Math Teacher Recommendation Form
Rice Memorial High School Mathematics Department

• Algebra I - Parts 1 & 2 (two year program)
• Algebra I
• Algebra II or Honors Algebra II
• Geometry or Honors Geometry
• Pre-Calculus or Honors Pre-Calculus
• Calculus or AP Calculus AB
• Other math offerings: Statistics & Applied Mathematics

“So, when should students take algebra? Many students and parents interpret taking algebra in the seventh or eighth grade as an indication of a level of superior intelligence—a status symbol. My experience, both as a student and as a teacher, leads me to believe that we do more harm than good by placing students in a formal algebra course before they are ready, and few students are truly ready to understand the important concepts of algebra before eighth grade. Many students should wait until ninth grade.”
Algebra: Not 'If' but 'When'
By NCTM President Linda M. Gojak
NCTM Summing Up, December 3, 2013

Prerequisites for Secondary Mathematics Curriculum

Needed for Placement in Algebra Part One (first part of a two year Algebra I program):

*developing proficiency with multiplication facts
*developing proficiency with writing fractions in simplest form
*developing proficiency with rational numbers
(performing operations with both integers and fractions)

Needed for Placement in Algebra I (in addition to proficiency with skills stated above):

*developing an understanding of algebraic language
(key terms: integers & rational numbers, expression vs. equation,
simplify vs. solve, solution, factor vs. multiple, inverse operations)
*understanding of the aptness of required work when completing
problems and willingness to show these steps
*ability to simplify expressions using the order of operations
*developing an ability to solve multi-step equations

To best cultivate the study of secondary mathematics, the Rice Mathematics Department strongly supports a high level of proficiency with the topics of Algebra I prior to enrollment in Algebra II.

Needed for Placement in Algebra II (in addition to mastery of all skills stated above):

*proficiency with solving first degree equations with variable on both sides
*proficiency with graphing linear equations
*proficiency with solving systems of linear equations:
-using both substitution and elimination
*proficiency with working with polynomials:
-add, subtract, multiply(distributive & FOIL), divide(monomials only)
*proficiency with factoring polynomials:
-using GCF, general trinomials, and difference of two squares
*proficiency with solving quadratic equations:
-using both factoring and quadratic formula
*proficiency with simplifying radical expressions:
-square roots only (both rational and irrational, including rationalizing
the denominator, but use of variables is not required)
*proficiency with solving proportions and developing an ability to solve other
rational equations (but use of variables in the denominator is not required)

Needed for Placement in Honors Algebra II (in addition to mastery at a higher level of proficiency of all skills stated above) :

*ability to retain concepts for cumulative testing
*ability to apply concepts from multiple units and use abstract reasoning to
solve a single problem
*ability to demonstrate a deeper understanding of solutions through use
of coherent and thorough explanations of mathematical reasoning
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