Algebra Curriculum

Algebra 2 vs. Algebra 2 Honors


Compare and contrast Algebra 2 vs. Algebra 2 Honors on various parameters:

  • Prerequisite knowledge
  • Scope of Course Content & Lesson Structure
  • Skills needed for success
  • Tests, Quizzes, Homework, & Projects
  • Teacher expectations
  • Typical next course

Prerequisite Knowledge

Algebra 2

  • Geometry grade of C or better
  • Solid foundation of basic Algebra skills
    • May need to refresh algebra skills if “rusty”

Algebra 2 Honors

  • Grade of B or better in Honors Geometry, or…
  • Grade of A in Geometry…
  • Well-developed understanding of algebra concepts & skills
  • (A in Algebra 1)
  • Advanced, precise math vocabulary

Course Content & Lesson Structure

Algebra 2

  • Cover Virginia SoL and FCPS content rqmts.
  • Broad range of topics (See next page)
  • Lesson often lecture-based with guided notes
  • All material presented in class (external research or reading typically not required)
  • Some memorization required
  • Problems in lessons map directly to problems in homework and assessments
  • Same textbook as Honors

Algebra 2 Honors

  • More challenging problems, more depth of content, and extensions
  • Explore multiple ways to solve a problem
  • Frequent “discovery” learning & peer discussion
  • Fast-paced instruction/classwork
  • Student responsible for notetaking, and supplementing class instruction with textbook reading & external research (internet…)
  • Encounter “new” problems in homework and tests that require novel application of knowledge

Algebra 2 Covers a very broad range of concepts/topics:

  • Graphing
  • Absolute Value
  • Linear Programming
  • Polynomial Functions (equations with x3, x4, x5, …)
  • Square Roots, Cube Roots, 4th Roots, …
  • Logarithms & Exponents
  • Complex (Imaginary) Numbers
  • Rational Functions
  • Probability with Sequence & Series
  • Matrix Algebra

Algebra 2 Honors adds several extensions

  • Matrix Algebra
  • Conics
  • Families of Lines
  • Piecewise Functions …

Skills for Success

Algebra 2

  • Organized notes / materials
  •  Completes homework on time
  • Prepares for tests/quizzes
  • Gets help when needed
  • Willing to work through difficult problems
  • Willing to learn procedures to solve problems

Algebra 2 Honors

  • Well-organized notes / materials
  • Completes homework and further researches topics of interest
  • Confident in math abilities  Proactively seeks help when needed; uses peer study groups
  • Seeks challenging problems and enjoys overcoming obstacles
  • Wants to understand concepts behind math rules & procedures
  • Seeks best way to solve a problem  Enjoys talking about math
  • Actively participates in class
  • Finds math FUN! [like a game]

Homework and Assessments

Algebra 2

  • 30-45 minutes for homework per block class
  • Homework problems match problems covered in class
  • Additional examples & practice available in textbook
  • Basic homework problems assigned
  • Some tests are cumulative
  • Test questions mirror classwork and homework
  • Flexible test time (generally)

Algebra 2 Honors

  • 45-60 minutes for homework per block class
  • Most homework and test problems match lesson examples, but some problems require students to apply what they have learned to a unique context
  • Challenging homework problems assigned
  • Most tests are cumulative
  • Test problems may require creative approach applying skills
  • Tests are time-constrained
  • Occasional “project” assignments

Teacher Expectations

Algebra 2

  • Attend class on time
  • Complete homework 
  • ake accurate class notes
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Prepare for assessments
  • Contribute to class discussions
  • Actively participate in group work

Algebra 2 Honors

  • Engage in active class discussions
  • Complete problems quickly and accurately
  • Homework is neat, correct, and thorough
  • Proactively seek help when needed, and offer help to peers
  • Research related math topics and share insights with class
  • Offer different / better ways to solve a problem
  • Make connections & conjectures based on prior knowledge
  • Precise math vocabulary & skills

Typical Next Course

Algebra 2

Most Algebra 2 students are sophomores, and will follow one of the following paths in their final two high school years:

  • Pre-Calculus to Calculus AB
  • Pre-Calculus to Calculus (non-AP)
  • Pre-Calculus to Prob/Stat
  • Pre-Calculus to Comp Science 

Algebra 2 Honors

Algebra 2 Honors students are usually freshmen or sophomores, and may plan on one of these paths for the next two years:

  • Pre-Calculus Honors to Calculus BC
  • Pre-Calculus Honors to Calculus AB

If schedules permit, these students may additionally schedule one of these math courses:

  • AP Statistics
  • AP Computer Science

Always consult with Student Services (Guidance) and the Career Center for insight into course selection and college placement.