PLEASE NOTE:

This list of classes is everything we could offer. Not all classes make it onto our class schedule. If you see something here that is not on the schedule then contact the instructor for that class. We have flexibility: when there is interest we can gather a group and begin a class. Any time. Fees can be adjusted accordingly, and would be set by the instructor and the administrator. Please ask!


Kidz Math for the Primary Grades

Instructor: Molly Crocker
Grade Level or Ability Level: For students ages 6 – 10. Parent participation is welcome and occasionally required.
Pre-requisite: Some skill with math facts, and reading ability
When: 1x weekly
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

This course could be taken multiple times. New material will be presented each semester and old ideas will be recycled.

Students should expect 1 – 2 hours of homework per week, mostly in the form of activities to be carried out with the possible help from a parent or older sibling. Homework can be tailored to the student.

There doesn’t need to be a curriculum to teach math facts. There does need to be a library of activities to reinforce math facts and to do it in a fun way. This course will be emphasizing mental math techniques for adding and multiplying multi-digit numbers, as these techniques are MUCH more algebra-friendly. We will be using a wide variety of tools to learn how to measure, such as rulers, stop-watches, scales, and beakers. In addition to introducing fractions and decimals, we will be exploring ideas in geometry, and learning about math-related ideas around learning to categorize, sort, and order.


Kidz Math for the Middle Grades

Instructor: Molly Crocker
Grade Level or Ability Level: For students aged 8 – 12. Parent participation is welcome and occasionally required, younger siblings are welcome.
Pre-requisite: Firm skill with math facts, familiarity with naming fractions and using decimals in money.
When: 2x weekly
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

This course could be taken multiple times. New material will be presented each semester and old ideas will be recycled.

Students should expect 1 – 2 hours of homework per week, mostly in the form of activities to be carried out with a parent or older sibling. Homework can be tailored to the student.

Kidz Math 2 will extend ideas and activities in Kidz Math 1. We will work with fractions and decimals, explore ways to do multi-digit addition and multiplication mentally, attack problems, have serious fun with math games, crank apart logic, learn and apply geometry, learn the metric system, plug batteries into things that move, and learn when calculators are appropriate.  One of two meeting days each week will be mostly games and activities.


Arithmetic

Instructor: Heather Hadfield
Grade Level or Ability Level: 6th – 9th. Parent participation is welcome.
Pre-requisite: A diagnostic placement test to check for skills with math facts, familiarity with decimals and fractions.
When: 2x weekly
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

This course could be taken multiple times. Students are placed into and progress at their own pace through books A through E

Students should expect 2 – 3 hours of homework per week.

Math for Middle School firms up skills with whole numbers, their factors, fractions, decimals, and percents, and introduces positive and negative numbers. Students will learn mental math techniques for dealing with all of these as well as good use of a calculator. We will learn to collect and present data and calculate mean, median, and mode. Serious fun includes games and activities in the gym or on the field, using scissors and paper to explore geometry, introduction to sets and logic, ways to measure many things, rate-time-distance problems, and good ways to use technology to solve problems.


PLEASE DON’T HURRY ALGEBRA!

One of the mistakes I see the K-12 educational community making is pushing algebra into lower and lower grade levels. There is a huge push to put algebra into the 7th grade, which would mean that ‘normal’ high school students headed to college would have a year of calculus done before going to college. The hope is that more students will get into a top-drawer university. I wish it worked that way. It doesn’t, because Common Core pays little attention to what is developmentally appropriate for the age of the student.

Having been an instructor of high school level mathematics at a local community college, I observed the fallout of pushing algebra too early. MOST students (85%) are not cognitively ready for algebra in the 8th grade. It is rather like demanding an 8-month old child to learn to walk. Instead, we need to honor how God has made us, and allow a student to learn when the student is ready to learn. If students are allowed to get a full foundation of algebra beneath them when it is developmentally appropriate for the student, then many more areas open up, including technology, science, and design. The student who has a good foundation in algebra, taken when they are cognitively ready for it, will be more likely to ATTEMPT harder subject areas and SUCCEED.

For more on the ‘new’ Common Core standards, please see my blog entry on the topic.


Pre-Algebra

Instructor: Heather Hadfield
Grade Level or Ability Level: 7th – 10th Grade
Pre-requisite: Demonstrated skill with fractions and decimals, familiarity with positive and negative numbers.
When: 2x weekly
Course Length: 2 Semesters
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

Students should expect 3 – 5 hours of homework per week.

Pre Algebra is a one-year (2 semesters) course covering all operations with whole numbers, decimals and fractions with positive and negative numbers, percents, fundamentals of exponents and scientific notation, irrational numbers, ratio and proportion, an introduction to geometric figures and formulae, measurement, square roots and the Pythagorean theorem, and probability. With time allowing, trigonometric ratios, statistics, and fundamental operations with monomials are also introduced. Proper use of a calculator is balanced with mental math exercises. We will be using science as a math manipulative, exploring measurement with scales, tape measures, calipers and stop watches, exploring concepts of density, speed, electricity, and more. Fun is a great motivator!


Algebra, a One-Year Course

Instructor: Molly Crocker or Heather Hadfield
Grade Level or Ability Level: 9th – 12th Grade
Pre-requisite: Finish the E book in General Math, or Pre-Algebra (preferred)
Text (provided by instructor): Elementary Algebra by Harold Jacobs. ISBN 0716710471.
Also required: A TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator, any species, OR an approved graphing calculator app for your device (usually under $5)
When: 2x weekly
Course Length: 2 Semesters
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

Students should expect 5 – 8 hours of homework per week.

Algebra is the foreign language of mathematics, which prepares a student for all the math that is to come. This course refreshes operations with positive and negative numbers while studying different kinds of functions. Next comes linear equations in one and two variables, solving systems of equations three ways, polynomial, rational, and irrational expressions, and solving quadratics four ways.

The course matches the content of Math 97 and Math 98 at Whatcom Community College, but not in the same order.


Decompressed Algebra, a Two-Year Course

Instructor: Molly Crocker or Heather Hadfield
Grade Level or Ability Level: 7th – 12th Grade
When: 2x weekly
Course Length: 4 (FOUR) Semesters

All other info same as above, for Algebra.

Students should expect 3 – 5 hours of homework per week.

This is EXACTLY the same course as Algebra in one year, but is spread across four semesters. It is particularly appropriate for young students who have completed all of Pre-Algebra, have demonstrated the cognitive maturity for algebra, but who may drown in the amount and the pace of homework required. It is also appropriate for older students who prefer a slower pace, and for parents with demonstrated math phobia. We LOVE teaching this course! We can allow students to simmer gently and not be in a hurry. This is also a good course for students who are busy with extra-curricular activities. At ZLO, we actually bring more students through the Decompressed series than through Algebra in one year.


Geometry, and Sometimes World Problems

Instructor: Molly Crocker or Heather Hadfield
Grade Level or Ability Level: 10th – 12th Grade
Pre-requisite: Algebra.  (Math-U-See Algebra is NOT sufficient preparation. Math-U-See students should sign up for Decompressed Algebra, year 2 to complete preparation for Geometry.)
A course in SKETCHING is HIGHLY recommended.
Text (provided by instructor): Geometry, Seeing, Doing, Understanding, by Harold Jacobs. ISBN 0716743612
Also required: A scientific calculator capable of handling trigonometric functions.
When: 2x weekly
Course Length: 2 Semesters
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

Students should expect 5 – 8 hours of homework per week.

What’s a necessary prep for Geometry? A sketching course. Not necessarily the kind that’s intended to bring out your inner Rembrandt, but one that helps you learn to SEE the world. It should address perspective, foreshortening, and vanishing points. Students should learn how to represent a 3-dimensional object on a 2-dimensional surface so that they can ‘see’ a 3-dimensional object on a 2-dimensional surface. If your student has never done this then I suggest you access Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad online, via the app, or the book, and work through this fun approach to sketching before taking this course.

This is a classical, college-prep geometry course, heavily dependent on the proof-writing process and also on compass-and-straight-edge constructions. Topics include points, lines, planes; rays and angles; congruent triangles; geometric inequalities; parallel lines; quadrilaterals; transformations; area; similarity; right triangles, trig ratios, and laws of sines and cosines; circles, concurrence theorems; regular polygons and the circle; geometric solids; non-Euclidean geometry and coordinate geometry. Students will need to drill and practice postulates, theorems, and definitions.

“…and sometimes world problems” Because Geometry brings together math, art, and language, the applications are wide-ranging. Students in the young teen years have a lot of thinking to do, so when these ‘off’ topics come up out of a math discussion, we tackle them from a Biblical world view. There is just never a dull day in class.

There is no real treatment of Geometry at Whatcom Community College. Some topics are covered as they arise, such as perimeter, area, volume, the triangle angle sum theorem, and the Pythagorean theorem. However, triangle congruencies, the concurrence theorems, parallel lines, the isosceles triangle theorems, tangent and secant segments are very useful in the study of architecture, physics, constructions, surveying, and computer graphics. These topics are also present on the SAT. My experience in teaching trigonometry at WCC tells me that students who have had geometry will have MUCH less difficulty in Trigonometry. It can make a grade difference in most students; that is, students with Geometry get an A rather than a B in Trigonometry.


Second-Year Algebra and Pre-Calculus 1

Instructor: Molly Crocker
Grade Level or Ability Level: 11th – 12th Grade
Pre-requisite: Geometry
Text: A Graphical Approach to PreCalculus with Limits by Hornsby/Lial/Rockswold
Also required: A TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator, any species, OR an approved graphing calculator app for your device (usually under $5)
When: 2x weekly
Course Length: 2 Semesters
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

Students should expect 5 – 8 hours of homework per week.

This course begins with a review of exponents, operations with polynomials, factoring, and operations with rational and irrational expressions. New topics include negative and rational exponents, analysis of linear and polynomial functions; rational, root, and exponential functions; inverse and logarithmic functions; conic sections, parametric equations; systems and matrices; and if time sequences, counting theory, and probability. The course contains a thorough study of solving equations and inequalities both algebraically and graphically, and makes heavy use of the graphing calculator.

This is a more thorough course than the equivalents taught at WCC: Math 99 and Math 141.


Trigonometry (Pre-Calculus 2)

Instructor: Molly Crocker
Grade Level or Ability Level: 11th – 12th Grade, taught upon request
Pre-requisite: Geometry
Text: A Graphical Approach to PreCalculus with Limits by Hornsby/Lial/Rockswold
Also required: A TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator, any species, OR an approved graphing calculator app for your device (usually under $5)
When: 2x weekly
Course Length: 2 Semesters
Min / Max Enrollment: 4/10

Students should expect 5 – 8 hours of homework per week.

Topics: The unit circle, graphs of trig functions, applications of right triangles, identities, using identities to solve equations, law of sines and cosines, vectors and their applications, powers and roots of complex numbers, polar and parametric equations, and (if time) limits, tangent lines, and derivatives.

This is a more thorough course than the equivalent taught at WCC: Math 142.


Personal Finance 100

Instructor: Mrs. Olga Wolters
Grade Level: High School (9-12)

In this class, high schoolers will learn about relevant financial skills like why it pays to be financially responsible, skills like managing a salary, saving, buying a car, avoiding debt, making a budget, avoiding financial pitfalls, understanding interest and investments. We will explore tools on how to build your financial dream, and understand charitable giving among many other financial topics.