Algebra-1 extends and formalizes students’ understanding and appreciation of functions. Algebra 1 is a high school math course that teaches us how to use numbers and letters(called variables) with mathematical symbols to solve problems. Students primarily explore exponential functions, quadratic functions, and linear functions. With these functions, students develop a deep understanding of the features of each function-algebraically and graphically-and use these to guide analysis of solutions and the creation of models. Abstracting real life situations into mathematical models(functions, equations, expressions) is the key part of success in algebra-1.
What grade is Algebra 1?
In the United States, 9th grade seems to be the most common grade for students to take an algebra1 class because algebra1 is typically taught early in high school or late in middle school. Some high schools also offer algebra1 to 10th grades.
For more advanced math students, many middle school students offer an algebra 1 course as early as 8th grade or even 7th grade.
How did we order the units for Algebra 1?
It is divided into 8 units. All 8 unit will be explained below.
In unit 1, functions, graphs, and features, students are introduced to all the main features of functions they will learn throughout the year through basic graphical modeling of contextual situations. Students will use the tools of domain and range,intercepts,rate of change, and where the function is changing to describe the contextual situation. Students will learn about functions and use this to analyze and express features of functions represented in graphs and contextually.
In Unit 2, statistics, students continue to analyze contextual situations. In this unit, they focus only on the single variable data and then on the bivariate data. Univariate data is described through shape, center, and spread by using mathematical calculations to support their reasoning. This is the first unit where students are introduced to the concept of using data to make predictions and judgements about situations. Students begin to make judgments about whether the mean and median are better representations of the situation and whether the data is consistent. Bivariate data is analyzed to determine whether a linear model is the best function to fit a set of data and whether the variables are related.
In unit 3, linear expressions and single variable equations/inequalities, students become proficient at solving and manipulating single variable linear equations and inequalities,as well as using linear expressions to model contextual situations. The understanding students develop in this unit builds the foundation for units 4, 5,and 6. A “constraint” containing inequalities is used to reintroduce domain and range. This unit provides an algebraic outlet for modeling contextual situations.
In unit 4, linear equations, inequalities and systems, students become proficient at identifying features, manipulating, graphing, and modeling with two variable linear equations and inequalities. Proficiency at manipulating, identifying features, graphing and modeling of functions are essential groundwork to build future concepts studies in unit 5, 6, 7 and 8.
In order to formalize their understanding of domain and range to represent linear piece-wise functions, students revisit work from units 1, 3, and 4 in unit 5, “Piece-wise Functions and Transformations.” The students are exposed to a key concept in identifying functions that mimic circumstances but are reflected, modified, or enlarged to represent the particular situation’s peculiarities.
In unit 6, exponents and exponential functions, students extend their understanding to include rational exponents and review their exponent rules studied in middle school. Students formalize the conceptual understanding of the power of exponents to increase or decrease their values at increasing or decreasing rates, respectively,to model with exponential functions.
In unit 7, Quadratic functions and solutions, students pull together their understanding of graphical analysis from unit 1, algebraic manipulation from unit 3, and linear equations and inequalities from unit 4 to develop an understanding of what a solution means graphically, algebraically, and in context. Students begin a deep study of quadratic functions -a key function for students to master in algebra 1.
In unit 8, Quadratic equations and Applications, diving deep into all forms of quadratic equations, methods to solve quadratic equations, and methods to identify features from equations, students wrap up their study of quadratic equations in algebra 1.
Is algebra1 hard to study?
For each individual student, it is difficult to say exactly how easy or hard algebra1 is. Students who have a strong background in middle school math topics should find the Algebra1 course relatively easy. However, for many students, algebra 1 will be a quite difficult challenge.
Having strong arithmetic skills is an incredibly important prerequisite for gaining confidence in algebra1 course. In Algebra1 there are dozens of quickly moving skills and topics that build on each other as the curriculum progresses. If a student starts to get slightly behind on a specific topic, it’s likely those misconceptions will build into further confusion rather quickly.
In this post, we have discussed Algebra 1 and its 8 units. Those who have their basics clear in mathematics find it easy to study algebra1, which is a branch of mathematics. But those who do not have a clear base of algebra in middle school find it quite difficult to grab.
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