Let’s cut to the chase. Here are my units with SBG skills (and alignment to the Oklahoma Academic Standards) for both Geometry and Algebra 2:
Last year was my first year teaching under the American system, with brand new standards as well. There were some parts of my courses I was happy with, but a lot of things I’m changing this year.
I’m pretty happy with how Geometry went last year. I knew pretty much from the moment I was hired that I was going to be teaching it, so I had a lot of time to think about how I was going to arrange things.
The biggest change this year is moving Trigonometry from the end of the year. I realized as I went through other units that it would have been useful to have kids knowing how to use right-triangle trig to solve problems, especially ones involving area. I’ve also scrapped the introductory unit, which was mostly some Algebra 1 review and the Pythagorean Theorem. Pythagoras is joining the trig unit now, and I’ll review things like solving linear equations as the need arises.
Algebra 2 is changing a lot. Last year, my first non-introductory unit was Quadratics. I found the classes getting bogged down, not making a huge amount of progress. Having to cover both graphing as well as factoring and all the algebraic manipulation that goes along with it got to be a bit too much for my kids. I never really felt like we’d built a solid foundational context for the rest of the course to rest on.
This year, the start of the course is going to focus on functions, transformations and inverses. For quadratics that means only dealing with vertex form, as well as showing the relationship to square roots. We’ll cover all the functions that way, before coming back to all the other algebra we missed along the way. So we’ll cover quadratics again, including all the factoring and solving stuff.
While it’s not proper spiraling, I guess it’s sort of a slow spiral.
I’m also teaching Statistics this year, but I won’t be using SBG for it. I feel like I need to learn a bit more about how a standalone stats class works before I attempt that.