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Ms. Strait - 2nd Year Advanced Algebra

Community Links High School

Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry

2013-2014 Syllabus

Instructor: Ms. Strait


Phone: 773-752-4696

Course Description:

Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry continues to build on math skills that students began to develop in Algebra, not only the traditional symbol manipulation associated with algebra but deductive reasoning and problem solving as well. In this course, we will be focusing on advanced algebraic models and functions, and relating these ideas to real-world situations and applications. This will involve not only enriching and improving students' math reasoning skills, but also extensive reading and writing. In our study of algebra, we will focus on large conceptual questions and cooperative problem solving, in addition to daily homework.

Course Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use cognitive skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and ethical analysis

  • Understand that mathematics is a tool for organizing ideas and addressing questions

  • Use educational technology as tools for learning

  • Use algebraic models to analyze real-world phenomena

  • Make connections between procedures used in math class and procedures used for math in science classes

Materials needed daily:

  • at least one writing utensil, preferably a pencil

  • 3-ring binder with pockets and 5 tab dividers

  • scientific calculator (provided by Ms Strait; $120 fine if lost)

  • textbook, Discovering Advanced Algebra (provided by Ms Strait; $100 fine if lost)
  • student planner


The quarter grade will be determined using the following percentage breakdown:

Interim Assessments: 5%

Homework: 10%

In-class Participation: 15%

Quizzes: 35%

Exams and Projects: 35%

A = 100% to 90%

B = 89% to 80%

C = 79% to 70%

D = 69% to 60%

F = 59% and below

The quarter grade is determined by totaling all the points in each grade category and dividing by the total points possible. Keep in mind that each category is weighted using the percentage breakdowns given.


Students will be evaluated as to their attendance and their involvement in the class. If a student comes to class each day with no unexcused absences or tardies and participates in class discussions, they will receive all of the participation points. Students will lose points if they do not have their homework, disrupt the class, are tardy, or cut. Unexcused absences will result in an automatic zero for the day. Students may earn extra participation points through exemplary work and effort.


Homework assignments are intended to reinforce the concepts learned in class and prepare students for exams. Assignments may be turned in one day late for half credit. After one day, no late work will be accepted. Late homework will always result in an after school detention to be served that day. Students who do not serve their detention will not receive credit for the late assignment. Students with unexcused absences will receive a zero for any assignments due that day.

Students will have opportunities to work together to complete assignments and are encouraged to consult with peers to reason through problems before asking for help. However, each students is responsible for completing his/her own homework, in his/her own words. Students who turn in assignments with identical (word for word) entries will not receive credit for that assignment and will face additional consequences for copying/plagiarism.


Students are responsible for checking the class bin for missed assignments and obtaining the day's notes from a classmate. Quizzes and tests that are missed due to an excused absence may be made up after school. It is the student's responsibility to schedule this make up within ONE WEEK of the original quiz/test; students who fail to do this will receive a zero for that assignment.


Students will be required to use the school’s website during the class. Much of the information you need for this class will be posted there, including the course calendar and assignments. There will occasionally be time for students to access the website in class, but some work must be done outside of class, including online lessons and assessments using PrepMe. If a student does not have access to the Internet at home, they may use the school’s computer laboratory before or after school. Additionally, the Chicago Public Library has free computer access.


Students will have the opportunity to earn honors credit for Advanced Algebra. In addition to the following criteria, students must maintain at least a C average to receive honors credit.

- Honors assignments: For each unit, honors students will be asked to complete at least one independent investigative assignment, based on the explorations and "Take Another Look" sections in the textbook (the exact number per unit will depend on the length and depth of the material covered in class). Students are expected to work on and solve these problems individually, though Ms Strait will provide guidance if requested.

- Honors assessments: Each quiz and test will feature at least one challenge question which must be attempted for honors credit. These questions will focus on a deeper understanding of the material and will often be more abstract in nature.