Algebra 1 Mr. LaCaille

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1 Course Objectives: All high school students must pass Algebra 1 in order to graduate from high school. The Algebra 1 curriculum is the standard on which the California High School Exit Exam is based. Algebra 1 is also the course in which students gain the tools that they will need to be successful in the higherlevel math courses that they will be taking during the remainder of their high school career. Bearing this in mind, there are two major objectives in this course. By the end of the school year, I expect the students to be able to 1) demonstrate the thought processes required to perform with proficiency in higher-level mathematics courses, as well as everyday life, and 2) effectively communicate those thoughts using the mathematical language. Both objectives will be assessed throughout the year in the form of tests, quizzes, benchmark exams, and presentations. Required Text: Prentice Hall Mathematics California Algebra 1; Bellman; Prentice Hall Publishing Replacement Cost: $75 ONLINE TEXT available at or Username: pioneer Password: algebra1 The textbook for this class is only for practice problems, the book will be taken home when checked out, and does NOT need to be brought to class. The supplemental workbook will remain in the class for the duration of the year. Course Outline: The Algebra 1 course is divided into twenty-five different standards. For each standard, students will be completing work that draws from the information presented in the class, as well as the text and other outside materials. To master each standard, each student will complete of some combination of bookwork, activities, projects, and real-life applications of the math. The Algebra 1 class will be following a pacing calendar for much of the year. This calendar, which was created and implemented by the Pioneer math teachers, divides the standards into smaller units, each lasting two to three weeks. The pacing calendar does NOT follow the book in order, but rather groups similar concepts together. In addition, each Monday, the assignments and topics for the week will be posted online. This way both parents and students will know exactly what is happening in the class. Classroom Expectations: Students will need to have the following supplies with them EACH DAY in order to be successful in Algebra 1: -A graph paper composition book/spiral notebook for notes (no tape binding) -A one-inch (1 ) binder with three dividers (Get Set, Homework, Test Results) -Loose-leaf graph paper for the binder -A Writing Utensil (pen, pencil, crayon, etc.) -A Scientific Calculator (graphing capabilities optional, but recommended) -A Brain (preferably functioning and alert)

2 Each class period will be structured in approximately the same way, consisting of four parts: Get Set, Homework Review, Lecture, E-Ticket. The first part of the day, which begins as soon as the student enters the class, is the Get Set. The Get Set is a set of problems and instructions that are written on the board for the student to complete at the start of class. It is either a review of concepts already learned, a preview of what the class will be learning that day, or standardized test preparation. The purpose of the Get Set is to allow the students to shift gears into thinking about math. Also, this is the portion of the class where I check the students homework. After the GET SET, we then go over the homework. I strongly encourage the students to ask questions about any problems they haven t understood. I will then model the problem for the students, break it down for them, and explain it for them again. The next phase of class is the lecture, where the new material for the day is presented. Finally, I give the students the last 5 minutes of class to solve one or two problems based on the lecture. This E-Ticket must be turned in before exiting the classroom, and allows me to check for the understanding of the notes. Class Rules: On the very first day of school, I tell the students they need to do two things in order to make sure they pass the class. The first is they need to be ready to think each and every day. The second is they need to be ready to work hard. There is only one rule that is practiced in my classroom: NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO INTERFERE WITH THE LEARNING, SAFETY OR WELL-BEING OF OTHERS! The rest of the rules the students follow are found in the student handbook, which both students and parents are required to sign. I follow the school handbook policies regarding attendance, discipline, dress, electronics, and food. All rules will be communicated to the students, and are final. Grading Policy: Students will earn grades in three categories: Tests/Quizzes, Homework, and Participation. A breakdown of each category follows. Each category has its own value and standards. A student s final grade will be determined by totaling the weighted score in each category. That total will then be assigned a letter grade based on the following scale: = A = B = C = D 59-0 = F Assessments (60% of total grade): Students will be assessed in a variety of ways throughout the course. The most common way that the students will be assessed is through their unit tests. These tests will consist of a variety of problems from the unit. Most of these questions will be in multiple-choice and short answer form, as to give the students practice for standardized tests. The problems are all directly based on problems in the homework assignments and lectures. I try to raise the bar a little during the tests. I expect the students to understand WHY they are doing certain steps as well as the steps themselves. In order to communicate mathematically, students need to be able to explain what they are doing. To me, this is as important as the correct answer. Most Fridays, students will be given a quiz. The quiz will only cover the sections and assignments that were learned during the week. These quizzes will allow the student to gain more practice using the concepts taught during the week, and will allow them to see the types of questions that will be on the unit test. Occasionally, the students will also have a vocabulary quiz on math terms introduced in the lesson. By knowing the definition of key mathematical terms, the student can learn new concepts more quickly, and will be able to better comprehend questions on all of their tests. In addition, students need to acquire a mathematical vocabulary in order to effectively communicate mathematically.

3 Quizzes and Tests may NOT be made up, unless arranged with me prior to the exam!! This policy encourages students to be in class on Fridays, and practice for the tests. If a students knows that they will not be in class on the day of a test or quiz, it is their responsibility to notify the me and make arrangements to take the test or quiz either before or immediately after the test. Two times during this school year, in November and March, students will be taking a district mandated Benchmark Exam in order to track the student s progress in mastering the Algebra 1 standards. These cumulative tests will be what the class is working toward during the year, with the emphasis of the instruction being on the standards covered in the CST. At the end of each semester, the students will be given a comprehensive and cumulative final exam, which will cover all of the standards taught during the semester. Homework (30% of total grade): Homework for Algebra 1 needs to be completed on a daily basis. Even missing one assignment can cause a student to fall behind. Each Monday, the students will write the assignments for the week in their notebooks, and it will also be available on my website. This will allow any student who is absent to know what they are missing, and therefore not fall behind. It is extremely important that every effort be made by the student to complete their homework in a timely and competent manner. Each day, while students are completing their warm-up, I will be individually checking to see if the day s homework is complete. Homework is worth one point per completed assignment, and since we immediately read the answers, no late homework is accepted. All I require is that the student put in effort and try each problem. I believe deeply that homework is the place to find out where you are making mistakes and fix them. This is why I just check the work, and then we go over it in class. This process does make it the students responsibility to discover where they are making errors. It is also why it is imperative that the students ask questions when they are confused about something. This way, I can re-explain the concept, and the student can look at his/her work and find where they are making mistakes. Most of the learning in the class will take place when we are correcting homework in class. I often tell the students that they should be taking more notes on their homework then they do from the lectures. It also enables the student to keep all work in their journal, which means that they will not lose the homework and can use it to study for the test. Participation (10% of total grade): Students are required to attend and participate in class each day in order to be successful in the class. Each day, a student receives 2 points for the class for walking in smiling. If the student is absent, they do not receive any points for that day. If a student is tardy, they receive one point for the day. These measures are put into place in order to give the students extra motivation to be in class and ready to go on time. A student may lose participation points for not doing the warm-up, talking in class, misbehaving, or not doing work during designated work times. Be aware that you can lose more than one day s worth of point in one class period. However, students may gain participation points for things such as asking and answering questions, volunteering to do a problem on the board, or anything else above and beyond the normal expectations of class. This allows students to regain any lost points due to absences, tardies, or inappropriate behavior.

4 I am very much looking forward to teaching you this year, and hope that we both will have an enjoyable, educational experience. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, please feel free to visit my website. Most of the information, important documents, assignments and practice tests are available on the site CONTACT INFORMATION Website: Phone Number: (408) ext or The best way to contact me is by , but if you need to call, the best time is between 11 am and 12:30 pm. Thanks in advance for your hard work toward making this year a success!! Bryan LaCaille AP Calculus AB Algebra 1 Varsity Girls Basketball Coach

5 Please fill out this page and return it to Mr. LaCaille by FRIDAY, AUGUST 19th!! Student Name (print): Honor Pledge: Please handwrite (cursive) the following sentence in the space provided. I affirm on my honor that I will not give nor receive any unauthorized assistance on assignments, projects, and/or examinations. By signing this page, I agree that I have read the attached information and I understand that I am expected to perform according to the standards as stated in this course syllabus. Student Signature Date Period Please have your parent or guardian sign below to indicate that you have shown them this syllabus, and discussed it with him or her. Parent Signature Date

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