PreAlgebra

Course Description: What Is This Class About?

PreAlgebra begins the study of patterns and functions which is continued in Algebra 1. PreAlgebra is restricted to the study of  linear patterns and functions.

At the Center School, students will work with each other to solve real world problems and to describe patterns from real life.  This teaches cooperation and teamwork as well as applications of mathematics.

PreAlgebra is covered in one year as a 5 credit course. 

Rationale:  Why is it Important To Learn This?

The study of mathematics develops the portions of the brain that deal with problem solving, logical skills, and analytic thinking. These skills are useful in life.

Prerequisites: What do I need to know before taking PreAlgebra?

Arithmetic operations (add, subtract, multiply, divide) and size comparisons with:

  • Whole Numbers
  • Signed Integers
  • Fractions and Mixed Numbers
  • Decimals

The decision on whether to place students in prealgebra or in algebra 1 will be made based on a combination of student NWEA test scores and student scores on an algebra readiness test.

Course Goals:What Are We Going To Do In This Class?

PreAlgebra introduces language that can be used to describe real world problems. To solve such problems, students will learn to represent the problems in different ways and choose the representation that works best for them in a particular problem situation.  Students will also deepen their knowledge of 

  • ratio and proportion
  • percents
  • absolute value
  • order of operations
  • functions

Students will learn that quantities can be represented by variables. Using variables lets us model situations in all areas of human endeavor and to represent them abstractly.

Grading:
The grade is based on a combination of class work, homework, quizzes, tests, and Cognitive Tutor. Cognitive Tutor is online software that adapts to the level of a student and allows different students to progress at different rates of speed. Cognitive Tutor also allows the instructor to supply review or drill in prerequisite topics for students who need extra help or extra review. In the case of class work and homework, credit is given for effort as well as mastery.