Algebra I


  Math is all around us, and we use it on an everyday basis, which makes this course vital to both your academic and social lives!  I hope to provide a positive, fun and unique class experience that you will enjoy!

 Purpose and Objective:

During the first semester of Algebra I, we will be focusing on linear functions.  We will be exploring these functions graphically, algebraically, and numerically.  A large amount of our time will be spent learning how to manipulate algebraic expressions and solve equations.  In addition, we will use our new skills to solve real-world problems.

         We will also be focusing on problem solving throughout the year.  You will be working non-routine problems on a regular basis.  Not only will you be expected to determine an answer to the problem, but you will also be expected to communicate your methods to anyone who may read your solution.

         At times you will struggle and be frustrated.  Ask questions, rework problems, and most importantly, don’t give up.  By the end of the year, you will have a deeper understanding of mathematics and will be prepared to continue on next year.


2 Pocket Folder
1 ½ inch 3 prong binder with pockets (Required for Notes)
Scientific calculator: This is REQUIRED!!!!!!
1 Package of Graph paper, 1 Package of Lined Paper
3 boxes of Kleenex (optional but will get you your first homework pass)

Assignments and Grades:


Tests: You will be tested at the end of each Unit.  Tests are always worth 100 points.  If you earn less than 85% on a test, you may complete test corrections. These will be due within one week of test return date.  Those students who score 95% or higher on test, will receive a free homework pass that must be used before the next test.

Test Corrections: You can earn the opportunity to correct your test and earn back up to half of the points missed on a test.  This is the only extra credit that will be offered this semester.  Corrected tests MUST be completed in the following format to gain points:

  • Correct the problem on a separate sheet of paper
  • State what it is that you did incorrect on the original test
    • Answers like “I didn’t do it, I didn’t know how to do it, or I skipped it” will NOT gain you credit. Your reflection has to be specific. If you didn’t complete a question because you didn’t know how to do it, then your reflection should be an explanation of how to do it.
  • Staples corrections to the front of the original test and turn in to

Other Assignments: From time to time, other assignments/projects will be assigned to enrich or reinforce learning.  These will be worth 10 to 100 points depending on the difficulty and the amount of time required.

Semester Exam: A cumulative exam will be administered at the end of the semester.  This exam will be worth approximately 20% of the semester grade.

Grades will be posted on Power School so you and your parents can periodically review your progress.  Points on Power School will be calculated and converted to a percent. The grading scale is as follows:

A+      98%-100%      A       93%-97%     A-      90%-92%
B+      88%-89%       B       83%-87%     B-      80%-82%
C+      78%-79%       C       73%-77%     C-      70%-72%
D+     68%-69%        D       63%-67%     D-      60%-62%
F       59% or below                                                  Weights for semester grades are as follows:

Quarter 1:   40%            Quarter 2:   40%            Final Exam: 20%

Late work:

It is very important that homework be turned in on time and complete. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED!!!!

Follow the Cowan student handbook for the policy on work missed when you are absent.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS MISSED, TURNED IN, OR ASSIGNED WHILE YOU WERE ABSENT FROM CLASS.

Additional class time will not be missed in order to make up quizzes or tests. They must be made up before or after school, unless other arrangements have been made or we have work time in class that you might want to use.

General Policies and Procedures:

  1. Be on time and come prepared.
  2. Students are expected to sit in their seat upon entering the classroom. They are expected to stay seated during instruction time. (Getting up to sharpen pencils, or throw trash away will not be tolerated during instruction time).
  3. Be respectful of teachers and other classmates, including their thoughts, feelings, questions, and personal property.
  4. Be responsible for your own behavior.
  5. Ask questions and let me know when you are having trouble.
  6. Complete and turn in assignments on time.
  7. Should disciplinary action be necessary, consequences will be handed out the following way:
    1. First offense:                Warning
    2. Second offense:     Warning
    3. Third Offense                Letter, Email, or Phone call will go home to parents
    4. Serious or repeated behaviors will result in a disciplinary referral to office.
    5. ANY violent or dangerous behavior on the part of the student will immediately be referred to the administration.

Note: Any offense past the first will result in points being deducted from participation grade. 

Communication with Parents:

Keeping the communication lines open between parents, students, and myself is key to creating and maintaining a successful semester. I will send mass emails occasionally to inform you of what we are doing in class and when tests are scheduled. I like to use email frequently to communicate, as it is the quickest and easiest method, however please feel free to contact me anytime through email, the Cowan main office. I will also be using MY WEBSITE as a form of communication with parents and students in regards to homework. It is part of my attempt to create a classroom without parameters.