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Here's the deal:  I'm working on curriculum for my school and Algebra 2 is making my eyes cross.  I think the major problem is the state of Virginia is in a transition year between "old" Standards of Learning (SOLs), and "new" ones.  This year is supposed to be the year that we're still teaching and assessing the old SOLs, but we're supposed to teach the new ones, too.  Those of you that teach Algebra 2 already know that there's an enormous amount of information to cover in a short period of time.  To give you context, our school teaches it as a semester-long block course.  There's only so much a brain can handle in one day, though! 

Here's the first draft of my skills list and structure...I'm not sure what to do about the old vs. new SOLs (my skills list is based on the old SOLs because that is what will be assessed).

Note:  Gray items are not included in old or new SOLs but might be necessary for student understanding
          Blue items are being taken out of the SOLs starting next year
          Red items are new to the SOLs starting this year

Unit 1 Algebra 1 Review/Solving Equations

1 Solve multi-step equations and inequalities
2 Matrix +/-
3 Solve compound inequalities
4 Solve absolute value equations
5 Solve absolute value inequalities

Unit 2 Polynomial Review/Add Depth

6 Factor trinomial a = 1
7 Factor trinomial a > 1
8 Factor special cases (sum/diff of cubes, diff of squares, perfect square trinomials)
9 Factor out GCF first (factor completely)
10 Exponent rules
11 +/- polynomials
12 Multiply polynomials
13 Divide polynomials

Unit 3 Rational Expressions

14 Identify undefined values
15 Simplify rational expressions by factoring and canceling out common factors
16 Multiply and divide fractions
17 Multiply and divide rational expressions
18 Add and subtract fractions
19 Add and subtract rational expressions
20 Simplify complex fractions
21 Solve rational equations

Unit 4 Radicals, Radical Equations and Complex Numbers

22 Simplify numbers under radical
23 Simplify monomials under radical
24 Multiply and divide radicals
25 Add and subtract radicals
26 Nth roots to rational exponents and vice versa
27 Simplify expressions with nth roots and rational exponents
28 Solve radical equations
29 Simplify square roots with negative terms inside radical using i
30 Add and subtract complex numbers
31 Powers of i
32 Multiply complex numbers

Unit 5 Functions (intro)

33 Domain and range of relations (from ordered pairs, mapping, graph, table)
34 Identify relations that are functions and one-to-one
35 Given graph and a value k, find f(k)
36 Given graph, find zeros
37 Given graph and a value k, find where f(x)=k

Unit 6 Linear Functions

38 Slope from graph, equation, points
39 Graph from equation
40 Equation from graph
41 x- and y- intercepts
42 Determine whether lines are parallel, perpendicular, or neither from equation or graph
43 Write equations for parallel and perpendicular lines given line and point off the line
44 Graph linear inequalities

Unit 7 Systems

45 Solve systems of equations by graphing
46 Multiply Matrices using a graphing calculator
47 Inverse matrix method of systems
48 Systems of equations word problems
49 Graph systems of linear inequalities
50 Linear programming max/min problems

Unit 8 Functions (reprise)

51 Function math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
52 Function composition, find a value i.e. f(g(3))
53 Function composition, find the function i.e. f(g(x))
54 Find an inverse function by switching variables

Unit 9 Quadratics

55 Graph from vertex form, identify max/min and zeros
56 Solve by factoring
57 Solve by Quadratic Formula (including complex solutions)
58 Determine roots using the discriminant
59 Write equation for quadratic given roots
60 Quadratic systems
61 Polynomials: relating x-intercept, zeroes and factors
62 End behavior for polynomials

Unit 10 Exponential/Logarithmic functions

63 Exponential growth or decay from function
64 Sketch base graph of exponential/log functions
65 Exponential to log and vice versa
66 Data analysis/curve of best fit for linear, quadratic, exponential and log

Unit 11 Transformations and Parent Functions

67 Graph absolute value functions
68 Horizontal and vertical translations of linear, quadratic, cubic, abs value, exponential and log
69 Reflections and stretching of linear, quadratic, cubic, abs value, exponential and log
70 Combinations of transformations on parent functions
71 Identify parent graphs of parent functions
72 Identify equations of parent functions

Unit 12 Conics

73 Identify a conic from graph
74 Identify a conic from equation

Unit 13 Variations

75 Write equation for direct, inverse and joint variation problems
76 Find the constant of variation

Unit 14 Sequences/Series

77 Write n terms of an arithmetic sequence
78 Find the sum of a finite arithmetic series
79 Write n terms of geometric sequence
80 Find sum of geometric series
81 Use formulas to find nth term
82 Identify sequence/series as arithmetic, geometric or neither

Unit 15  Statistics

83 Determine probabilities associated with areas under the normal crve
84  Compute permutations and combinations

If you made it this far, here's my call for help:  Anyone have advice/suggestions for how to make this work and/or a better way to organize the information into cohesive units that seem to occur in a somewhat logical order?  There is and will continue to be an emphasis on function families and transformations (as there should be).  I find it difficult to express on paper how each function category needs to be a resting place, but they are all connected in the ways that transformations apply.  Any ideas?
...oh...and I'm going to be teaching one section of deaf students and one section of blind case that makes a difference

**edit:  I've added links to the old and new Virgina SOLs for Algebra 2 if anyone's interested**


  1. Every state and school is different, so of course I can only speak from my experience ... AND I haven't taught Alg2 in years, but I did teach precal and calculus for a long time. One suggestion is for you to ask the precalculus teacher which of your topics she/he would deem most important to stress and why. Another suggestion is to actually show the students this nice outline you made and keep referring back to it to see how much they've learned and how things are grouped. Another suggestion, if you have to cut things is to do without or minimize time spent on #s: 2,3,13, ... and anything the precalculus teacher says they teach.

    Good luck,

    Ms. Cookie

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