# Why to learn Algebra II

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I am looking for a person to talk via video conferencing to my Algebra II class "Why to learn Algebra II? When will I really use this in life?"

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As I found it in "science+electronics+_basic_", maybe you should start from the VERY basic - "Why to learn _at all_".

Good luck

Stanislaw.

PS. A Hassidic proverb "We always learn."

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Sad fact is, most people won't use it.

John

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What country do you live in? Your use of the infinitive is not very idiomatic, which indicates either that English is not your first language, or else you just don't type very carefully. But I suppose you want someone to address the students in English, because you posted in English. You might try the sci.math newsgroup... I like solving quirky math problems, like how to weigh a two foot piece of thin string when all you have is a U.S. quarter dollar, which weighs one fifth of an ounce. You can do it by tying the quarter to the end of the string, hanging that end of the string over a waxed nail and measuring the vertical deflection (droop) of the horizontal section of the string. Using basic algebra and geometry, you can calculate the weight of the string to a certain degree of accuracy just by measuring the droop. I think students will relate to something concrete if you leave out moral lecturing and advice about the future, because kids don't live in the future. Don't listen to the naysayers. This is a very worthwhile project, and you may even find that you do indeed get through to the students on some level, if you have the right approach.

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Ana's email address suggest that she works for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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Because learning _anything_ is a Good Thing. It trains your brain to think, and algebra, especially, is broadly applicable in all manner of problem-solving.

If they plan on getting any kind of technical job at all, knowing algebra could make the difference in whether or not they get the job, which will pay more than a job where you don't have to know anything.

Not to mention the sheer fun of learning stuff.

Once, on "are you smarter than a 5th grader", there was a map question, something like, "If the scale on the map says 1 inch = 5 miles, then how many miles is it between two cities that are 5 inches apart on the map?"

Jeff Foxworty, even though he'd said he didn't know any algebra, stood there and did the algebra in his head, and showed his work by doing it out loud.

Cheers Rich

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I'd suggest there's really more arithmetic than algebra. I mean, OK, yes, you can make an algebraic equation out of it, but I'm pretty sure most kids could've come up with the answer before having taken their first algebra class!

I was always surprised that "story problems" were so dreaded in school -- for me they were the most fun, because they showed you what sort of applications you could put all this math too (even if many of them were a bit contrived).

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The story problems were dreaded because you had to think a little to identify the operands and -Horrors!- decide which operation to perform. At that age, arithmetic is mostly a pointless ritual one performs to gain the approval of adults, so anything that delays the production of a quick, correct answer is a threat.

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Let's not confuse Algebra with Arithmetic...

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I'ts been puzzling me.

What's the significance of the "II" in Algebra II ?

Graham

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If you plan to work in a factory or cook hamburgers as a career, then no, it isn't very useful.

If, on the other hand, you plan to study virtually any science or economic major in college, then it is a good idea to take it in high school. A beginning freshman in engineering is expected to have already taken algebra and trigonometry and to be ready to start off with calculus I. Algebra and trigonometry are considered remedial classes in engineering.

Since science programs rely on the building of prerequisites, having to learn algebra in college could set you back a semester.

Don Kansas City

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Probably when they get to exponents, logs, quadratics, and things like "linear algebra".

I wonder if OP is following the thread?

Thanks, Rich

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What do you THINK it means? It is a second year of the subject, like all other 'II' courses.

--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I\'ve got my DD214 to
prove it.
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That style of nomenclature nor 'electronics 101' and the like isn't used in the UK but thanks for the explanation.

So how many years Algebra is typically taught in 'high school' as you call it in the USA ?

Graham

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In the 50's there was one algebra class in my HS, but we were allowed to take courses at the U of Oregon and were given both HS and college credit for them.

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in

In the HS I went to, a year; the following year we started getting into differential calculus. But college is generally measured in "terms" or "quarters" or "semesters" - I can't imagine spending a whole year on Alg. I.

Cheers! Rich

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So, to return to my original question .... how many years did you study Algebra at 'high school' ?

I'm doing my best to recall my own education in detail for comparison. I know we did Geometry at 'Prep School' - ie. age up to 11. Maybe just in the last year - from age 10 to 11. I'm not quite sure if we covered basic Algebra at that time.

I think Algebra was a standard component of the Mathematics we studied from age

11

- 18.

In the later years of that we were of course covering Calculus (differential equations, integration etc) and the like.

Graham

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the

it in

Geometry, Algebra and Calculus were simply components of the Mathematics we were taught over the years with increasing emphasis on the hard stuff as you got older !

At the 'O Level' examinations (taken age 16 normally) ..........

I took 2 exams in Mathematics. Maths and 'Addtional Maths'. The 'additional' bit basically being to prove that you were a 'clever clogs' with the difficult bits like calculus.

At 'A level' I took the 'Pure and Applied Mathematics' exam. This is the one designed for 'scientists'. It's tough ! I decided not to take the additional 'S level' exam in Maths (way too esoteric) although I was in the relevant 'stream' to do so, choosing only to take (and pass of curse ) the ultra-hard 'S level' Physics.

Anyone who passed an 'S level' was 'mentioned in despatches' so to speak at the soonest possible school assembly. We were considered 'heroes' of a sort.

Graham

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Algebra at

To answer your question, it's standard in the U.S. to take 2 years of algebra in high school. Alg. 1 in 9th grade, Alg. 2 in 11th grade, with a year of Geometry in between. Trigonometry (or "Pre-Calculus") is taken in 12th grade.

That being said, many kids take an "advanced track" in math, where everything is shifter 1 year earlier. In that case, calculus is taken in 12th grade.

Mark

we

age 11

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Algebra at

My math education sequence was Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and lastly Trig / Analysis.

I changed high schools in 10th grade due to the math teacher for algebra II not actually teaching algebra. The idiot had us performing arithmetic calculations. This caused me to take summer courses to catch up as it were. I was back on track after that incident.

I believe his name was Mr. Carpenter but I am not at all certain as my middle age brain has flushed that jerk from memory.

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