Basic Algebra

Basic Algebra I Syllabus

2009-2010 School Year

Mrs. Robrahn

8th grade Mathematics




The following classroom rules will be enforced during the school year:

  • Everyone will be respectful of anyone or anything in the classroom.
  • Everyone will be responsible for their own actions and belongings in the classroom.
  • Everyone will be reliable when asked to complete an assignment or task in the classroom.


School rules are outlined in the student handbook.  Please specifically review the attendance, tardy, dress code and SRC discipline policies.  If a student misses class, it is their responsibility to get the notes and assignments that they missed.  Students who are not in their seats when the door is closed for class will receive a tardy for that class.  Any students who fail to follow the dress code and are forced to leave class to change will receive a tardy for being late to class, and students who disturb classroom activities will need to complete an SRC form and have it signed by the teacher before being let back into the classroom.  If a student needs to leave the room to go to the bathroom or get a drink, they need to make up the time (6 minutes) when lunch begins.  If it is difficult for them to make it to class on time, they should carry more than 1 class’s worth of books to their classes.




The following mathematical concepts will be covered this school year:

  • Understanding real number concepts and solving real world problems using number and operation
  • Understand and represent many types of functions
  • Recognize, represent, and apply common formulas
  • Understand solutions and solve equations, simultaneous equations, and linear inequalities
  • Solve problems about geometric figures, including using the Pythagorean Theorem
  • Visualize solids and understand concepts of volume and surface area
  • Understand and apply concepts of transformation and symmetry
  • Draw, explain, and justify conclusions based on data
  • Understand probability concepts for simple and compound events




All students will receive the following materials to use during this school year:

  • Glencoe Algebra I textbook (will return at end of school year)
  • a MEAP reference and overlay sheet to use (when needed) throughout the school year


All students are expected to bring the following materials to class each day:

  • Binder to keep all classwork and homework assigned during the unit (at least 1” thick)
  • Textbook
  • Pencils (with erasers)
  • Pen (for grading purposes – not gel)
  • Paper (should be kept in their binders)
  • Agenda
  • Calculator (only for the second half of the year – scientific or graphing calculator recommended)


Students are responsible for coming to class prepared.  If they leave something in their locker and class has started, they will receive a tardy for having to go get it.


Teacher Contact:      e-mail – (checked throughout the day)

                                    Phone – (269)793-7407 ext. 31082 (checked at the end of each day)


Assessments and Grading Policy:


50% - Tests

Tests are given periodically throughout the year to assess knowledge.  These tests assess basic mathematical skills knowledge, as well as applying these skills to new problems.  Throughout a unit, tests will be given over every 1-2 lessons and then one final test will be given over the whole unit (and every problem will be worth 2 points as opposed to 1 on the other tests).  Any students who fail the final test of a unit will be required to do test corrections until they show mastery.  This may entail spending lunch periods working on the test corrections in the classroom.  To help prepare for tests, please review notes and try homework problems again to make sure concepts are understood.  In-class test study guides will be completed and reviewed prior to the test. 


30% - Bellwork

Bellwork assignments are usually given on a daily basis.  Usually at the beginning of every class period, students will work on a 3-10 question bellwork assignment that reviews the previous day’s lesson (and other skills as well).  Students are expected to review their notes daily to prepare for the next day’s activities.  Sometimes, the teacher may allow any materials in the binder to be used to help the student complete the bellwork.  Students complete this (on a piece of paper) in 5 minutes, and then pass the paper to another student for grading.  Once grading is complete, the students will pass back papers, check how they did, and then turn this paper into the bin.  All bellwork assignments are recorded by putting the number correct over the number of problems.  Binders are checked periodically and bellwork points are awarded to students who have kept tests, homework, and bellwork assignments in the binder.  Any in-class activities or projects also fall into this category. 


20% - Homework

Homework assignments are usually given each day.  Sometimes this homework reviews basic mathematical skills, but usually this homework reviews the new concepts we have covered the previous day or two in class.  Reviewing notes is helpful in figuring out how to answer problems.  Homework is graded on the following scale:

3 points – completed                   2 points – mostly completed       

1 point – partially completed          0 points – nothing completed             

The teacher will come around and check for completed assignments every day at the beginning of the class period.  If a student does not have their homework out when the teacher walks by, they will lose credit for the assignment.  When it is time to correct the problems, students are responsible for grading their own work and asking questions (if needed).  This can help students practice and prepare for quizzes.  If a student is absent, they are to turn their homework into the absent bin within the appropriate time (see agenda for Absent Work school policies).


Grading Scale:


100    A+                89-87 B+               79-77 C+               69-67 D+               59-0 E

99-94 A                 86-84 B                 76-74 C                 66-64 D                

93-90 A-                83-80 B-                73-70 C-               63-60 D-


Please see the student handbook for retention procedures.  NO LATE WORK IS ACCEPTED. 



Students are expected to come to class each day prepared and ready to learn.  When the door is closed, students are expected to be in their seats, have their homework out for the teacher to grade, and completing the bellwork assignment.  If they are not in their seats when the door closes, they will be marked tardy. After 5 minutes, pencils are down and grading the bellwork will commence.  If students finish early they may get up and help pass any papers back.  Once the grading of bellwork is over, students turn this into the gray bin and homework is graded (and any questions about homework are answered).  The day’s objective is then discussed and the class will complete the notes/activities in the agenda.  If a student needs to sharpen their pencil during classwork activities, they may get up and do it without asking.  If classwork is completed with time left in class, homework assignments are expected to be started.  If students have any questions on problems or concepts, they can ask 1) during class, 2) before school, 3) after school, 4) lunch or 5) during homework help advisory classes.