Thurgood Marshall Middle School

Algebra Course Syllabus

2005 Š 2006


Instructor:     Mr. Rick


Course:                       The focus of Algebra is to shift from the arithmetic skills to the more abstract algebraic means of representation by emphasizing topics that are current and relevant to todayÕs student. Students will explore the language of algebra through verbal, graphical, and symbolic form. Each lesson is designed to motivate students to master the content. Students will develop skills needed to solve problems involving applications, connections, and integration.

            The Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools opens the algebraic content standards by saying, ŅSymbolic reasoning and calculations with symbols are central in algebra. Through the study of algebra, a student develops an understanding of the symbolic language of mathematics and the sciences. In addition, algebraic skills and concepts are developed and used is a wide variety of problem-solving situations.Ó


Goals and Objectives:            Provide opportunities for all students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, learning styles, or economic status, to build and maintain mathematical power, and to be prepared for further studies in mathematics.


Allow students to take responsibility for their own learning and to reflect upon their work. Students are expected to take advantage of redo opportunities for work that does not meet the San Diego City School Standards.


Develop studentsÕ skills by using appropriate mathematical tools, techniques, technology, and language.


Provide opportunities for students to communicate and represent mathematical understanding in a variety of ways such as charts, diagrams, models, graphs, and typical mathematical symbolism.


Develop reading comprehension and accountable talk to improve understanding of mathematics.


Strengthen basic skill through the use of warm-ups and work sheets.


Familiarize students with the San Diego City School Standards utilizing the Principles of Learning in designing and implementing lessons.


Basic Skills:   At Marshall we fell it is necessary and important for the student to continue developing and refining basic skills. For that reason, we emphasize basic skill on a regular basis. A variety of basic skill problems will be reviewed at the beginning of the year and throughout the class as need arises. It may be necessary for some students to put in extra effort on their own with skill sheets in the areas they need help.


Standards:       This course contains exercises and materials that reflect the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools. A copy of these standards can be provided upon request or can be found at


Textbook:       The book for this course is McDougal LittellÕs Algebra 1. Students will be assigned one book for which they are responsible. There is a classroom set so students shouldnÕt need to bring their book everyday.


Citizenship Standards:           The Mustang Code of Conduct is the code by which all Marshall students are to conduct themselves. Misbehavior is not tolerated as it interferes with the studentsÕ right to learn and the teacherÕs ability to teach. In general, the citizenship guidelines are:


(E) An outstanding student always cooperates, is always on task, always courteous and always uses time wisely.

(G) A good student is generally courteous and cooperative, usually participates and is generally prepared to work.

(S) A satisfactory student is cooperative, punctual, shows self-control and is self-directed most of the time.

(N) A student who needs to improve hinders the progress of the class, is undependable, needs close supervision, is talkative, has tardy problems, or is inattentive.

(U) An unsatisfactory student may have truancy or tardy problems, is insolent, uncooperative, defiant, damages property, disrupts class, lacks self-control, and/or lacks self-disciple.


Please review the citizenship standards found in the planner with your child. I do not tolerate disruptive behavior and it will become the parentÕs responsibility to correct such behavior if it persists.


Consequences for unacceptable behavior:     1. verbal warning; 2. removal from the classroom; 3. parent contact; 4. detention; 5. referral to a counselor or vice-principle.


Rewards for excellent behavior are important and those students will receive praise, positive phone calls home, homework passes, special rewards and extra treats.


Homework Policy:     Late homework will not be accepted. If there are extenuating circumstances, late homework may be accepted with a parent signature.


In cases of absences the student will have as many days to make up the homework as they were absent.


Homework is graded on a five-point rubric. 5 point work is complete, shows all work and follows directions; 4 point work is mostly complete but may be missing minor components or is not done in pencil; 3 points is incomplete and/or shows a lack of effort; 2 points is very incomplete and shows no effort; 1 point is given for work that is all but incomplete; 0 points will be given for missing work or work that is unacceptable.


Homework is expected to be in pencil at all times to facilitate corrections. Students are to maintain a separate notebook for warm-ups, class notes, and homework. Homework is not to be thrown away.


Assignment Schedule: Homework is assigned daily. The assignments are posted in the classroom, on the Internet, and on the homework hotline. Students are responsible for keeping up with assignments when absent.


Testing:          Students can retake tests when they earn a D or F. They will have two weeks from the date they get the test back to retake a test. There will only be one retake allowed per test and it will be harder that the original.


Grading Policy:

            Warm-ups and notes                                                         15%

            Homework                                                                     20%

            Tests                                                                             40%

            Projects, Quizzes, and Problems of the Week                        25%


Students who receive a low score on a project or test are expected to meet with the teacher after school, review the material, and redo the task in order to meet the standards. Students will be provided with examples of good products and/or task lists to guide their work. Grading rubrics will be discussed when the assignments are given. The student should save work until the end of the year.