Category Archives: Math

Integrated Algebra I (Michael J. Coffey)

This class will cover the skills and concepts of High School Algebra I, which includes a lot of ideas about relationships between numbers, and learning the special language of math.  That includes things like:

  • learning how to convert real-world problems and situations into mathematical descriptions of what’s going on, like using an equation to describe the movement of a ball when you throw it
  • looking at different ways of representing and manipulating numbers, even when you don’t know specifically what number you’re working with (variables, exponents, roots)
  • new functions and equations–and what can be done with them
  • graphing and estimation skills
  • some techniques for analyzing and comparing different data sets
  • practice thinking in specific ways in order to solve problems (rather than guessing or experimenting)

We will discuss in class what your math goals are.  However, keep in mind that most high school algebra classes meet 5 days a week and we will only meet for 2 days each week.  If your academic goals are to learn the equivalent of a public high school’s amount of math, you will have to do a significant amount of work on your own.

I will also expect you to take notes in class, but will be having little “mini lessons” on note taking to help you learn how if you’re not comfortable with it.  (And I’m happy to work with all kinds of brains to find a style that works for you.)

Will happen in one of the two Monday/Tuesday morning slots.

Integrated Algebra II (Michael J. Coffey)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This class will cover the skills and concepts of high school Algebra II, which includes includes things like:

  • learning more complex techniques for problem-solving with mathematical models, like figuring out compound interest for an investment, or predicting manufacturing costs for a product
  • refine algebraic skills of manipulating mathematical symbols and doing computations for different types of numbers, like imaginary and complex numbers
  • new functions and equations, many that can be used for scientific or statistical analysis
  • work with probability, combinations, and permutations, leading to answers to questions such as “how likely is this to happen?” or “how many different combinations can be made from these?”
  • solving systems of multiple equations with multiple variables and other knowledge that sets you up for trigonometry and calculus
  • develop formal problem-solving processes, reasoning about problems, and communicating how and why you think a particular answer is correct or incorrect from a mathematical standpoint

We will discuss in class what your math goals are.  However, keep in mind that most high school algebra classes meet 5 days a week and we will only meet for 2 days each week.  If your academic goals are to learn the equivalent of a public high school’s amount of math, you will have to do a significant amount of work on your own.

I will also expect you to take notes in class, but will be having little “mini lessons” on note taking to help you learn how if you’re not comfortable with it.  (And I’m happy to work with all kinds of brains to find a style that works for you.)

Will happen in one of the two Monday/Tuesday slots.

Required texts/materials: We will be using the textbook Intermediate Algebra 2e.  Before the first day of class, students should download the PDF version of the book from https://openstax.org/details/books/intermediate-algebra-2e (link on the left-hand side under "Get the Book") and have it ready on their computer. Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: Before the first class meeting

MichaelMath (Michael J. Coffey)

Want a little more support in learning math?  Maybe that means extra time to work on your homework or doing practice problems with someone nearby who can answer your questions.  Maybe you need a short one-on-one meeting to work through something tricky.  That’s the main purpose for this class:  math time with Michael.  

However, for anyone waiting for their time to meet with Michael, or who already finished their math work, each session will start with an introduction to a different math game.  That’s right, every single day of MichaelMath for the entire year will include learning a new math-based game. Michael will tell you how to play at the start of the class, and by the end we’ll also take a few minutes to peek at the math ideas embedded in that game.  Then, those who want to dive into the game can do so, while Michael meets with those who want his time, and those who want to work on math by themselves can do that, too.

Geometry (Scobie)

In this long-running, year-long PSCS class, we’ll review basic elements of geometry and geometric definitions. We’ll learn and refine geometric drawing techniques while looking at the practical math and beauty of geometric relationships. We’ll also continue to explore measurement and systems of measurement for distance, angle, slope, area, and volume, linear and non-linear equations, graphing, visual proofs, algebraic proofs, and other explorations. The class will finish in the spring with a unique introduction to the core principles of Trigonometry as inspired by an insightful New Zealand math curriculum. Sometimes we work from a book, like a ‘normal’ math class. Other times we learn with physical models, drawings, and other resources.

  • Some algebra is required. If you have the equivalent of a high school Alg.1 class, you’ll be fine as long as you’re willing to to work to revive your skills. If you have only the bare essentials of algebra, you’ll need to be willing to work hard at some specific sections of the class, but there will also be parts of the class that don’t require any algebra.
  • expect occasional in-class tests, quizzes, and puzzles
  • expect collaboration on some work
  • be able to maintain a quiet non-social work environment when asked
  • for sure there is homework; a full credit of HS math requires some work outside of class

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.