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Algebra 2 / Precalc

Time and Place

Making Sense in Algebra 2
Friday, July 1
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA

No Limits!
Thursday-Friday July 28-29
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
at the Principia School in Saint Louis, MO


Making Sense in Algebra 2 is a subset of No Limits!

These workshops are designed for high school mathematics teachers who want to make Algebra 2, Trigonometry and Precalculus more accessible, richer and more fun. I will present a number of activities to enrich and deepen the corresponding lessons in any textbook, whether traditional or reform.
Italicized items will be offered in Saint Louis only. 

  • Concrete introductions to exponential, logarithmic, inverse variation, and trig functions
  • A kinesthetic and visual approach to complex numbers
  • Iterating functions as a gateway to sequences, series, mathematical induction and chaos
  • Functions from patterns; functions from geometry
  • Function diagrams: upper level applications
  • Geometry of the parabola (2D, 3D)

The problem in Algebra 2: too many topics, too many formulas that mean too little to most students. A partial solution: teach fewer topics, in more depth, provide access to all students through carefully selected activities, and still try to challenge the strongest students. I will share the best lessons from a course developed over many years for somewhat heterogeneous classes, with an emphasis on assorted learning tools.

A frequent challenge in teaching upper level high school classes is the limited pedagogical range of most textbooks and curricula. This is particularly harmful to the students who find symbol manipulation difficult, but it is also cheating our stronger students of the multi-faceted understanding that would serve them best. To address this, several of the units presented in the workshop involve the intelligent use of electronic tools (particularly GeoGebra,) hands-on activities with concrete materials, and/or creative alternate representations.

I am happy to offer a workshop on visual and hands-on approaches to advanced topics for your school or district. Contact me.