Status:

Students … not happy to be back and way too quiet (this will change). Incensed that I actually **taught** today.

Teacher … tired, sore feet and ready for a good dinner, glass of wine and some quiet time. All in all a good day; only one student who seemingly causes me to worry as he is in 6th period (last of the day) and tried to sleep through class!

On to this week’s challenge:

"Algebra 2 and Precalculus are a hodgepodge of ideas."

As I tell my students Algebra 1 takes all those skills you learn in elementary school and middle school and apply them to three topics (1) writing and solving equations of lines (2) writing and solving equations of quadratics and (3) graphing.

Algebra 2 is the same stuff – we are still writing and solving and graphing – but instead of looking ad nauseum at lines and a little less ad nauseum at quadratics, we are going to spend time writing, solving and graphing many different kinds of problems:

- absolute value
- piecewise
- quadratic
- polynomial
- rational
- radical
- exponential
- logarithmic

But instead of spending half-a-school-year really exploring and learning these topics like you did in Algebra 1, now you get one-quarter to one-third of a quarter. And, we are going to add a few other topics like sequences and series and statistics.

And, in order to be prepared for the state SOL exam (back acronym, stands for Standards of Learning), you need to complete all of it in three quarters. The SOL is usually taken early during 4th quarter, which leaves 4-6 weeks for “enrichment” exercises.

We shall see if PreCalculus follows similarly as it is my first year teaching it. Stay tuned….

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I agree! I have a love/hate relationship with Algebra 2. I hate it because I feel a lot of it is me saying “Well, you’ll need this for next year…” and that irritates me to no end. But I do enjoy the challenge of the problem solving. 🙂