2016-17 Math 2 Curriculum (Grade 10)

A bit of philosophy regarding the teaching of mathematics:
Thus a teacher of mathematics has a great opportunity. If he fills his allotted time with drilling his students in routine operations he kills their interest, hampers their intellectual development, and misuses his opportunity. But if he challenges the curiosity of his students by setting them problems proportionate to their knowledge, and helps them to solve their problems with stimulating questions, he may give them a taste for, and some means of, independent thinking. (Polya, 1945)
The National Research Council identified five strands of mathematical proficiency:
  1. Conceptual Understanding: Refers to the "integrated and functional grasp of mathematical ideas", which enables students to learn new ideas by connecting those ideas to what they already know.
  2. Procedural Fluency: Defined as the skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately.
  3. Strategic Competence: The ability to formulate, represent, and solve mathematical problems.
  4. Adaptive Reasoning: The capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation and justification.
  5. Productive Disposition: The inclination to see mathematics as sensible, useful and worthwhile, coupled with a belief in diligence and one's own efficacy.
In Grade 10 Math (Math 2) at High Tech High, the scope of the curriculum is prescribed by the Integrated track of the Common Core Standards (use the link to the left for more information on the Common Core Standards) and include topics such as Probability, Quadratic Functions, Quadratic Equations and Roots, Irrational and Complex Numbers, Similarity and Dilation, Volume and Right-Triangle Trigonometry. The objective is to cover the Common Core Standards (Integrated) whilst developing proficiency in the five strands outlined above. This exploration will be undertaken using three main types of activities: projects, open-ended problems and a (not-quite) weekly “Problem of the Week” (POW). Projects are typically focused on one or two essential questions and can vary from three to six weeks in length; they normally culminate with some form of public presentation or demonstration of understanding. The nature of projects can vary from hands-on construction to a series of directed investigations. Open-ended problems are the primary class activity (individual or group) that is targeted at making sense of a problem and persevering in solving it, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, constructing arguments, critiquing the reasoning of others, attending to precision, and looking for patterns, structures, and shortcuts. The “Problem of the Week” (POW) has objectives similar to open-ended problems, but is mainly done as homework (though significant class time will also be devoted to these problems), and there is a strong emphasis on presentation of work.

In addition to these main activities, some emphasis will also be placed on SAT preparation, primarily through an in-class warm-up question.