Intermediate Algebra Classes

Welcome to the Intermediate Algebra page!

Contact Information   Educational Philosophy  Top Ten Tips for Success   Useful Links    Grading Policy   Syllabus   POWs    

Algebra 2, 3rd Ed.  Online Text, the classpass code is: thms2008

Letter of Introduction:  click here to download and print a copy of the letter sent home at the beginning of the school year.

Educational Philosophy

No matter what you plan to do in your life, studying mathematics will help you do it better!  I believe mathematics is an important area of learning because it helps the brain develop logical thinking skills that transfer to every other endeavor.  If you are studying to be an artist, mathematics (especially geometry) will help you.  If you are studying to be an engineer, you must understand mathematics first. If you are interested in architecture, construction, art history, urban planning, welding, landscaping,  or having your own business, learning math will help you do it better.

I believe that everyone can learn.  I believe that for learning to be successful, a student must be committed to "doing whatever it takes" to understand.  See Top Ten Tips for Success for more ideas about this.  

One of the highest responsibilities I have as a teacher is to ensure that my students are learning the material in our curriculum and are earning a grade commensurate with the level of learning they are capable of.  I assign homework every day to assist students in this process.  If a student is struggling with the concepts, or making choices that are resulting in performance below their potential, I will intervene in a number of ways.  I may contact parents, counselor, or administrator to aid in improving achievement.  I may make conference time mandatory for that student.  I may give specific suggestions about how to study for tests, etc.

I believe it is my duty to help each student develop as a whole person--a person who is ethical, responsible, curious, and kind.  My grading system is based first and foremost on mastery of the geometry curriculum, but also has components that award students as they develop the qualities that will make them good citizens in this world.

Top Ten Tips for Success

    1.  Have the required tools and materials at home and in school every day and keep them organized so you can find and use them easily;

    2.  Listen respectfully to your teacher and your peers--you have a lot to learn from us;

    3.  Cultivate “beginner’s mind.”  It is said that in the mind of a beginner there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert there are few.  This form of humility creates a mind that is open to learning;

    4.  Try your best on every problem on every assignment;

    5.  Ask peers and the teacher about concepts you find confusing;

    6.  Don't wait to get help if you don't understand—ask your teacher, parents, or tutors right away;

    7.  Prepare carefully for tests and other assessments;

    8.  Use every resource available so that you can be successful.  For example, get a tutor if you need more help than conference time allows;

    9.  Take responsibility for the choices you make about studying and schoolwork--don't blame others;

    10.  Don't give up on yourself!

 Useful Links

  • HotMath--a site that has homework hints about problems in our textbook "Discovering Geometry".
  • Discovering Geometry--a site by our textbook publisher.  It contains "Practice your skills" worksheets from each chapter, javascript mini explorations, a list of the vocabulary in Spanish, and more.  Check it out!   
  • NOTE: The Discovering Geometry site has an extensive list of algebra review problems for practice (especially important for success on AIMS.)
  • Study Island is a website devoted to helping students prepare for the AIMs test.  To log on for the first time, go to, enter your THMS matric # in the login box, then try password abcd or 1234.  The system will prompt you to choose a new password.    Try a pretest first, choose the maximum number of questions in order to create a test with all topics included in it.  This will give you an idea of what areas you need to focus on.  I encourage all students to log on to Study Island in preparation for AIMs.

Grading Policy  

There will be three categories that comprise your grade:

1. Assignments (25%)

2. Problems Of the Week (15%)

3. Tests and Quizzes (60%). 

Homework will be checked and graded every day and students will receive a weekly homework grade based on their efforts:  completeness and correctness of homework assignments is considered in grading the homework.  Occasionally, some assignments will be collected and graded in addition to the weekly homework grade.   Tests will be given at the end of each chapter.  Quizzes will be given occasionally, sometimes announced and sometimes unannounced.  All assessments are given for the purpose of determining each student's level of understanding--think of a test or quiz as good feedback for students, parents, and the teacher.

Syllabus--the syllabus is a great way to keep organized and know exactly what assignments are due when.  Click on a chapter below to see the desired syllabus.  If you have lost your syllabus, please download and print a new one!

Chapter 6--Circles

Chapter 7--Transformations and Similarity

Chapter 8--Area

Area Centers Instructions--investigations for creating dissection proofs for area formulas.

        Circle Area Investigation

        Circle Parts Investigation

Chapter 9--Pythagorean Theorem

Homework Help--a link to HotMath, a website where you can find hints and partial solutions to selected homework problems from our text book, Discovering Geometry: An Inductive Approach