Algebra 1 Course Syllabus

Ms. Gagos

Phone # (914) 222-2555 ext.2318




Introduction: Welcome to the wonderful world of 8th Grade Algebra I.  I am honored to be your teacher and look forward to spending the school year with you. While it is true that you “have to” learn math, I would also encourage you to think of all your math courses as a road to becoming a better thinker and problem solver.  I hope to make your school year of Algebra as interesting as possible. We will work collaboratively and independently in order to grasp important mathematical concepts. Through my own experience as a student, I have learned that math is one of the most important courses you will study in school. Below are the class policies, objectives, and expectations to help this school year be a smooth and successful one. Please read them carefully, share them with your parents/guardian, return a copy signed by both of you, and then keep this sheet in your notebook as a reference. Set high standards for your work this year. Work hard and you will do well.  Let’s work together to do our best!!


Required Text: Mathematics Vision Project… (MVP) (online), Big Ideas Math Algebra 1


♦ Folder/3 ring binder/tabs & Notebook (wide ruled)

♦ Pencils (Please no Pens)

♦ Loose leaf paper, Notecards, Handouts

♦ Textbook

♦ Calculator-TI 83, TI 83 Plus, or TI 84 (Please note a calculator will be provided during classwork only.  You will still need one for homework)

Course Objectives/Big Ideas:

  • To provide students with a foundation for future mathematics.
  • To make and apply connections among mathematical concepts to other academic disciplines as well as the real world.
  • To develop techniques for problem solving and applying those techniques to a variety of situations
  • To master the content areas of the Next Generation Standards as approved by the New York State Department of Education.
  • To communicate mathematical ideas and information using appropriate notation and terminology.
  • Students will understand that critical thinking is a tool that will help them problem solve mathematical equations relating to math and use this in math as well as beyond the classroom


Course Topics:  Here are some of the key topics outlined below.  One of our main goals is to think and be a problem solver. One of the best learning tools I can teach you is to learn how to ask questions.  Knowing the answer is just important as comprehending the question you are answering.  Here are some of key topics that we will tackle as we go through various chapters in this course. We will answer the essential questions associated with each topic.


*As you are reading some of the questions, I want you to start thinking about an answer.  It is okay not to know the answer but you certainly can start brainstorming.  Please note that you will use one of these topics for your final group presentation.  Remember that some of these questions are open-ended meaning there is more than one answer.



Essential Questions

Chapter 1: Real Numbers

What are real numbers and why do we use them?

Chapter 2: Introduction to Algebra

How can we use a systematic approach to mathematical problem to address dilemmas in our world?


Chapter 3: Writing & Solving Equations

How can different methods be applied to different systems of equations? Is there a particular method that would be best for solving equations?


Chapter 4: Proportional Reasoning

Can probability predict outcomes? How probable are the outcomes? How is probability similar and different from prediction, estimation, and experimentation? 

Chapter 5: Writing/Solving Inequalities

What is inequality and why is it necessary? How are equations and inequalities related to each other?  How can we solve inequalities in math?  Why do we want to compare rather then get an exact answer?


Chapter 6: Graphs and Functions

How can function be represented graphically? Why might a graph be useful? How do functions model data? How do you know if the model is accurate?


Chapter 7: Quadratic Equations/Functions

What is a quadratic function? What type of problem will utilize the quadratic equation formula

Chapter 8:Exponential Equation/Function

How can we find patterns?  How can we train ourselves to recognize patterns? Why are they important in Algebra? In what other subject may patterns be important?

Chapter 9 Radical Expressions/Equations

How do we use the Pythagorean Theorem in math? In what other fields would this theory be used?



Classwork:  During the first 5-10 minutes of class, we will have a series of “Do it Now” assignments.  You are to try the problems that are displayed on the board on your own or with a partner.  If you choose to work with a partner, you are to work together. Do not simply copy your partner’s work. You will not get points for getting the right answer.  You will receive points for showing how you came to your answer whether it is right or wrong. I will then select students to display their work on the board to show their solution and work.  Do not be intimidated by this.  It is okay to get the wrong answer. This is one of the learning methods that will help you understand how to be a problem solver.  Remember, Practice Makes Perfect!


Class Rules-Follow all the B's:

Be responsible, be respectful, be polite, be a good listener, be helpful, be prepared, and be your best.


Homework:  Home learning will be assigned EVERYDAY (including weekends). The exception will be on test days and occasionally on quiz days, however, students should anticipate daily math homework. The assignments will be posted on the school website. If you are absent, contact a study buddy and ask what you missed. We will operate on a “1 for 1” basis when you are absent, meaning for each day you are absent you have one day to make up the work. When absent, it is your responsibility to follow up and determine what you missed in both classroom instruction and homework assignments.  There will be and absent binder at the front of the classroom to allow you to see the lesson plan and you may copy the notes of the work that was done in class. You are expected to make up all missed assignments (regardless of reason). Scores for late work will automatically receive a minimum one point deduction1 for being late. ALL Homework must be done in pencil, have the proper heading, and be legible. Homework will be scored on a rubric scaled 1 to 5.


Expectations:  The most important aspect of any middle school class is practice.  Home Work and Class Work are assigned to provide this practice.  IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT ALL STUDENTS COMPLETE ASSIGNMENTS ON TIME. Keeping up with the pace of the class is the next most important ingredient for success.  My math classes are very collaborative among teacher and students and we will all work together to attain a high standard.  Please encourage your son/daughter to seek extra help with me as soon as something becomes unclear.  I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Grading System: Students will earn their grade based on total points.. These points will come from Daily Assignments, Notebook, Tests and Quizzes, Vocabulary and Chapter Projects. Grades are based upon the following percentages for each category:

40% = Tests & Quizzes

25% = Classwork & Participation

20%= Homework

15%= Presentation


Presentation:  Groups will be randomly selected into groups of 3-4 students.  Your presentation will be on one of the questions listed under course topics which will be covered in the lesson plans given throughout the year.  The purpose of this assignment is to learn how math is used in everyday life. How do functions and equations relate to real-world phenomena? If your group can collectively create a question essential to the chapter covered, please see me and I will let you know if it is approved. Groups will be picked in March and presentations will be in early June. Remember to make it fun and pick something that genuinely sparks your interest.  Stay tuned.  More details to come…


Availability for extra help: If you do not understand the homework or classwork or feel you want some extra help, I am available Monday & Thursday 12:00-12:40, Tuesday & Friday 11:30-12:10.  I am also available for afterschool Monday through Thursday. Remember that I am here to help you.  I want you to succeed.


Academic Honesty: Students will be required to SHOW ALL WORK, be it on class assignments or exams. Your efforts must be your own, any work that has been copied will result in a zero. Cheating on test or quiz will result in a zero grade and no re-take will be available. Students who allow an assignment or test to be copied will receive a zero.


Note for Parents and Students:  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. My phone number and e-mail address are listed on the front of this sheet.  I will try to return your call/e-mail as soon as possible. 


Terms and Agreement:  I have read and discussed all policies and procedures regarding this course.  I understand that I have a responsibility to be prepared, work hard, and do my best. If I am having trouble, I am to reach out for extra help.  I agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the syllabus that was given to me and by signing below means that I understand everything included in this syllabus.




Please sign and return ___________________________________________

                                      Student Signature




Please sign and return ___________________________________________

                                      Parent/Guardian Signature