mean basic concepts of statistics like mean, median, and mode but permutations and combinations. Then we went backwards and started doing functions again. It's all messed up and everything is out of order. I don't remember learning permutations and combinations in high school or a lot of what they are learning now in algebra 2. I remember my algebra 2 class being so different and we covered different concepts, which I thought were more essential than what I'm teaching my students now. I guess things have changed a lot since I was in high school. They are even teaching students probability starting in middle school now because it is on the state test. If they are going to start making it into an integrated math course, at least they could make the order more logical.
     
  11. MathEqualsLove

    MathEqualsLove Companion

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    May 30, 2012

    I've had similar questions and concerns. I still don't know what math classes I will be teaching, but I've been looking at the new common core standards.

    The Algebra 1 standards assume that the students have already mastered solving equations in one variable (without factoring) and graphing equations.
     
  12. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    The Algebra 1 standards assume a lot, and most of the kids take Algebra 1 in the MS not the HS. The part that troubles me the most is doing nothing with systems of equations in algebra 2. It seemed to me that this was one of the most important topics, and it frequently came up in other contexts. It's gonna be hard to not review it thoroughly for some of the lower students.
     
  13. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    May 31, 2012

    Yes.. it's coming for us in a few years. I'm interested to see hat California decides to take out of it's current Algebra 2 standards that are now going to be replaced with Trig. I'm also curious to see if the trig in Geo gets left alone or if that's cut altogether, which I'll be interested to see what's going in it's place.

    We've already decided to let California make the new standards before we come up with a game plan on ow to attack algebra 2 now. We spent about 10 hours on it about a month ago and had a huge headache.

    It's a big change for us.
     

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