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Re: A few ideas to get us started
Posted:
Aug 5, 1996 3:44 PM


I am not on your list, but being an Illinois woman, I have a vicarious interest in this. In New York State, our curriculum is integrated. We do triangle congruences and symmetry and transformations in 9th grade, along with introductory algebra (through easy factoring, a = 1), introductory logic (truth tables, etc), introductory statistics, introductory probability, coordinate geometry associated with lines, slope, etc. In the tenth year we do the usual synthetic geometry associated with triangles and polygons, parallel lines, etc. We also graph the parabola using transformations, more factoring, completing the square and quadratic formula, more logic including proofs, more probability, righttriangle trigonometry, coordinate geometry with the distance formula and proofs using coordinate geometry. In the third year, the geometry proofs of the circle and trigonometry, logarithms, functions and inverse functions, Bayes theorem and other probability, variance and standard deviation are covered.
One complaint is that not enough solid time is devoted to each topic for complete understanding. One defense is that the spiraling curriculum gives students a chance later to understand something. Also, there is not a killer year of all geometry, or all algebra, for those who do not get it.
I cannot imagine teaching only synthetic geometry  it would have to include coordinate and transformational geometry as well. Proof is still important, but students should see various proofs  not just the twocolumn types from synthetic geometry. They should see logic proofs, proof by induction, geometric probability proofs, paragraph proofs, algebraic proofs.
Is New York's system best? Hard to tell. There are many drawbacks. One of the original arguments was that it would encourage more students to stay in the Regents math curriculum. Many more students take our Course 1, 2, 3 sequence than typical in other schools because they need the 3course sequence, but not all take it at the "Regents" level. That is, they do the course, but don't take the statewide exam in June. I do like the integration because it does show the relationships between geometry and probability and algebra better.
Good luck with your conference. Eileen Schoaff exChicagoan from Kelly High School and Knox College in Galesburg. Buffalo State College Buffalo, NY 14222



