The Amazing World of Algebra
nelson@mathcounts4ever.com
jnelson@lvusd.0rg

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Mrs. Nelson
Room K101
Lindero Canyon Middle School
Algebra
2014- 2015

THis year, Algebra is piloting the McGraw Hill text Algebra 1, California Edition, which is aligned with the new rigorous common core state standards. These standards are extremely challenging for all students, so your student must be ready for a brisk pace through the year.

Please try to remember that this is a HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL class. In fact, Chapters 1 and 2 are considered a Pre-Algebra Review. Your student will take a diagnostic in class the first Friday of school (8/22) on this material to determine his/her mastery level of required skills. It is assumed that students will review their individual weak areas of their own. THESE SKILLS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED IN CLASS. Chapters 1 and 2 also include a few Algebra conceptsThese new concepts will be taught in class; students will take a few quick quizzes on just these concepts in the next two weeks.

The rest of the course will focus on the key concepts of writing, solving, and graphing linear and quadratic equations. Mathematical reasoning will be interwoven throughout, as well as problem solving techniques using algebraic expressions and equations. It is also assumed that your student is already proficient in decimals, fractions, proportions, percents, order of operations, integers, and simple geometry.

Many times the information found in our textbook will be supplemented to create a more dynamic unit and, at the same time, to assist students in mastering new skills. While the pace is demanding, my goal is to create a safe environment where students may pose questions and take pride in their accomplishments. I believe a strong confidence in their abilities in math will help them succeed in their future math classes.

MATERIALS:
* single subject spiral notebook ( 4 total: one for each quarter)------* 3-5 sharpened pencils
* loose-leaf paper------* green pen ------* highlighter *colored EXPO dry-erase pen------ * ruler ------ *3 - 5 colored pencils
------- *calculator optional

HOMEWORK: Homework is designed to provide each student with appropriate independent practice. The extent to which each student utilizes the opportunity to practice challenging skills will be reflected in the student’s assessment scores. Homework will be assigned and graded as well as considered as part of the Work Habits grade. Students are responsible for completing all homework accurately. Checking odd problems in the back of the textbook, using e-solutions and by posting your questions on Edmodo (if additional help is necessary) is part of the homework requirement and assures accurate practice.

QUIZ/QUEST/TEST PERFECTIONS: Each student is required to complete a “Test Perfection” assignment after every quiz, quest, or test. Quiz, Quest, and Test Perfections are a separate 5% of the grade. I believe this assignment is crucial to the student’s mastery of the concepts reflected on each quiz or test. I am available before and after school (and many days during lunch) to help your student get these corrections completed properly. All Quiz, Quest, and Test Perfections need to be signed by a parent or guardian. Normally, students have two weeks from the date that the quiz, quest, or test has been given back to hand in the signed corrections.

COURSE GRADING:
Your child’s grade is available online by clicking a link on my website’s homepage to Aeries or by going directly to Series, our district grading system. If you already created an account from last year, continue to use the same password. There is a link to click on Aeries, if you forgot your password. If you are new to our school or did not set up an account last year, please contact Ms. Todd in our counseling office at ctodd@lvusd.org. She will be glad to assist you in establishing an account to view all your child's grades. Your student will visit my site as part of a homework assignment in the next few days. You will also receive that information at Back to School Night. Students' grades are updated frequently, usually every other week.

Academic grade: The course academic grade will be based on demonstrated achievement on a variety of assessments including daily assignments, tests, quizzes, student notebook, and projects.

The grade percentages are as follows:
Assessments (Tests/Quizzes/Projects) 65%
Quick Quizzes (Q2's) 20%
Coursework(Homework/Classwork/Spiral Notebooks)10%
Test/Quest/Quiz Perfections 5%

Students will be allowed a maximum of 2% of extra credit per semester. Extra credit will be earned by answering Smater Blanced Assessment Cosortium (SBAC)-based questions available on my website. The SBAC-based questions will focus on a concept either from the current or previous lessons. Each time a student answers 50 questions correctly, he/she will receive one extra credit percentage point up to the maximum allowed. The goal is to offer an extra credit assignment that will help them keep up with the class on a regular basis, and also get them comfortable with the SBAC format. Please see my website for details on the ways to earn extra credit. Too often, extra credit assignments are unrelated to the actual course objectives and are done in a panic at the end of the grading period.

Work Habits: The Work Habits grade will be based on completing homework and class work, and coming to class with all of the appropriate learning materials.

Citizenship: Each student is expected to participate in class and contribute to a positive learning environment. The citizenship grade is based on overall behavior exhibited during the entire grading period, not just the behavior during the week or two before the grading period ends. It is expected that students will be in their seats before the bell rings; bring supplies, materials, homework, etc.; behave respectfully to everyone; follow the class and school rules and dress code, and do nothing to interfere with learning or to detract from a positive classroom environment. This behavior earns an S. To do less than this, earns an N or U depending on the degree of the behavior. If the N behavior has not risen to a satisfactory level by the quarter/semester report card period, a U will be given. An O is earned by doing more than expected, for example, making a point to courteously greet adults and peers and volunteering to help.

EXTRA HELP:
I will be available most mornings, except Tuesdays, to help students with questions. I will be available at lunch at least two days per week for all of my students. I am available after school until 4:00PM by appointment, only.

LEARNING KEYS:
* Student and parent: Check HW completion, accuracy, and understanding nightly. See Reminder Binder or web page for assignment.
* Ask your child to explain 1 problem and solution each day.
* Share your use of math in your job & daily life as it occurs.
* Model a positive and ‘can do’ attitude toward math.
* Help your child read & utilize text explanations and models at home.
* Utilize e-solutions for clear explanations and solution models.
* Contact me whenever you have questions or concerns.

KEYS TO SUCCEED:
· Be in class, on time, ready to learn.
· Follow directions the first time they are given.
· Be responsible for yourself.
· Bring supplies: PENCILS, green pen for correcting, Spiral Notebook, paper, eraser, dry erase markers
· Ask questions. appropriately, as they arise.
· If your question cannot be answered during class time, please see me to arrange a time for extra help.
· Cheating is unacceptable and will result in a grade of zero for the assignment. This includes, but is not limited to, copying someone else's homework, unauthorized use of the calculator or copying someone else's test.

COPYRIGHTS AND DISCLAIMERS:
No materials on any of the LVUSD pages may be copied without express written permission
unless permission is clearly stated on the page. They may be copied for school district and
non-profit use only as long as the source is cited. All graphics are courtesy of http://www.clipartconnection.com. The LVUSD is not responsible for information included in this site. This web site is the exclusive responsibility of Jani Nelson.


Last revised August 17, 2014