This course will work at an accelerated pace and introduce more sophisticated topics originally addressed in Integrated Math 210/220 courses. Using a problem set developed and implemented at Phillips Exeter Academy as our main curricular resource, students will work to develop math concepts, skills, techniques and theorems. Skill development will also be supported by targeting topics and using the McDougal Littell Algebra II textbook series.

The choice to pursue developing math knowledge using the problem set is deliberate as it offers opportunities for students to think deeply about math concepts and problem solving, develop strong habits of mind, as well as increase their ability to investigate, conjecture, predict, analyze, verify and communicate mathematically. It is expected that students will struggle with some of the problems. Asking questions and participating in a class conversation are critical to this curriculum, and expected of all students. In addition, students will likely need to employ different strategies in their problem solving. Students should try a variety of methods, which can include: sketching a picture, cutting out a diagram and manipulating pieces, general coordinate proofs and solving simpler known example as a first step to understanding problems that they find difficult. It is important that students keep their work organized in a notebook or binder and should keep all of their work (including any attempts) in a orderly, easily accessible way.

Time in class will be spent in a combination of sharing solutions, assessment and skill development. Students will be expected to present solutions to the class and while this may not occur every single class, it will be very regular. For this reason preparation for class is critical and students can expect roughly 10-15 problems assigned over the course of a week.. The amount of time it takes to complete these problems will vary depending on the content and student, however, students should come to class having attempted (and documented these attempts) all assigned problems. As the class discusses assigned problems, students should made notes, corrections or additions to the work in their notebooks. Notebooks will be collected periodically to assess homework completion. Assessments will be given on a regular basis, on which students will be asked to solve problems similar to those done as homework.

Assessment

Grades for this course consist of four strands: Logic, accuracy, application and work habits.

Accuracy – 30%

Mathematics is a language that allows people to give exact answers. When calculations are not made correctly, computers don’t operate, bridges collapse, and checks bounce. Students are assessed in this strand primarily through their performance on quizzes and tests.

Logic – 30%

Just like accuracy, how one arrives at that answer is also important. When reviewing student work, teachers look to see how problems are set up before they are solved. As math concepts become increasingly complex, making sure the logic is clearly communicated takes on greater significance. Students are assessed in this strand primarily through their performance on quizzes and tests.

Application – 20%

Students participate in several unit projects over the course of a semester where they apply their knowledge to problem solving situations. Most projects also involve creating a report or making a presentation. These projects are graded on a variety of content and presentation standards.

Work Habits – 20%

The Work Habits strand reflects the effort students have put into completing homework, studying regularly, and working in class. Work habits also reflect the level of students’ participation in class, their willingness to take academic risks, and ability to incorporate revisions into their work. Students with strong work habits grades are putting consistent, effective effort into their schoolwork.