Algebra 1 & Math 8
Student's grades for this course will be composed of:
Assessments 50% (tests, quizzes and projects)
Notes & Journals 15% (notebooks checked at least once per quarter)
Homework is an important part of the process of learning math. Homework is an opportunity to practice the skills and concepts we’re learning in class. It’s also a way for both you and I to make sure that you understand the skills and concepts we’re working on.
You’ll have math homework just about every day, but it will be short and sweet! Most assignments will be five exercises from your textbook to practice whatever skill we worked on that day, along with a video (or videos) to watch on (usually on the ConnectED website) to preview the next skill we’ll be working on. If internet access is an issue there will also be an option to read a section and review examples from our textbook. On most days you’ll have time in class to at least get started on your homework assignment, if not finish it completely. My goal is for homework assignments to take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete.
Daily homework assignments will be checked for completion (not accuracy) and will be worth 5 points. In order to get the full point you must answer the question completely and show your work (where applicable). Partial credit will be given for incomplete exercises. Homework will be checked at the beginning of class each day while you work on daily bell work. After I’ve checked everyone’s homework for completion we’ll review the assignment together and answer any remaining questions. It’s your responsibility to check your own assignment for accuracy, make any necessary corrections and make sure you understand any mistakes you may have made.
Each week (usually on Thursday) there will be a 10 point homework quiz consisting of five questions from the week’s homework assignments. Each question will be worth two points: one point for the correct solution and one point for showing your work (or explaining your reasoning). If you completed all of the homework assignments for the week and checked your answers during the daily homework review, you’ll do well on the homework quiz since you’ll have already seen the problems and their solutions.
Homework assignments will be written on the board each class period; students are responsible for recording the assignment in their planner in the appropriate space. Assignments will also be sent out using the Remind messaging service. Parents and students are encouraged to sign up for the service at https://www.remind.com. Remind subscribers have the option of receiving messages as text messages, emails, or push notifications (after downloading the Remind app). The Remind subscription codes for this year are:
Math 8: text @mrdonel to 81010 to receive text message updates
send an email to email@example.com to receive email messages
Algebra: text @mrdonelson to 81010 to receive text message updates
send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive email messages
If you’re absent or you miss class for any reason, you’re still responsible for that day’s assignment.
Notes & Math Journals
Note-taking is another valuable and necessary skill in order to be successful in school, especially as you move on into high school and beyond. You will be required to take notes in class; you can refer back to your notes to help you complete assignments and to review and study for tests. We will spend time at the beginning of the year learning some note-taking strategies and discussing how to take notes that will help you specifically.
Notes will be checked at the end of each chapter, usually during the chapter test. Each notes check will be worth 10 points; in order to get all 10 points you must have something recorded for each lesson in the chapter. If your notes are thorough, neat and accurate you can earn extra credit points.
We’ll also be doing some math journaling this year. Journals are another way for you to deepen your understanding of concepts and to reflect on questions or concerns you may have. Journals are also another way for you to demonstrate your learning, both to me and to yourself. Journal entries will be made at least once per week, although you are welcome to record any thoughts, questions or insights in your journal any time you like. Journals will be kept in the classroom in folders organized by class period. Entries will be due each Friday. You’ll have 10 minutes to journal each Friday morning (in place of daily bell work); if you require more time to complete your entry for the week you’ll need to plan accordingly so that you can turn your journal in by the end of the day each Friday.
Most journal entries will be responses to prompts that I’ll post on the board. Sometimes they will be reflections on specific problems we’ve worked on or summaries of a skill we’ve learned. Journal entries must be in paragraph form (minimum of 5 complete sentences), and must be neat and legible.
Prepared to Learn (PTL)
Students are expected to come to class prepared to learn, which includes having all required materials and being physically and mentally prepared to be focused and engaged for the class period. Ten percent of the student’s grade for this class comes from being prepared to learn every day. Students will begin each quarter with 10 PTL points; one point will be deducted each time a student comes to class without all required materials.
Students are expected to report to class on time and should be in their assigned seat with all required materials when the tardy bell rings, when they are to start the day’s bell work. If a student needs to use the restroom, go to their locker, get a drink, etc., they are expected to do so before reporting to class. Students will be allowed 3 hall passes per quarter in case of emergency (restroom, locker). Hall passes are found in student planners; in order for a hall pass to be issued the student must have his/her planner with them.
Required materials (daily) include: student planner, math textbook, math binder, homework (when assigned), calculator, pencil and notebook paper. Pens are not to be used in class or in completing homework assignments – PENCIL ONLY!
As a general rule there are no extra credit opportunities in this class. Occasionally there will be bonus questions on tests or quizzes – students are encouraged to at least attempt these bonus questions.
I am generally available for extra help before and after school (by appointment whenever possible) and during my plan period (also by appointment whenever possible). After school help may be affected by staff meetings, team meetings and coaching responsibilities.
The most efficient and effective way to contact me is by email at email@example.com. We also have voice mail in the building, but please be advised that email is a much more efficient means of communication. I encourage parents and caregivers to contact me at any time should you have any questions or concerns.