Honors Algebra II

Mr. Johnson

Foothill High School

Email: gjohnson@pleasantonusd.net

School Phone: (925)461-6633

Welcome to Mr. Johnson's Honors Algebra II class at Foothill High School! This will be a year full of mathematical exploration and discovery! I intend to treat this class as a college level preparatory course and, thus, it will be taught that way. Please be aware not to fall behind in the coursework or in the understanding of the concepts because consequences can be severe. Keep in mind that the mastery of mathematics is a fun and rewarding experience and one that anyone can achieve, with the appropriate amount of effort. We are all here to learn from and help one another and to help each other reach success. Let’s have a great year!


Most importantly, students will be able to think critically, problem solve, work in groups, teach and learn from peers, and make connections in mathematics. In addition, this course will be based on the following topics of mathematics:

  • Graph

    • Equations

    • Quadratic functions

    • Polynomial functions

    • Radical functions

    • Exponential and logarithmic functions

    • Trigonometric functions

  • Solve equations

  • Understand sequences and series

  • Understand probability and statistics


  • College Preparatory Math Algebra 2


Class Website: johnson.education

Google Classroom: (Period 6 code: 2r5m5kk)

CPM eBook: (Period 6 Code: QG45P)


All students must have the following items every day in class:

  1. Pencil

  2. 2 spiral notebooks

  3. A whiteboard marker (I will provide markers for all students that do not have them. Donations of whiteboard markers are greatly appreciated)

  4. A TI-83 plus graphing calculator or better (TI-83+, TI-84, TI-89, TI-Nspire). TI 84 is the best option. There are other brand calculators Casio, HP, maybe others. They can do everything, but I don't know how to help you with them. I know the TI83, TI84, and TI-Nspire. If you are unable to provide your own calculator, please see me. The two I recommend:

TI 84 Plus

Color if you fancy


Standards (Tests): There will be a total of 20 standards that need to be covered throughout each semester. Click on the following links for a list of the standards for each semester: First Semester Standards and Second Semester Standards. This category is worth 66.67% of the grade. Each standard will appear on one quiz, at least 2 tests, and optionally on the final as well. The most recent score on each standard is the only score that counts toward the semester grade. (For example, if a student performs poorly on a standard during their first attempt and gets a 1/4, but then on the most recent attempt they score a 4/4, the 4/4 is the only score counted in the gradebook. If a student performs worse on a future attempt, their score will go down.)

Challenge: Each test will have a single challenge problem worth 1 point. They either get it or they don't. Out of the 5 assessments per semester, the best 3 scores are totalled and are worth 3.33% of the overall semester grade.

Classwork: Continued completion and success on the classwork is worth 5% of the overall grade. Students will have daily classwork "quizzes" on google forms. They provide immediate feedback and students can attempt them as many times as they like until they are successful.

Projects: Each unit will have a project that challenges students to apply the concepts in new and interesting ways. The projects are graded based on the following three criteria: Explanation of Thinking, Professional Reporting, and Critical Thinking. Their grade for the projects category is based on their most recent project score (worth 20% of their semester grade) as well as the average score, or their persistence, throughout the semester (worth 5% of their semester grade). This is to allow students opportunities to practice multiple times before the final project of the semester in order to ensure all students are clear on expectations and ready to take on these increasingly more difficult tasks.

Final: The final for the semester will include 5 standards that have so far only occured on 1 test. All students will take these 5 standards. At this time, students can retake any additional standard for which they are unhappy with their score. The final does not have a seperate grade, it simply contributes to the Standards grade category

While many tasks such as Team Tests, daily activities outside of the Classwork "quizzes," warm-ups, additional review material, and homework will not be graded, it is still in each student's best interest to complete these tasks, do their best work, and evaluate their own learning on a regular basis in order to be appropriately prepared. Just as a basketball player practices their free-throw daily, with no incentive other than to get better, math students must practice their skills in order to stay sharp.

The purpose of our new grading system is to change the conversation around grades. No longer will students come to me asking what they need in order to get an A; rather, students will reflect on their own learning, identify the areas that need improvement, and work on these skills in order to ensure success.

Old conversation:

"Mr. Johnson, how can I get an A." or "Mr. Johnson, is there any extra credit?"

New conversation:

"Mr. Johnson, I need help on completing the square. I did poorly on it during our quiz, and I have since looked through the review material on your website. Can you give me a little extra guidance?"

The chart to the left is a summary of the way in which students' grades are calculated.

Notice the criteria column showing how each category is evaluated.

  • Last indicates the most recent assessment in each category

  • Best 3 indicates the best 3 out of the total 5 opportunities

  • Average indicates the average of all scores for the semester in that category


I will be assessing your progress in this class based on Algebra II standards we will cover during the course of the year. Assessment is a MAJOR part of your grade. You will be given quizzes (so I can see how you are doing!), summative tests, and a final exam. It is important to take notes on new information, complete all of your homework and classwork, and study for these assessments by practicing problems we’ve covered. Practice is essential to your success in this course!

A = 90% - 100% Tests…………………. 35%

B = 80% - 89.9% Team Tests..............10%

C = 70% - 79.9% Classwork ....….......20%

D = 60% - 69.9% Bonus Problems....20%

F = 0% - 59.9% Final Exam………….15%


  • Be prompt, prepared, proper, and pleasant. Treat others with courtesy and respect.

  • Respect others right to learn and be prepared to help, and learn, from one another.

  • You will be in your seat, ready to begin class, at the start of class and have all appropriate materials out. Consequences for tardies are as follows:

    • 1st offence: Warning

    • 2nd offence: Clean my room after class

    • 3rd offence: Lunchtime detention with me (scraping gum off of desks, cleaning out my microwave, having to talk to me about math)

    • 4th offence: Referral

    • Repeat

  • When you come into class, you will be ready to work and will leave all conversations at the door.

  • No food, drinks, or gum in the classroom; bottled water is okay.

  • Cell phones, iPods, etc. must be stored (out of sight) and silenced. If I see it or hear it, I will take it!

  • All students must be familiar with and follow all school rules.

  • Take notes and do your best.


The first few minutes of class will be devoted to practice and preparation for upcoming skills. As soon as you come in, you should begin immediately on the given problems assigned before the bell rings.

*Warm-ups are counted as an assignment and CANNOT be made up for credit if you are tardy or absent (unless it is excused).


We will have daily classwork "quizzes." These are on google forms and have you putting in your answers to the classwork problems you have already completed. This is the main portion of the 20% Classwork grade. They are graded for correctness, but you have unlimited tries, and they will tell you which problems you missed. These grades will be totaled and entered into Q at the end of each unit as a single classwork assignment grade for the unit.


Each unit, we will have a "bonus problem." This problem utilizes the content from the unit on a new, unique, challenging situation. Possibly it will require you to apply the math, possibly it will be a challenging problem to solve. In either case, you will type a full response to the problem. Discuss what the problem is asking you to do, discuss your thought process and solving process (both right and wrong steps, and why you changed your thinking as you went), include any relevant graphs, charts, tables, images, videos, written math work. Ensure that it is formatted clearly and professionally (for example, a picture of written work should be big, easy to read, and clearly explained with a typed explanation. A graph from desmos should have appropriate x/y scaling, the appropriate region is clipped to show what you are looking at, it should be expanded in your document to be big enough to clearly see, and clearly explained with a typed explanation). These problems are an opportunity to extend what you have learned, but also a chance for you to showcase what you learned. My goal is for you to be truly proud of the work that you do.


Homework is a very important aspect of learning mathematics. I take homework seriously, so I expect you to do the same. You will want to keep up with the assigned homework, otherwise you will fall behind. Homework will be assigned nightly. I will not collect homework this year, but you should do it to be prepared for class and tests. Students must be responsible and stay on top of deadlines.


We will have either a test, team test, or both with each unit (usually both). The team test is often more challenging than the test as you have a team working together, but do expect to see things on both that you have never seen before. As this is an honors course, my expectation is you are able to apply the content from the course in new ways, combine content from different units, and be able to defend your positions in a clear way. Both tests and team tests often require the full period, and time can be an issue if you are not prepared. Test problems are harder than homework problems. I often utilize the warm up as a way to show test-like problems. Unfortunately, due to department policy, test-retakes are not possible.


If you are absent from class, you will be given one extra school day to make up the work. (For example, if you are absent on Tuesday, your missing assignments will be due Thursday). YOU, THE STUDENT, are responsible for collecting and completing all missed assignments. If you miss a test, you will need to see me so that I can get you caught up.