Greetings and Welcome to Algebra Acceleration 2011!
We only have 19 days to cover the entire Algebra 1 course. The goal of this class is to prepare students to take the district algebra competency assessment on Friday, July 29th. To do this we must run the class at a very rapid pace. The expectation is that students have mastered what I call number sense. The student must know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide positive and negative whole numbers, fractions and decimals without the aid of a calculator. In addition, the student must understand the connections between decimals, fractions, and percents. We will not have any time in class for this kind of review. If the student is struggling with these topics, I would recommend PurpleMath.com (http://www.purplemath.com/modules/index.htm) as a very good resource to brush up on these topics.
Since we have a limited amount of time, I am going to have to have the students spend time out of class preparing for the next day. Most days, this will consist of the students going to the Khan Academy website (http://www.khanacademy.org/) and watch a video that introduces the topics for the next day. These videos run about 10 minutes per topic, so the total time spent on this should be no more than an hour. These videos are a straight-forward introduction to the material with clear explanations and examples. I will be posting the links to this blog and you can access the videos from there. Having the students watch these videos, taking notes and coming to class with questions, will move the learning process along and ensure that we spend class time working problems and doing deeper, more complex mathematical thinking. The focus is the district competency assessment.