BVC Math: Algebra to Trig

Teacher Name: Bruce Gillespie
Teacher Email:
Tuition: $200.00 per year, payable in monthly installments of $25.00
Discount for Semester Payment: None
Supply/Materials Fee (due at registration): $25.00
Deposit (due at registration): $25.00
Grades: 8th to 12th
Minimum Class Size: 6
Maximum Class Size: 20
Midterm Enrollment: No
Class Time: 2nd hour
Prerequisite: None
Estimated homework hours: 2 hours per week

Required Materials or Books:
compass and protractor

Class Description:
First Semester we will cover:
Real Numbers – Students will learn to work with the real number system, which includes lessons on how to identify the subsets of real numbers and perform arithmetic operations. Lessons will cover topics such as absolute values, operations with integers, square roots, and irrational numbers.
Introduction to Algebra – Students will learn to work with algebraic expressions, evaluating them for variable values and combining like terms to simplify them. Lessons will include applying standardized problem solving plans and adding and subtracting algebraic expressions.

Writing and Solving Equations – Students will learn to determine the values of variables in equations that involve varying degrees of complexity. Lessons include solving one and two step equations, solving multi-step equations, solving equations with variables on both sides, and solving for a variable and formulas.

Proportional Reasoning – Students will learn to apply the rules of ratio and proportion to a variety of problems, including those involving percents and probabilities. Lessons cover topics that include percent increase and decrease, experimental and theoretical probability, and probabilities of independent and dependent events.

Writing and Solving Inequalities – Students will learn to use skills for solving equations and apply them to finding solutions to inequalities of varying degrees of complexity. Lessons will include writing and graphing inequalities with one variable, solving and graphing inequalities with one, two, or three steps, solving compound inequalities, and absolute value equations and inequalities.

Graphs and Functions – Students will learn to use a variety of data-gathering and interpreting skills useful in statistics. Students will also learn basic function descriptions and rules. Lessons will cover topics such as displaying data; the coordinate planes and relations; identifying functions; function rules, tables, and graphs; and arithmetic sequences.

Graphing Equations – Students will explore linear equations and their characteristics including their graphs. Lessons will include slope, using x- and y- intercepts, the forms of linear functions, parallel and perpendicular lines, and scatter plots and correlations.

Solving Systems of Equality and Inequality – Students will learn to graph and find the solutions to systems of equations and inequalities. Lessons include different strategies for solving systems of equality and inequality including graphing, substitution, and elimination. Lessons also include linear inequalities and parent functions.

Exponents and Polynomials – Students will learn the rules for working with algebraic expressions that contain exponents and polynomials. Lessons include working with exponents, polynomials, and binomials.

Second semester we will cover:
Introduction to Geometry – Students will be introduced to the basic building blocks of Geometry including lines, planes, points, angles, some basic Euclidian constructions, direct and indirect proof and classification of polygons.

Reasoning and Proofs – Students will be introduced to the basic processes and elements of geometric reasoning and logic including conjectures, counter-examples, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, theorems, if/then statements, conditionals and bi-conditionals.

Lines and Angles – Students will learn to apply properties, postulates, and theorems for angles and lines including parallel lines, transversals, supplementary, complementary, right angles, alternate interior and exterior angles, slope, perpendicular lines and coordinate proof.

Triangles – Students will work with the basic properties of triangles and triangle postulates and theorems including classifying triangles by type

Polygons – Students will learn to apply properties of the interior angles of polygons. Students will learn to classify quadrilaterals with a focus on different types of parallelograms. Students will learn to apply the properties of similarity to similar polygons.

Circles – Students will apply basic properties of circles to solve problems and create proofs involving tangents, arcs, chords, central angles, inscribed angles and intercepted arcs and will be introduced to the equation of a circle and the Reuleux Triangle.

Surface Area and Volume – Students will learn to apply formulas for surface area and volume of geometric solids including prisms, cylinders, pyramids, cones and spheres. Students will explore how increasing side length affects volume.

Trigonometry and Triangles – Students will learn to solve for the missing measure of a triangle using the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines, and will use Heron’s Formula and the Sine Area Formula to find the area of a triangle. Lesson topics will include right-triangle trigonometry and solving triangles.

Trigonometric Functions – Students will learn to solve basic trigonometric functions

Vectors – Students will learn to use the component form and the trigonometric form of vectors and will use vector operations.

About Bruce Gillespie

Bruce Gillespie supervised environmental aquatic research for Atlantic Richfield Company (now British Petroleum) for four years. For another four years he was the research scientist for polymer ion exchange systems. After a total of 16 years with ARCO he retired to start a ranch with his wife Martha (now married 43 years with 3 children and 5 grandchildren). A friend asked him to accept a position as Director, Internal Consulting at General Motors. He was with GM for 9 years. He retired again but this time to focus on working with children. His doctoral research was in the area of psychological development. He has spent much time helping ADD, ADHD, and autistic children to reach their full potential.
Bruce has degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. He has attended Rice University, University of Texas at Austin and Houston Baptist University.
When he is not teaching he is spending time with family, writing articles or enjoying country life on their family ranch.


Mandatory Parent/Student Orientation, Meet the Teacher, and Registration will be at 10:00am on Friday, August 24th! Mark your calendars! (Be sure to bring ALL of your students.)