What are the topics that students forget after Algebra 1, or didn't learn thoroughly in the first place, that really mess them up in Algebra 2? I'm doing some advance brainstorming toward a capstone original research project that's coming up at the end of my grad school program. One of the criteria is that there has to be a need for the "product" (most people do a unit plan) that I come up with. It occured to me last night that with the Geometry year in between Alg 1 and Alg 2, and so many students struggling with algebra anyway, something to re-teach a few very important concepts for Alg 1 would be useful.

I haven't taught Algebra II in a while, but my first answer has to be factoring. Beyond that, systems of equations, and a lot of the stuff they learned on approaching verbal problems.

Concepts about linear equations and quadratic functions Many students, even though they finished algebra I, they don't know the concepts about linear equations and quadratic function. Students should know that any two points in x-y plane can determine a line, and thus the slope is a constant no matter which two points on the line you pick. For example, given two points of a line: (1,2) and (2,-1), what is the equation of the line? What are the x-intercept, and the y-intercept? If a line is perpendicular to the line, and share the x-intercept, what is the equation of the second line? ...etc. In the same way, you can review algebra II equation, and make many extensions. For example, what is the basic concept about factoring a quadratic function? Can students find a different way of factoring? Which way is better? ...etc.

I am an Algebra 2 teacher, and I am definitely going to have to say factoring and solving equations. Alot of my students struggle with that at the beginning of the year. System of equations are also tough on them for some reason, and slope and putting equations from standard form into slope intercept form. We always spend a good chunk of time reviewing that at the beginning of the year.

From what I have observed and taught a little in my placements through grad school, I agree on factoring. I also noticed and I dont remember if functions were covered in algebra 1, but when I saw them taught quadratic functions they had a hard time grasping that y=x+5 is the same thing as f(x)=x+5

I've been teaching algebra 2 for a whopping 4 days now, and in my expert opinion I'd have to say that my students are weak in equations and absolute value equations. There are probably other issues, but like I said, I've only been at it 4 days Many of my students finished algebra 1 in 9th grade and are now 2nd semester juniors or even seniors and taking algebra 2, so it's been a while and they've forgotten a lot.

In my school at least, they really don't see much of functional notation until Algebra II. I tend to throw it in, but it's not on our syllabus for freshmen.

The admin has decided to change the course order to help with this issue. It will be Alg 1, Alg 2, Geo from now on. We don't like it, but that's the idea.

I've heard from friends that if the order is AlgI-AlgII-Geom, it made things harder in Trig/Precalc the year after geometry, because they've forgotten so much algebra.