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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Common Core Algebra 2 2013-2014 Planning, Take 1

Algebra 2 has become a huge course that expands the set of functions considerably from Algebra 1, increases the algebraic demands of structuring and restructuring expressions, as well as introduces a significant amount of high-level statistics. This has done the great service of pushing the Algebra 2 course to actually be Algebra 2 rather than Algebra 1.5, but has also raised a large challenge on creating a classroom where procedural fluency, conceptual development, and application are balanced and each rigorous in their own right. This post will continue to develop over the summer, but I hope to share what I'm thinking the shape of the course will be. So, if your reading this please come back often and leave comments to help the course be a good one!

Phase 1: Framing the course around the mathematical practices + IBL principles through a visual ... See below:

online flow chart
Phase 2: Getting a 30,000 feet scope and sequence of the year together.  For this part of the work I took some initial inspiration from the work at A2i and Dan Goldner, and for more concrete ordering of possible events from the Dana Center.  Here is what I came up with and am still negotiating (tab two I will eventually populate with tasks that will anchor each unit):

Phase 3: Selecting meaningful tasks that engage, rely on critical thinking skills, develop problem-solving habits, and reinforce the necessity and important of procedural fluency.  I have identified some of the resources I will pull problems from this link, "Problem-Based Learning and the Common Core." I am planning to open with an emphasis on organization, sketching, and diagramming skills that will rely on the amazing and wonderful work in Problems with Patterns and Numbers. As I said, this blogpost will have iterations of the how, what, and why.

Phase 4:  Identify the set of instructional practices I am going to deploy and develop to allow the classroom to be a rigorous, joyful, student-centered learning environment.  I am still working on my solid list, but here are some that I am thinking I will rely on and make routine.

  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Student Presentations of Problems (a la Goldner)
  • Problem-solving lessons (a la MAP)
  • Gallery Walks
  • Sorts
  • Stations with an emphasis on play and discovery utilizing Desmos
  • Individual practice utilizing TenMarks to support student learning and offer meaningful personalization in and out of school.
  • Claim-Evidence-Reasoning done collaboratively in groups and as a class using Google Docs
  • Student created days emphasizing self-regulation with use of regulatory cards
Phase 5: Reflect, adjust, and structure the course in a more balanced way around conceptual, procedural and fluency skills, and application.  This is part of the work of the summer!

More to come, here is take one!


  1. Hi Mr. B.
    Similarly, I am engaging in the same process---you, me, and how many others across the country! Like you, I used some of the same and similar sources to help develop a scope and sequence, as well as develop a bank of activities/tasks that might help anchor each unit. I will certainly return to read of your curriculum's development as well as share resources that I find along the way. Good luck!

    1. Thank you! The more eyes the better. Look forward to future conversations