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Topic: A few ideas to get us started
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 5, 1996 3:44 PM

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 Eileen Schoaff Posts: 39 Registered: 12/3/04
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, right-triangle 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 two-column 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 3-course sequence, but not
all take it at the "Regents" level. That is, they do the course, but don't
take the state-wide exam in June. I do like the integration because it does
show the relationships between geometry and probability and algebra better.

Eileen Schoaff
ex-Chicagoan from Kelly High School and Knox College in Galesburg.
Buffalo State College
Buffalo, NY 14222

Date Subject Author
8/5/96 John A Benson
8/5/96 Eileen Schoaff