Thurgood Marshall Middle School

Honors Algebra Course Syllabus

2002‑- 2003


Instructor: Mr. Rick


Course: The focus of Honors Algebra is to shift from the arithmetic skills to the more abstract algebraic means of representation while studying functions and patterns. Students will explore the language of algebra through verbal, tabular, graphical, and symbolic form. Each lesson is designed to motivate students to master the content they need to solve the problems involving applications, connections, and integration.


The Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools opens the algebraic content standards by saying, "Symbolic 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 in a wide variety of problem‑-solving situations."


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 redo work that does not meet the San Diego City Schools Standards.


Develop students' 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, drawing, and typical mathematical symbolism.


Develop reading comprehension by using strategies to improve understanding of mathematics


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


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


Basic Skills:


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




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 ‑




The book for this course is Glencoe's Algebra 1. Students will be assigned one book for which they are responsible.


Citizenship Standards:

The Mustang Code of Conduct is the code by which all Marshall students are to conduct themselves and is carried in the students' planner. Misbehavior is not tolerated as it interferes with the student's right to learn and the teacher’s right to teach. In general, the citizenship guidelines are:


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


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


(S) A satisfactory student is cooperative, punctual, shows self‑-control and is self‑-directed.


(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‑ discipline.


Please review the citizenship standards found in the planner with you student.


Consequences for unacceptable behavior:


1. verbal warning; 2. removal from class; 3. parent contact; 4. detention; 5. referral.


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



Homework Policy:


Late homework will not be accepted. If there are extenuating circumstances, homework may be accepted with a parent signature. In the case of absences, the student will have as many days to make up the work as they were


Homework is graded on a 5 point rubric. 5 work is complete, shows all work and follows directions; 4 work is mostly complete but may be missing minor components; 3 point is incomplete and/or shows a lack of effort; 2 work is very incomplete and shows no effort; 1 work is all but incomplete and missing key components; 0 work is missing or unacceptable.


Homework is expected to be in pencil at all times to facilitate corrections. Students are to maintain a separate spiral notebook for class notes and a school provided notebook for journals entries and problems of the week.


Assignment Schedule:


Homework is assigned daily. The assignments are posted in the classroom. Students are responsible for keeping up with assignments when absent and may contact the school through the homework hotline or e‑-mail. Homework is not to be thrown away because all work will be collected and put in classroom folders at the end of each chapter.




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


Grading Policy:


                  Warm‑-ups, notes, journals, problems of the week            15%

                  Homework                                                                                    20%

                  Tests                                                                                              40%

                  Projects and Quizzes                                                                 25%


Students who receive a low score are expected to meet with the teacher after school, review the material, and retake a test or redo the task in order to meet the standards. Students will be provided with examples of good products and/or tasks lists to guide their work. Grading rubrics will be discussed when the assignments are given. Work folders will be kept for all students.