Mathematics at Avon Old Farms School
Developing strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills empowers students to find success not only in mathematics, but also in other disciplines.
Faculty help students develop the skills necessary to effectively utilize technology as a mathematical tool for exploration and analysis. We nurture an appreciation for mathematics as an exact science and the role it plays in the fields of physical science, art, philosophy, engineering, architecture, and industry.
"I love leveraging my many years of business experience to teach teenage boys about the importance of mathematics and problem solving. Avon's small classroom sizes allows me to get to know each one of my students as an individual, which makes teaching even more rewarding."
Glenn Sieber, Mathematics Department Chair
- Algebra 1
- Algebra 2 with Trigonometry
- Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Honors
- Precalculus Honors
- Advanced Placement Calculus AB
- Advanced Placement Calculus BC
- Multivariable Calculus
- Computer Science Principles
- Advanced Placement Computer Science A
- Mobile Application Development
- Differential Equations
- Advanced Functional Analysis
- Geometry Honors
- Advanced Placement Statistics
- Probability and Statistics
Algebra 1 introduces the student to fundamental operations using signed numbers and their elementary applications. The goal of Algebra 1 is to develop fluency in working with expressions, equations and variables. Students will extend their experiences with tables, graphs, and learn to solve linear equations, inequalities and systems of linear equations. Students will generate equivalent expressions and begin to apply formulas to methodically solve questions involving motion, speed and distance. Students will simplify polynomials and begin to study and apply strategies to solve quadratic relationships.
Students will use technology to learn, investigate, and develop strategies for analyzing complex situations and mathematical relationships. Topics covered in the course include grouping techniques, exponents, algebraic fractions, linear and quadratic equations, radicals, graphing, inequalities, and the solution of verbal problems.
Algebra 2 with Trigonometry
This course is a more intensive and extensive study of topics introduced in Algebra 1. The primary objective of the Algebra 2 curriculum is to prepare students for Precalculus or Precalculus Honors. The course is designed to prepare students for college level mathematics and is beneficial for those who will pursue further study in mathematics or related fields. Extensive work is included with equalities, inequalities, absolute value, fractional and negative exponents, radicals, systems of quadratics, logarithms and trigonometric properties. The content of the course is organized around families of functions, including linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, radical and rational functions. Students will learn to represent functions in multiple ways, including verbal descriptions, equations, tables, and graphs. Students will also learn to model real-world situations using functions. To help students prepare for standardized tests, this course provides instruction and practice in a variety of formats. Graphing calculator skills will be taught and used extensively in this course. Throughout this course, students will develop learning strategies, critical thinking skills, and problem solving techniques to prepare for future math courses and college entrance exams.
Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Honors
This course is an extensive, fast-moving study of the fundamental principles of algebra and trigonometry. Topics covered in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Honors include linear equations and inequalities, functions, polynomials, complex numbers, quadratic equations and inequalities. Solving word problems and graphing (polynomial functions, exponential functions, logarithmic functions and trigonometric functions) are all major points of emphasis. Honors students will learn how to write programs on the TI-84 Calculator.
Students who earn a high “B” range grade or better in this class usually pursue Honors Precalculus the following year while all students who satisfactorily complete this course will be thoroughly prepared for precalculus.
Algebra is the language of calculus. Understanding this, there will be special emphasis early in the year on developing a solid working understanding of the algebraic skills and procedures necessary for success in more advanced math courses. Students will learn to define the major concepts in a second-year algebra course including polynomials, rational expressions, radical expressions, and complex numbers and then learn how to simplify, add, subtract, multiply and divide these expressions. Other major themes include: solving various types of equations and inequalities, factoring, understanding the concept of a function, and graphing functions on the coordinate plane. Linear and quadratic functions are studied in great detail. Later in the year, students will be introduced to higher degree polynomial functions and associated theorems. Students are introduced to exponents and logarithms, right triangle and circular trigonometry, and, if time permits, sequences and series.
The primary objective of the Precalculus curriculum is to prepare students for Calculus. Integral to the learning process is the systematic review of earlier concepts learned in Algebra 2 and/or Advanced Math and procedures in which students use previously learned skills to develop proficiency with more advanced concepts, especially Trigonometry. The Precalculus course includes exploration, communication, mathematical tools, manipulatives, calculators, hands on activities and group work.
Designed to prepare the more advanced student for Advanced Placement Calculus, this course provides students an honors level study of trigonometry, advanced functions, analytic geometry, and data analysis. A faster pace also allows for the introduction of topics from calculus earlier in the second semester. Limits, continuity, the definition of the derivative, techniques of differentiation, and applications of the derivative are all explored. Applications and modeling are included throughout the course. Appropriate technology is used regularly for instruction and assessment.
This advanced course is an introduction to the fundamental topics comprising calculus. Algebraic, trigonometric, and transcendental functions are studied in the context of differentiation and integration. The Calculus curriculum includes exploration, communication, mathematical tools, manipulatives, calculators, hands on activities and group work. At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to use calculus methods in a variety of applications and problem solving situations.
Advanced Placement Calculus AB
This is a rigorous Advanced Placement course designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus AB exam in the spring. The course seeks to develop students’ understanding of the concepts of calculus, while providing experience with its methods and applications. A multi-representational approach to calculus is employed with concepts, results, and problems being expressed graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally. The connections between these representations are also explored.
Advanced Placement Calculus BC
This is a rigorous Advanced Placement course that prepares students to take the AP Calculus BC exam in the spring. The course seeks to develop advanced problem solving skills by stressing the application of the concepts covered in the problem solving process. The class requires some vacation assignments that are to reinforce the concepts that have been taught. The class moves quickly and covers all the material outlined by the College Board and is intended for students that have had success in Precalculus or lower levels of Calculus and want to challenge themselves at the highest level.
Computer Science Principles
Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Computer Science Principles helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation. PLTW is recognized by the College Board as an endorsed provider of curriculum and professional development for AP® Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). This endorsement affirms that all components of PLTW CSP’s offerings are aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CSP assessment.
Advanced Placement Computer Science A
This is a rigorous Advanced Placement course that prepares students to take the AP Computer Science exam in the spring. The course seeks to teach students to think critically and develop carefully thought out algorithms to solve problems. Students will learn how to utilize object-oriented programming in Java throughout the course and will develop a thorough understanding of the language and concepts such as inheritance, hierarchy, polymorphism, as well as basic programming concepts such as conditional and looping statements. Upon successful completion of the class, students will be well prepared to take the AP Computer Science exam in the spring.
Mobile Application Development
This class is best suited for students with some coding experience, i.e. the "Computer Science Principles" or our AP Computer Programming course. Students with coding experience who have not taken either of these AOF courses will need special permission to take the course. A Mac computer is required to run Xcode, the development environment we will be using.
This course will develop (build) and distribute mobile apps on iOS for Apple Phones and iPad. If time permits, we may also address Android development. Students will have, at the conclusion of the course, a portfolio of apps to show to college admissions officers and others. Students will learn to program in Swift using the "XCode" environment provided for free by Apple.
The main objective of the course is to teach techniques to solve first and second order linear differential equations. Throughout the course differential equations will be used to model problems with real applications such as the motion of an object, population growth, heating & cooling, and mixing problems. The techniques developed will then be applied to these models to find solutions.
This course consists of a more thorough treatment of Trigonometry and other selected topics in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry to prepare students for further study in mathematics. Algebra 2 with Trigonometry is a prerequisite. The primary objective of the curriculum is to prepare students for Precalculus. Integral to the learning process is the systematic review of earlier concepts learned in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry and procedures in which students use previously learned skills to develop proficiency with more advanced concepts. The course includes organizational skills, communication, mathematical tools, calculators, hands-on activities and group work.
Geometry’s primary objective is the study of Euclidean Geometry as a formal, logical system. Where possible, excursions are made into three-dimensional figures and elementary analytic geometry. Some review of algebraic materials may be included. This course begins with developing visualization and some drawing skills. Both algebraic and geometric models are introduced and are further enhanced throughout the course. Proofs are developed slowly in the first half of the course. Various proof formats, including paragraph, flow-chart, and two-column proofs are presented. Students are expected to be actively involved in their own learning. The use of manipulatives is integrated into this course.
The Geometry Honors course begins with a strong development of visualization and drawing skills. Both algebraic and geometric models are introduced and are used throughout the course. Proofs are developed slowly in the first half of the year. Various proof formats, including paragraph, flow chart, and two column proofs, are presented. Students are expected to be actively involved in their own learning. Manipulatives, constructions, and the computer program Geometer's Sketchpad are also integrated into this course.
Advanced Placement Statistics
AP Statistics is the high school equivalent of a one semester, introductory college statistics course. In this rigorous course, students develop strategies for collecting, organizing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students design, administer, and tabulate results from surveys and experiments. Probability and simulations aid students in constructing models for chance behavior. Sampling distributions provide the logical structure for confidence intervals and hypothesis tests. Students use a TI-84 graphing calculator, Fathom and Minitab statistical software, and Web-based java applets to investigate statistical concepts. To develop effective statistical communication skills, students are required to prepare frequent written and oral analyses of real data.
Probability and Statistics
The primary objective of Probability and Statistics is to offer students an opportunity to continue their mathematical studies in a new area. This course begins with an overview of statistics and includes an investigation of the fundamental laws of probability. It also includes such topics as distributions, sampling, regression, estimation, and hypothesis testing.