Everyone can learn math to the highest levels. There is no such thing as a “math person”. Believe in yourself and work hard.
Mistakes are valuable and necessary. Mistakes grow your brain. It is good to struggle and make mistakes. Let others in the classroom feel safe making mistakes.
Math class is about learning, not performing. It takes time to learn and explore concepts deeply. Be curious!
Math is about connections and communicating. Represent math in different forms and link them.
Depth is more important than speed. Think slowly and deeply and encourage others to do the same.
8th Grade Algebra 1 Syllabus
Overview This year, students will be taking a complete high school level Algebra 1 course! The primary curriculum used will be The CME Project, which is a rigorous, problem-based, student-centered program. My goal is to help students acquire a deep understanding of mathematics and strong algebra foundation while developing students’ Habits of Minds (the ways in which students approach and solve mathematical challenges). Students will be eligible to take the district-wide Algebra Exit Exam administered in spring of 2017 and may qualify for placement out of High School Algebra I based on CPS policy: • Student earns a grade of C or better both semesters AND • Student passes the district-wide Algebra Exit Exam, obtaining a score of “Pass” or “High Pass.”
Units of Study
Arithmetic to Algebra
Expressions and Equations
Introduction to Functions
Exponents and Radicals
Daily Supplies pencil binder with 5 tabs CME textbook notebook/grid paper pen (for checking) CME practice workbook planner ruler colored pencils highlighter graphing calculator
Homework Homework will be utilized to reinforce and review important concepts explored during the school day. Homework will be checked for completion every day or collected for feedback. In order to receive full credit on a homework assignment, you must show work/explain when applicable, and attempt all problems so that I (and others) can follow your thinking. Copying homework will not be tolerated and will result in a score of “0” for both parties. It is crucial for students to keep up to date with homework assignments, as they will be used in class to facilitate discussions, support activities, and extend learning. Discussing difficulties and strategies on homework is incorporated into most lessons, so students who have not completed homework assignments will also miss out on important classroom learning. Late homework assignments must accompany a late homework slip that has been signed by the student and parent to receive partial credit. Homework assignments over three days late will not be given credit. This policy also applies to in-class assignments, which occasionally may need to be finished at home.
Technology Calculators: We are extremely fortunate to have class sets of TI-83 Plus graphing calculators as well as TI-30XIIS scientific calculators! Calculators are an important learning tool in mathematics, and it is expected that all students will have access to calculators for school and home use for an Algebra 1 course. During class, I will model situations where a calculator is an appropriate tool and when it is not. Students may use calculators in which computation is not a primary goal of the lesson. I will let students know when calculator use is not allowed. Each student will be assigned a calculator to use throughout the year. These calculators may not leave the classroom and must be taken care of by the student. There are a number of free websites and apps that students can use so that they have access to graphing calculators at home. Some of my favorites are:
Desmos (www.desmos.com or phone app) – Free (This site is useful for many things; however it can be a bit “too helpful” for an Algebra 1 student. Students would not be able to use this site or app on the Algebra Exit Exam.)
GraphNCalc83 (phone app that works/looks just like a TI-83 graphing calculator) - $6
Websites/Computer Lab/Chromebooks: Throughout the year, students will have some online math assignments. Each student will be part of our Google Classroom, where they will have the opportunity to submit assignments, receive feedback, and participate in discourse with other students. When assigned work that must be completed online, students will have multiple days, or even weeks, to complete the assignment. If a student does not have internet or computer access at home, they should let me know right away so that I can make accommodations. Students can log-in to www.pearsonsuccessnet to find an online version of their textbook, extra practice and assessments, worksheets and activities, and multimedia. Click the button at the top of the page to access your ebook!
Teacher, Parent, and Student Communication: Families can expect the online calendar to be updated each day. These updates will include homework assignments, assessments announcements, and other important dates and reminders. Additionally, gradebook will be updated at least once a week. Students will receive feedback on most assignments, but that feedback may not always be in the form of a letter grade or point value. Feedback will often be written questions and comments from me to push student thinking and understanding. I will communicate classroom news through emails, our website, and the Remind App. I am available to meet with families or set up a phone conference before school, after school, or during prep (11:05am-12:10pm) by setting up an appointment in advance that works for everyone.
In my classroom, I expect students to grow to communicate their own concerns regarding grades, assignments, and other questions or issues that they would like to bring to my attention. It is my goal to make all students comfortable and confident discussing these kinds of issues with me so that we can brainstorm solutions together as a team. Of course I welcome all parent communication as well, but would like to encourage middle school students to advocate for themselves as much as possible!
Math Team Students in grades 6-8 are invited to join the Skinner North Math Team! We will compete in the Chicago Junior Math League and Math Counts competitions throughout the school year. Math Team is a fun opportunity to work on challenging math problems with other middle school students and represent our school in Chicago-based competitions. Ask Ms. Ridgway for more information and how to sign up. If you are unable to attend practices but would like to compete, see Ms. Ridgway for alternative ways to prepare for competitions.