Advanced Algebra
Patrick Warner

Course Outline
Within the context of Satellite Academy, Advanced Algebra is simply that, an attempt to move beyond the beginner algebra classes that have been taught at our site over the past few years. Those courses are unique in their emphasis on the function as the central theme in algebra but due to the time constraints of a single semester, have suffered from a lack of variety with regard to other more traditional topics.

The goal of Advanced Algebra is to hopefully maintain a focus on the function while moving more deeply into quadratic equations and related topics (i.e. factoring of polynomials). At the same time the students will gain a working knowledge of the IT-83 graphing calculator that is a standard tool in college algebra classes as well as in many high school math classes. The calculator will be used to explore "real-world" linear and quadratic models by examining their graphs. In some ways this course is an effort to realign the second half of our student’s algebra experience with what is expected of them by the state on the Math A exam and what will be expected of them as freshmen in college. It will, however, be limited to algebra.

Methodologies: The primary mode of learning will be discursive rather than investigative or intuitive. While those methods will be used on occasion, given the lack of time they are not practical. I want to cover as much variety of content as I can. Much of the classroom environment will be teacher centered, especially as new topics are introduced, followed by daily practice. Near the end of most classroom sessions a student will perform role of teacher, reviewing at the board the material just practiced, eliciting from the class correct procedures and solutions. Homework as reinforcement will be given on a regular basis.

When students have become familiar with the operation of the graphing calculator, we will begin to focus more on application projects where their content knowledge and technical skill will enable them to discover new mathematical relationships and reinforce previous knowledge. My aim is to facilitate a caring environment - one large group - where nobody feels hesitant to ask their peers for help and help is freely given.

Assessment: The primary assessment tool will be exams given approximately every two weeks.
Quality of project work will be the second most important consideration. Effort, demonstrated by the care and thoroughness of daily note taking as well as amount of homework done will then be evaluated when deciding the students’ final grade.

The Advanced Algebra course addresses the following Standards in Mathematics: