WRHS Mathematics Program Guide
Classes and Faculty
Department Head: Chris Brewer 508-829-6771 ext. 1631
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PDF Version of Math Program Guide
The WRHS Mathematics Program
pdf version of the full WRHS Math Program Guide
The goal of the WRHS Mathematics Program is to continue to provide learning opportunities, support, and encouragement for all students in a mathematics program that includes a strong emphasis on fundamental understanding of the basic concepts and skills of algebra and geometry, and to improve their understanding of statistics and probability in preparation for their individual future mathematics courses of study, and for standardized testing. Additionally it will continue to provide a variety of advanced mathematics courses that will extend, advance, and broaden the mathematics understanding and knowledge base of all students during their four-year high school experience. This is done through aligning our programs with the standards established by the NTCM and Massachusetts State Frameworks.
Wachusett’s graduation requirement in Mathematics is 15 credits for all classes. However, it is recommended that all students complete a full mathematics sequence designed to meet their needs and post-secondary goals.
The use of calculators is an integral part of the mathematics courses offered at Wachusett. Although the type of required calculator depends on the individual course, it is recommended that all students have access to a scientific calculator for their use on homework, projects, etc. The advent of the graphing calculator has brought about many changes in the curriculum, reflected in textbooks, courseware, and the classroom. Some courses offered in the Mathematics Program will require the use of a calculator with the ability to graph and are specifically identified in the course description.
Mathematics is a course that requires the student to continually apply and increase the level of learning, day to day. It is therefore expected that each student will be prepared for class and will participate in his or her class. This requires that all homework and additional studying be completed in preparation for each day’s class.
When a course is offered at multiple levels, students should take the level recommended by their present math teacher.
Mathematics Course Descriptions
Lower School Options
Algebra 1 (H, CPA, CP; Grade 9) 5 credits
This course is the foundation for all future math courses at the high school and college level. This course reinforces and continues to develop fundamental math skills that are needed at all level of mathematics. This course explores the many uses of Algebra in the real world. Some of the concepts studied are solving linear equations and inequalities, solving systems of equations, and solving quadratic equations.
Fundamentals of Algebra 1 (CP, Grade 9) 5 credits
This course is the first year of a four-year math program. The course will reinforce and develop fundamental math skills needed for future math courses. Topics include: solving equations and inequalities, graphing linear functions, writing linear functions, solving systems, and exponential functions and sequences. Note to students who plan to play sports in college: NCAA has not approved this class as a core course requirement.
Geometry (H, CPA, CP; Grades 9, 10) 5 credits
The goals of this course are to have students investigate and master the concepts and relationships of geometry before they are introduced to formal proofs. The subjects are brought to life with investigations, constructions, activities, and projects. Students apply inductive reasoning as they perform investigations, look for patterns, and make conjectures. They follow algebraic, paragraph, and flow-chart proofs building their reasoning and logic skills prior to getting to formal proofs where they can better understand the relevance of the proof. Students in Geometry CP will develop all the standard geometry skills but the course will have less emphasis on formal deductive proof.
Fundamentals of Geometry (CP, Grade 10) 5 credits
This course is the second year of a four-year math program. The course will continue to develop algebra skills and explore the essential concepts of geometry. Topics include: reasoning in geometry, parallel and perpendicular lines, parallel lines and angles, polygon properties, circles, area, Pythagorean Theorem and special right triangles, volume, and probability and statistics. Note to students who plan to play sports in college: NCAA has not approved this class as a core course requirement.
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Basic Mathematics (Grades 9-12) 5 credits
This course provides extensive review of the basic fundamentals of arithmetic. Instruction is individualized and, depending upon each student's skills, may include all or some of the following: basic operations, fractions, decimals, percentages, measurement and consumer math. Students also learn critical thinking skills to solve problems similar to those faced in everyday living situations and on the MCAS.
Basic Math Connections I (Grades 9-10) 5 credits
This course is the first year of a two-year math program that is designed to provide an introduction to the basic concepts of both algebra and geometry utilizing an integrated approach. This course will prepare students for entrance into Basic Math Connections II. Topics covered will include: problem solving, variables, exponents, solving equations, finding area, rounding decimals, estimating, working with decimals, metric system, scientific notation, mean, median, mode, factoring, ratios, fractions, decimals, percents, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing integers, number patterns, and graphing. This course will offer exposure to the above topics with multiple opportunities for drill and practice. Concepts will be covered at a slow pace with multiple opportunities for drill and practice in preparation for the MCAS test. Note to students who plan to play sports in college: The NCAA has not approved this class as a core course requirement.
Lower School / Upper School Options
Algebra 2 (H, CPA, CP; Grades 10, 11) 5 credits
This class prepares students to take Pre-Calculus and Statistics. A major goal of this course is for students to develop skills in manipulating and solving linear, quadratic, exponential, polynomial, radical, rational, and logarithmic equations. Topics include linear functions, systems, matrices, polynomial functions, rational expressions, powers, roots, radicals, quadratics, exponential and logarithmic functions, and inverse functions. It is recommended that students taking Algebra 2 at the Honors level have a graphing calculator (TI-83, TI-84, or TI-84 Plus).
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Basic Math Connections II (Grades 10-12) 5 credits
This is the second course in the sequence of the two-year math program that is designed to provide an introduction to the basic concepts of both algebra and geometry utilizing an integrated approach. This course will extend student knowledge in algebra, geometry, and introduce statistics and probability and prepare students for a transition to regular education courses, Math Connections I and II. Concepts will be covered at a slow pace with multiple opportunities for drill and practice in preparation for the MCAS test. This course is not available to students who have already passed the MCAS math exam. Note to students who plan to play sports in college: The NCAA has not approved this class as a core course requirement.
Math (CP, Grades 9-12) 5 credits
This course is formatted for the Learning Disabled student with application of appropriate modifications and learning strategies that address the specific learning styles of each individual student. Classes are conducted in a small, structured setting where the curriculum parallels that of the mainstream classroom. Emphasis is on verbal/oral presentation of lessons and materials paired with individualized instruction. Topics presented include basic computation of negative/positive integers, algebraic equations, graphing, word problems, logic, and basic geometry.
Upper School Options
Fundamentals of Algebra 2 (CP, Grade 11) 5 credits
This course is the third year of a four-year math program. The course will spend time strengthening previously learned math skills. Topics include: operations on real numbers; properties of exponents; solving multi-step equations and inequalities involving fractions; linear, absolute value, and quadratic functions and their graphs; factoring; solving and graphing systems of two equations and inequalities; operations on matrices; and operations on polynomials. Note to students who plan to play sports in college: The NCAA has not approved this class as a core course requirement.
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Advanced Mathematical Concepts (CP, Grade 12) 5 credits
This course is the fourth year of a four-year math program designed to prepares students for a first year college-level mathematics course. Topics covered include: relations and functions; composite functions and their inverses and their graphs; solving systems of three equations using substitution and linear combinations; matrix topics including solving matrix equations; augmented matrices, inverses, and encryption/decryption; factoring completely; rational expressions and equations; radical expressions and equations; and applications of exponential functions. Note to students who plan to play sports in college: NCAA has not approved this class as a core course requirement.
Pre-Calculus (H, CPA, CP; Grades 11, 12) 5 credits
This course is very rigorous and prepares students to take Calculus in the future. It expands upon some concepts studied in Algebra 2 such as polynomial functions, matrices, and complex numbers. It includes an in depth study of many other types of functions including linear, composite, inverse, exponential, rational, and trigonometric. It also introduces advanced mathematical concepts such as conics, polar coordinates and sequences and series. Some mathematical modeling is done to relate these pre-calculus concepts to the real world. A graphing calculator is required for this course (TI-83, TI-84, or TI-84 Plus).
Applied Calculus and Finite Mathematics (H/CPA, Grade 12) 5 credits
This course will meet as a combined H/CPA class. This course is designed to expose college-bound students to mathematical topics universal to all majors. It includes such advanced topics as calculus, the theory of games, systems of linear equations, linear programming, the simplex method, and general problem solving techniques. A graphing calculator is required for this course (TI-83, TI-84, or TI-84 Plus).
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Probability and Statistics (CPA, Grade 12) 5 credits
This course will use an activity-based approach to probability and statistics. The course will cover such topics as collecting and displaying data, measures of central tendency and variation, basic probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and chi-square analysis. A graphing calculator is required for this course (TI-83, TI-84, or TI-84 Plus).
Advanced Placement Statistics (AP, Grades 11, 12) 5 credits
This course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students who successfully complete the course and AP Examination may receive credit and/or advanced placement for up to two semesters of college coursework in Statistics. A graphing calculator is required for this course (TI-83, TI-84, or TI-84 Plus). Algebra 2 Honors students with a B- or higher may take AP Statistics and Pre-Calculus concurrently.
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Advanced Placement Calculus AB (AP, Grade 12) 5 Credits
This is a college-level mathematics course that follows the guidelines from the AP College Board to prepare students for the AP Exam and the second year of calculus at the college level. Students will study the four major topics of calculus: limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and differential equations. The course emphasizes multiple approaches to calculus, with concepts, results and problems being expressed graphically, numerically, and analytically. A graphing calculator is required for the AP Exam, and it is required that all students enrolling in this course have one of their own to use in class and at home
Advanced Placement Calculus BC (AP, Grade 12) 7½ Credits
This course is an extension of Calculus AB rather than an enhancement; it includes all the topics covered in AB as well as parametric, polar, and vector representations of functions. The course emphasizes multiple approaches to calculus, with concepts, results and problems being expressed graphically, numerically, and analytically. A graphing calculator is required for the AP Exam, and it is required that all students enrolling in this course have one of their own to use in class and at home. Students who take the BC exam will receive an exam score for AB calculus as well.
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