University of Chicago Algebra
The second year in a 6-year curriculum from a secular publisher. This course is designed to introduce the student to algebra and to prepare the student for geometry. Topics are presented in the following order: variables, algebraic multiplication (products and powers with negative numbers, the counting principle, factorials), addition (solving ax + b = c, the distributive property, linear expressions), subtraction (algebraic definition, triangle inequality), linear sentences, division (rates, probability, similar figures), slopes and lines, exponents and powers, quadratic equations and square roots, polynomials, linear systems, factoring, and functions. Although this text is carefully sequenced, I thought it was unusual to introduce the concept of functions in the last chapter instead of earlier, with linear equations or quadratics.
Please note that an automatic grapher is NOT required for this course even though the student will occasionally be asked to use one to graph an equation. An automatic grapher can be computer software with graphing capabilities or a graphing calculator. Graphing calculators are somewhat expensive are not required until the Advanced Algebra course. A ruler, protractor, graph paper, and scientific calculator are required. The calculator should be able to handle powering (xy), square roots, negative numbers, pi (p), reciprocals, and factorials (x!).