Pre-Algebra is an accelerated course designed to prepare students for entry to Algebra in 8th grade. Our courses and curriculum use a problem-based approach with concrete models. The course helps students to develop multiple strategies to solve problems and to recognize the connections between concepts.
The following excerpt from The Common Core Standards explains the content and focus of the course:
This course differs from the traditional 7th Grade course in that it contains content from 8th grade. While coherence is retained, in that it logically builds from the 6th Grade, the additional content when compared to the non-accelerated course demands a faster pace for instruction and learning. Content is organized into four critical areas, or units.
The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. The critical areas are as follows:
Critical Area 1: Students develop a unified understanding of number, recognizing fractions, decimals (that have a finite or a repeating decimal representation), and percents as different representations of rational numbers. Students extend addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to all rational numbers, maintaining the properties of operations and the relationships between addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division.
Critical Area 2: Students use linear equations and systems of linear equations to represent, analyze, and solve a variety of problems. Students recognize equations for proportions (y/x = m or y = mx) as special linear equations (y = mx + b), understanding that the constant of proportionality (m) is the slope, and the graphs are lines through the origin.
Critical Area 3: Students build on their previous work with single data distributions to compare two data distributions and address questions about differences between populations.
Critical Area 4: Students continue their work with area from Grade 6, solving problems involving the area and circumference of a circle and surface area of three-dimensional objects.
The course is offered to students who meet a variety of criteria as pre-requsites as determined during their 6th grade year. The criteria include:
- Performance on Hall’s placement tests (skill tests and performance tasks)
- Information from standardized tests (benchmarks or SBAC)