Preparation for Pre-Algebra


Preparation for Pre-Algebra is a year-long curriculum that will teach the fundamentals a student must master before embarking pre-algebra, algebra, and beyond. The class will review arithmetic skills, operations, and number theory. Key topics include fractions, rates, ratios, decimals, and percentages. Students will learn the computational operations of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and decimals. They will learn what decimals stand for, how they relate to fractions, and how to convert between the two. They will discover how rates and ratios are also fractions. Students will learn how to work with negative numbers including strategies for completing all four common operations with negative numbers. The class will also cover exponents and orders of magnitude to make sense of really small and really big numbers and common operations.

This class will also emphasize real world applications of the mathematical concepts through word problems so students become comfortable switching between prose (written descriptions) and mathematical representation (numbers, symbols) of real world examples such as money, mileage, weights, percentages, and scientific measures.

Prerequisites: This course can be considered a pre-pre-algebra class that will teach the core concepts typically covered in later elementary school/early middle school after a general arithmetic curriculum and before pre-algebra. While different curriculums and student pacing will vary, this class would be appropriate for a student who has successfully covered long division, multiplication of multiple digit numbers, and an introduction to simple fractions and who has complete mastery of multiplication facts, skills often aligned with 5th grade mathematics.

Workload: Students should expect to spend 3-4 hours per week outside of class to complete practice problems, homework, and assessments.

Assignments: The Canvas online class management system will be used to post assignments and scores. Students should have their own e-mail address to be set up users of the Canvas system. Parents can also be set up as Canvas guests/observers for purposes of tracking the student's progress and workload.

Assessments: In this class, the instructor will assess a student's progress by: checking that weekly homework sets are complete; spot-checking the full solution 1-2 select problems in class each week, and giving quarterly take-home tests. Points will also be awarded for class participation. Parents will be able to view accumulated points awarded in the class for purpose of determining a parent-awarded course grade.

Textbook: Students should purchase the two class texts: "The Complete Book of Math, Grades 5-6" (ISBN# 978-1561896776) and "EP Math 5/6 Workbook" (ISBN# 979-8643323693).

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