The problem in Algebra 2: too many topics, too many formulas that mean too little to most students.

I propose a partial solution: teach fewer topics, in more depth, to inject meaning into the course; provide access to all students through carefully selected tools, and still try to challenge the strongest students.

**Blog post**: In Defense of Algebra 2

**Available on this site**:

Iterating Linear Functions from

The Mathematics Teacher(with Jonathan Choate), andAlgebra: Themes, Tools, Concepts(with Anita Wah). Also there: links to GeoGebra applets, and a bit on iterating non-linear functions and chaos.Sequences and Series from

Algebra: Themes, Tools, ConceptsIntro to linear programming: Letters and Postcards

Hands-on approach to quadratics and completing the square, with connections to graphing:

Algebra Lab Gear: Algebra 1, by Henri Picciotto. (Avaliable from Didax.) Get started here.A visual explanation of completing the square.

More on parabolas and quadratics.

Animation to explain the sine curve.

Electronic Graphing (scroll down to "Super-Scientific Notation" for an intro to logarithms.)

Perspective (lab on inverse variation, similar triangles review.)

Worksheets and games about complex numbers.

**Presentation**

Naoko Akiyama and Scott Nelson had designed a one-hour presentation based on the Math 3 curriculum which we've all taught, and which was largely developed by me at the Urban School of San Francisco. I later joined them to expand the presentation into a 3-hour minicourse, which we presented at the California Math Council, Southern Section (Palm Springs, November 2001) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (San Antonio, April 2003.) I updated it in 2011 to present at an NCTM summer institute.

Download the slides or view a short version on line.

2011 version of the slides, as a QuickTime movie, including animations (5.3 MB). Corresponding handout (3.6 MB).