Math = Love: Algebra 2 Learning Goals

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Algebra 2 Learning Goals

Yesterday, I shared my Algebra 1 Learning Goals for this year.  Overall, I think I'm much happier with them than I am with my Algebra 2 Learning Goals.  Though, I think the problem wasn't my Algebra 2 Learning Goals.  Instead, it was how I structured my Algebra 2 class into units.

I'm still trying to figure out how to better structure my course.  This was my 3rd year teaching Algebra 2, and I still haven't found a unit structure that seems to flow and make sense to me and my students.  I've still got hope that there's a better structuring system out there.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  

Algebra 2 Learning Goals

Unit 1 - Graphing and Describing Graphs
I can graph and identify key aspects (domain, range, intercepts, intervals of increasing and decreasing, and relative maxes and mins) of functions (quadratic, radical, logarithmic, exponential, polynomial, and rational).
I can identify parent functions based on graph, equation, description, or set of data points.
I can find and graph the inverse of a function, if it exists.
I can identify, graph, and describe conic sections.

Unit 2 - Add/Subtract/Multiply/Divide/Simplify/Convert Expressions
I can factor out the GCF of an expression.
I can factor quadratic trinomials.
I can perform polynomial long division.
I can simplify radical expressions.
I can add and subtract radical expressions.
I can multiply and divide radical expressions.
I can convert between radical notation and rational exponent notation.
I can simplify rational expressions.
I can add and subtract rational expressions.
I can multiply and divide rational expressions.
I can simplify complex fractions.
I can add/subtract/multiply/divide/simplify complex numbers.
I can add/subtract/multiply/divide functions in function notation.
I can simplify (evaluate) logarithmic expressions.
I can convert between logarithmic and exponential form.
I can use the properties of logarithms and the change of base formula to rewrite logarithmic expressions.
I can compose functions in function notation.

Unit 3 - Solving Equations
I can solve quadratics by graphing.
I can solve quadratics by factoring.
I can solve quadratics by completing the square.
I can solve quadratics by taking the square root of both sides.
I can solve quadratics using the quadratic formula.
I can solve systems of equations by graphing.
I can solve logarithmic equations.
I can solve exponential equations.
I can solve polynomial equations.
I can solve rational equations.

Unit 4 - Sequences and Series
I can identify a sequence, series, or situation as arithmetic or geometric.
I can find the nth term in a sequence.
I can find the sum of the first n terms in a series.

Unit 5 - Modeling
I can write a system of equations that models a situation.
I can use the model of a function to answer questions about a situation.


  1. In your state, does Geometry come before or after Algebra 2?

    1. It's decided on a school-by-school basis. The majority of the schools follow the Algebra 1 - Geometry - Algebra 2 order, though.

    2. We do radicals in Algebra 1 or Geometry (not radical functions, just radical operations) because they use them so much with special right triangles. Btw, I love seeing the whole scope of your course and organization of your units. You are so generous with your sharing. You have inspired me to blog and share my things (many are geometry) so that others can benefit like I have benefited from you! :)

    3. We have radicals in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2! It's a bit of overkill.

      You should definitely share a link to your blog so everyone can check it out!

    4. We also have radicals in Alg I, Geometry, and Alg II, but i don't think students are actually taught how to deal with radicals other than square root before Alg II. I recently started a unit using radicals (leading up to quadratic formula) and some students (even some of my strongest students) are having a really hard time with it! This was so surprising for me! I think that some of them get it immediately when I explain it clearly, and some expect to get it but don't, so then they figure they don't understand and it's too hard. Fixed mindset :( (I'm definitely planning on stealing some of your bulletin board ideas for next year, and the fixed mindset is one of them! :))

    5. The fixed mindset/growth mindset bulletin board is the best thing to happen to my classroom. EVER. I do not want to take it down for the summer!

  2. I think it would help if you split unit 2 up into polynomials, radicals, rationals, and logarithms/exponents.

  3. Do you not do Trig or Conic sections in Alg II at your school? We do some Trig, but have decided to leave Conic sections to the Pre-Calculus class. We also do a bit of matrices in Alg II, but not a whole lot of series and sequences. It's always interesting to see what other schools/states do, thanks for sharing! (and I agree whole-heartedly about splitting up unit 2) :)

    1. Conic sections are included in Algebra 2 but no trig. We do basic right triangle trig in geometry. This year, I taught a year-long trig elective course that was a lot of fun.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing, was wondering if you were happy this one or did you do some tweaking? Getting ready to teach Algebra 2 again this year and was looking for something better than what I did this past year. Thanks again for sharing.