Term: Yearlong 2018–19, September 4–May 24
Target Grade Levels: Grades 8–9; 10–12 graders welcome
Schedule: 3x / week, 60–75 min.
Algebra 1 is designed to give students a foundation for all future mathematics courses. The course helps students develop good mathematical study skills and deductive reasoning as they develop their problem-solving strategies. The fundamentals of algebraic problem-solving are explained. Students explore: foundations of Algebra, solving equations, solving inequalities, an introduction to functions, linear functions, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and exponential functions, polynomials and factoring, quadratic functions and equations, radical expressions and equations, and data analysis and probability. In each area of study, students are required not only to arrive at the correct answers, but more importantly to arrive at the correct answer by evidencing the correct process being studied. It is the student’s process that is most heavily considered, not merely the final answer—an emphasis that ensures deep engagement with the ideas at hand for a true and lasting understanding of mathematical concepts. Additionally, students learn how to apply the learned concepts in real-life situations.
Placement: This course is designed for students who have successfully completed Pre-Algebra. A placement exam will be provided.
High School Credit: This course is the equivalent of one high school credit in mathematics.
Q: What does it mean to approach math classically?
A: Like all classical subjects, mathematics should be taught with the aim of fostering students’ humanity. This means that the goal of a math class is not to train students to be really fast formula-memorizing number-crunchers so much as it is to nurture advanced dialectical reasoning.
Mathematics should be taught out of a love of wisdom and out of a love of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Mathematics isn’t just a tiresome hoop to jump through to become engineers or doctors or make lots of money. It is one of the many ways to wonder actively.
With this in mind, mathematics should be taught holistically, as part of the larger narrative of the great ideas. Ideally, a classical mathematics course would include historical context, and time to think philosophically about the presuppositions at play in whatever mathematical framework is being studied. At Scholé Academy, we make every effort to help students understand the ideas behind mathematics, and not just learn how to solve isolated problems. We want students to catch a glimpse of what motivates mathematicians to inquire the way they do and to develop the math that we are studying. This way mathematics doesn’t seem so inhumanely abstract, so arbitrary, so at odds with curiosity and joy.
—by Grace Prensner, Upper School Mathematics Instructor
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with processor with a speed of 1 Ghz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do NOT recommending using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with an download/upload speed of 5/1Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
from Classical Academic Press