Dear Parents or Guardians:
This year I will be teaching your child Algebra 1. As you know, this is a High School level Honors course. Therefore, we will be following the High School curriculum guidelines.
Grading Policy: Major Summatives (unit tests/projects/performance tasks): 70%
Minor Summatives (quizzes/class participation/assignments): 30%
Curriculum: Most of what we will study in this class will be HS Algebra I. However, there will be times when we will work on 8th grade material. For example, surface area of a three dimensional figure is covered in the 8th grade, but not in HS Algebra. This is a topic that is expected to be mastered before HS Algebra. So, please understand that there are some 8th grade topics that will be included in our schedule.
· Respect others and their rights.
· Respect all school property.
· Be in the room and in your seat on time.
· Come prepared for class (with all necessary material)
· Warning (often a student/teacher conversation is sufficient)
· If behavior continues, parents will be notified.
· Team meeting with student and parent contact
· Office referral·
Serious discipline problems or classroom disruptions will be immediately referred to the office.
Agendas: All students are encouraged to use their agendas to keep track of assignments, tests, quizzes, etc
Supplies Needed: Students will be required to take notes in this class as well as keep all their graded papers. They will need:
- Springboard Algebra consumable textbook
- single-subject spiral notebooks (several will be used during the year!)
- folder with pockets
- notebook paper
- pencils (all work is to be done in pencil)
- red pen (for grading)
Homework: We will use the Springboard consumable textbook/workbook this year. Students will do some of the practice in the book. We will do a lot of guided practice in the classroom (I give lots of practice!) – this practice will be one of the things I expect in their spiral notebooks, as well as any notes I write on the board. Often, homework will be started in class, and then completed at home as independent practice.
Grading Policy: There have been changes to the current grading policy that was implemented five years ago. Students will only be allowed to retest majors with scores below 90, and will only be assignged a grade of no more than 90. Minors/majors must be corrected and all homework must be completed. Students will only have 4 days to retest a major grade. (These new changes are on the district website). A lot of the work is done in class so I can provide assistance, reteaching, clarification of directions, etc. However, I often have to assign independent practice so I can tell if mastery has been achieved before a quiz/test is given. Homework provides the practice necessary to be successful on these summative assessments. In Algebra, there is a lot of homework assigned.Our book is set up to give practice during the teaching part of the units - and I give lots of extra practice as well. These practice problems must be written in their spiral notebooks along with notes/steps I write on the board. At the end of each Unit, there is an activity. I always assign these activities - we begin them in class, and if they are not completed in class they are assigned as "homework." We often grade the assignment in class; questions about problems are covered; assignments are turned in and recorded. Formative assessments (assignments) will be entered in HAC as "Formative" and will have a zero weight. I often create quizzes (minor summative assessments) using selected problems from the activity. So, if the "homework" was completed - and questions asked - these quizzes should not be a problem!
Work: In Math/Algebra, I stress learning concepts and processes. Students that try and do all the work in their head (and they are very good at this!) sometimes struggle when more complex concepts/processes are being learned. I am adamant about students showing their work, even when they are able to do a lot of the work mentally or punch in numbers on a calculator to get the correct answer. “Showing work” means writing down the steps that you tell the calculator to do. Please know that this is not to be thought of as extra work. It is just part of learning the correct process. If a student hands a formative assessment in with just answers written down - and no work shown, I will record a "Missing" in HAC, and write "no work/no grade" on the paper. In order to qualify for a retest on a summative assessment, the missing work will have to be completed.
Correcting Work: Students must make corrections on assignments/quizzes in order to be able to retake a test (major summative). Corrections are to be made on a separate sheet of paper and stapled to the front of the assignment. Please do not erase the incorrect work and redo the problem on the original paper.
Tests/quizzes: There will be tests given after every Chapter – with small quizzes given throughout. Tests are always scheduled and students should note these in their agendas. Quizzes should not be looked at as threatening! Sometimes they will “pop” up!
Retake Quizzes and Tests: Students who wish to retake a test must turn in corrections before a retake can be scheduled. They must also make corrections on any quizzes given, as well as having completed any assignments over the tested material. Most of the time, after a student looks over their quiz/test they can see their mistake(s). If they attempt to make corrections and are still not sure of the concept/procedure, then we will schedule tutoring, and then the retest. (Please note that new material is being taught during this time) Retakes must take place within four (4) school days. This starts from the day they received the test back. All students have the opportunity to retake quizzes/tests, not just those that score below a 70. They will receive the new score. (This is part of the Denton ISD grading policy – it is something I have always done). The new test score may also replace any low quiz scores over the same material. Quizzes are not usually retaken - they are times when I will tell students a "retake quiz" is available - but corrections on quizzes/tests/homework must be made in order for a test retake.
Make-up Work Policy-Denton ISD: Make-up work is done following an absence from class. It does not matter if the absence is excused or unexcused, work must be made up according to the following policy: Students shall be permitted to make up assignments and tests after absences. Students shall receive a zero for any assignments or test not made up within the allotted time. Students will be allowed the number of days they were absent plus one to complete make-up work. (Ex: absent 2 days; the work is due within 3 days of the student’s return to class).
Assignments due the first or only day of an absence are due the day the student returns to class. Students must make arrangements to make-up tests the first day they return to class. Parents may need to help the student arrange transportation to get to school early to take make-up tests.
School field trips or early dismissal for school events do not count as absences; therefore, students are responsible for requesting work for the classes missed before a trip and for turning in any work due that day before leaving for the trip.
Passing periods: In the four-minute passing period, students should collect materials necessary for class and take care of personal needs.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call and leave a message on my voice mail. My number is: 940-369-3378. Or, often emailing is a faster, more efficient way of communicating. My e-mail address is: email@example.com It is my sincere desire to see your child be as successful as possible – not just in Algebra - but in all areas of school. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call.
Mary K Overton
8th Grade Math