Algebra 2 Honors

Instructor: John Leo
Course webpage:
Free Periods: 2, 5, 6 in Room 15. Also conference periods and before and after school. It's best to send me email to arrange a time to meet.



The goals of this course are for you to learn a significant amount of important mathematics, to prepare yourself for further study of mathematics and its applications, to further improve your problem solving, critical thinking and reasoning skills, and most of all to have fun!

We will follow Mathematics 3, written by the Mathematics Department at Philips Exeter Academy. Be sure to have the July 2010 edition. It is also available online. You will also need a graphing calculator.

We'll do roughly 8 problems per class period, both from the text and handouts. The exact problems assigned for each class period will be posted in advance on the web.

Preparation for each class consists of working through the assigned problems and writing up solutions in preparation to present them to the class. Class time will be devoted to discussing the solutions, discovering what is interesting about each problem, and how it connects to other problems and mathematics in general. I will generally not collect homework but may ask that a few problems be turned in.

There will be 4 tests and 4 quizzes each semester, as well as a final exam.


Homework is worth 15% of each quarter grade, quizzes are worth 10%, and tests 75%. The semester grade is then based on the quarter grades (80%) and the final (20%).

Although homework seems to be weighted low it is by far the most important part of the course. The best way to prepare for the tests is to work hard on the homework throughout the semester.


Participation is expected of everyone and is not explicitly graded. It will however affect grades in borderline cases. Everyone is expected to take turns presenting solutions, and everyone should participate in discussions.

Laptop Policy

Laptops are normally not allowed in class and must be kept closed.  You do not need to bring them to class normally.  There may be a few classes in which we will use them, and I will let you know in advance if you'll need to bring your laptop.  When laptops are allowed in class, they may only be used for the task specified.


I encourage you to work with fellow students on homework. However you should attempt each problem on your own first, and all write ups must be your own work. For any problems you hand in, you must specify any help you received, whether from another person or persons, a book, a web site, or any other source. No collaboration is allowed on tests, of course.