AoPS Algebra question

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I know this has been addressed before but search is failing me right now.

We are doing what I would like to call your typical 9th grade "algebra 1" this school year.  We plan to use AoPS Intro to Algebra.  I vaguely recall that the book actually covers what would normally be two years of high school algebra.  Is that correct?  If so, at what point in the book should we aim to cover for "algebra1?"

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Thank you!

This is exactly what I was looking for.  Dd may go into traditional school the following year so I would like to have her on track to enter a traditional math sequence should that be required.

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Thank you!

This is exactly what I was looking for.  Dd may go into traditional school the following year so I would like to have her on track to enter a traditional math sequence should that be required.

If your dd ends up going to traditional school, I'd see about getting info on the algebra 1 course, such as what text the school uses, or a syllabus would be even better.  Most schools will require a test of some kind to place out of algebra 1 and you'd want to prepare for all topics.  There used to be a bit more standardization in the sequence but Common Core has messed that up a bit.  For example, AoPS doesn't mention functions until the later half of the text, and then will go deep of course, but in many schools there's a lot of shallow function coverage in 8th and in algebra 1, really more of a notation thing than anything else plus perhaps finding the vertex of a parabola - just little things you'll want to address before your student needs to take a placement test at school.

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The also pushed down some algebra into grades 7 and 8, so new algebra 1 standards start out with functions, which are found in the second half of intro to Algebra book. I would say the entire book is enhanced Algebra 1.

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The also pushed down some algebra into grades 7 and 8, so new algebra 1 standards start out with functions, which are found in the second half of intro to Algebra book. I would say the entire book is enhanced Algebra 1.

Do you (or others) think it is feasible to finish the whole book in a single academic year for a bight-but-not-gifted-pretty-normal-teen?  She did AoPS pre-A last year and we barely finished by the end of the year.  I get the impression from reading here that there is a big jump from pre-A to algebra?  I would prefer to just cover the whole book but don't want to overdo it.

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Do you (or others) think it is feasible to finish the whole book in a single academic year for a bight-but-not-gifted-pretty-normal-teen? She did AoPS pre-A last year and we barely finished by the end of the year. I get the impression from reading here that there is a big jump from pre-A to algebra? I would prefer to just cover the whole book but don't want to overdo it.

Yes, it is. My 10 year old finished it in 11 months and he is also just a bright kid.

I would ask Regentrude and Kathy in Richmond if they think there is anything in that book you can drop, as in extras that aren't needed if you need more time.

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I wouldn't skip any parts of the Intro to Algebra book, but I'd consider taking longer than one year.

Many consider the first 13 chapters (through quadratic equations) as Algebra 1. The other things sometimes covered are a very simple introduction to matrices (how to find a determinant), basic function notation, the vertex of a parabola. AoPS doesn't introduce these topics until later and then they take them much more in depth.

Many schools only cover the rest of the Intro to Algebra book as their Algebra 2 class and nothing else is covered. (Parts of the Intermediate Algebra book are typically covered in a precalculus class and other parts of that book simply go deeper than what is typically covered.)

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Do you (or others) think it is feasible to finish the whole book in a single academic year for a bight-but-not-gifted-pretty-normal-teen?  She did AoPS pre-A last year and we barely finished by the end of the year.  I get the impression from reading here that there is a big jump from pre-A to algebra?  I would prefer to just cover the whole book but don't want to overdo it.

Pre-A is the hardest of the bunch, imho.  Intro to Algebra moves along a bit quicker.

As for worries about transitioning to "regular" algebra, I'd say there's not much to be concerned about.  Yes, she may get some review when she takes algebra 2, but a little review won't hurt.

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Pre-A is the hardest of the bunch, imho.  Intro to Algebra moves along a bit quicker.

As for worries about transitioning to "regular" algebra, I'd say there's not much to be concerned about.  Yes, she may get some review when she takes algebra 2, but a little review won't hurt.

Well, that is good to hear.  I have been keeping myself up at night in fear of math this year.  Dd really loves the AoPS approach but there were a couple of chapters that I thought we would still be working on in college!

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That is a good point.  If she did the Prealgebra text, the first few chapters of Intro to Algebra will go quickly.  If she'll be going to school the following year, I'd just get as much of Intro to Alg finished as she has time for, and then spend a few days doing a little test prep before any algebra 1 placement test/final exam at the school (I probably have a couple of placement test preparation links around here someplace, as we did this last January when my boys switched schools).  I would try to find out ahead of time when the school usually does placement tests - some schools do them in April or May for a fall start, while others may wait until August, etc.  (ETA, if you get really really lucky, while poking around the math department's page, you might find a link to a teacher's class page that may shed light on syllabus, text, topics, review packets. etc.  Often that is on a secure site someplace else, but once in a while a school will have that stuff publicly available.  If not, you can usually find out at least the text name by emailing a teacher.)

Edited by wapiti

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Many schools only cover the rest of the Intro to Algebra book as their Algebra 2 class and nothing else is covered. (Parts of the Intermediate Algebra book are typically covered in a precalculus class and other parts of that book simply go deeper than what is typically covered.)

I am not sure if this is still the case. Since the adoption of Common Core (most states adopted this), Algebra 1 standards are more uniform. Functions are covered in Algebra 1, but not until the second half of Intro to Algebra book.

I think designating chapters 1-13 as Algebra 1 isn't the best approach.

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Dd may go into traditional school the following year so I would like to have her on track to enter a traditional math sequence should that be required.

If the intention is to test out of algebra 1, then I would be looking at what textbook the school is using this year and do a crash course on anything not covered by the aops intro to algebra book. For example. my oldest did spent a day reviewing probability and statistics because it was on his end of course exam.

Here placement tests is quite common in April/May. However there is nothing to prevent you from registering late and do the placement tests in early August. A friend's 9th grader just had all her placement tests done before school starts this week as they relocated here in Summer. Her assigned high school is not a lottery school though so very low risk of wait listing.

The first five chapters of intro to algebra is review. Also you can keep the challenge problems for later, we did those after we finish the book.

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Thanks for the advice.  The possibility of dd going to school is very slim but I still want to be prepared just in case.  We will know more both about school and how to approach AoPS after we have gotten a few months under our belt.  If it looks like we really can finish the book, we will.  If not, I will have to ask some questions.

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FWIW, the University of California counts the second half of AoPS Intro to Algebra as Algebra 2.  I suspect if your DD covers Chapters 1-13 well, she will have no trouble with public school Algebra 2.

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FWIW, the University of California counts the second half of AoPS Intro to Algebra as Algebra 2. I suspect if your DD covers Chapters 1-13 well, she will have no trouble with public school Algebra 2.

I didn't know this. That's great to hear!

We are also looking for eventual transition to PS, so when I looked at standards I decided I would have to finish half of Intermediate Algebra in addition to Intro text to cover that's on standards.

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I didn't know this. That's great to hear!

We are also looking for eventual transition to PS, so when I looked at standards I decided I would have to finish half of Intermediate Algebra in addition to Intro text to cover that's on standards.

Here's the link to the UC page; you have to scroll down to get to the appropriate content (in case you are on a phone and initially miss it.  Not that I did that, or anything...)

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Here's the link to the UC page; you have to scroll down to get to the appropriate content (in case you are on a phone and initially miss it. Not that I did that, or anything...)

That's confusing. They list Algebra B as Algebra 2, and they list Intermediate Algebra as Algebra 2.

ðŸ˜³

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Fwiw, I think half of Alg 2 is in the intro book and half in the Intermediate, which also has much more. This mostly matters for a student switching texts or switching to school.

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Fwiw, I think half of Alg 2 is in the intro book and half in the Intermediate, which also has much more. This mostly matters for a student switching texts or switching to school.

Yes, for those of us who want to place into precalculus in PS. ðŸ˜‚

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Yes, for those of us who want to place into precalculus in PS. ðŸ˜‚

My friend's kids just did placement tests for "a certain top south bay district" before school start. The admin ignored their transcripts from another state when doing placement. They are entering 7th and 9th.

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Yes, for those of us who want to place into precalculus in PS. ðŸ˜‚

If your child completed the Intro book at age 10 with little trouble, I seriously doubt that the child will have any trouble with public school precalculus.

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If your child completed the Intro book at age 10 with little trouble, I seriously doubt that the child will have any trouble with public school precalculus.

It's not a matter of having trouble, but knowing that one needs to get through half of Intermediate text if planning on taking precalculus at PS, or potentially having some holes in Algebra 2 if only completing the Intro text. It's not s big deal if no transition to PS is planned.

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My youngest did the Algebra book, it took a bit over 1 year. She was rather young (5th & 6th grades), so I didn't rush it. She did just great. I think you can comfortably do it in a single year without much trouble.

If you look at the entire table of contents, and plan for 1 day for each section (excluding the summary sections) and then 4-5 days in total for each end-of-chapter review/challenge section, that, IME, gives a very realistic schedule of less than an hour a day of work. That's how we've been scheduling my kids' AoPS for years, and it works out great (as long as they stick to the schedule, lol).

It's been a while since we did Algebra, but I just checked my old schedule, and, it was 207 days of work using 5 days for the total for each of the end-of-chapter problem sets. There are 22 chapters, so if you make that 4 days for end-of-chapter (perfectly reasonable, and what we are doing this year with AoPS Geometry for her), then that would bring you down to 185 days (give or take if my 3 year old spreadsheet had a missed section or two), which is pretty close to my standard of 180 days in a school year.

I love, love, love AoPS, so I wouldn't suggest skipping anything. It's too awesome to miss any of it. :)

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