8th Grade Algebra Bosque School
2009 – 2010 Andy Wright
This course is designed to give students a challenging and appropriately paced eighth
grade math experience while laying a solid foundation for students’ mathematical
futures. While students have been slowly introduced to many of the algebraic
fundamentals in earlier grades we will take these nascent ideas and plunge into the
subject without looking back. Prerequisites for success in this course are a strong
mastery of arithmetic fundamentals as well as a well developed work ethic and good
organization. The topics learned in the first year of algebra form the basis for many of
the topics found in successive math courses.
The course content is based on the progression in the textbook, and is as follows:
• The Language of Algebra: What are the basic rules and ideas behind algebra?
• Real Numbers: What are the rules of arithmetic with rational numbers, and how can they be expressed
• Solving Linear Equations: What are the different types of linear equations and how do you “solve”
• Graphing Relations and Functions: How do you get a line from an equation, or an equation from a
line? What does it mean?
• Analyzing Linear Equations: What are the forms and conventions of linear equations, and how are they
• Solving Linear Inequalities: How do inequalities work graphically to define a region?
• Solving Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities: How do you deal with more than one variable
and more than one equation or inequality? How is this useful?
• Polynomials: What are monomials and polynomials and how do you use them?
• Factoring: How do you factor polynomials and why does it help?
• Quadratic and Exponential Functions: How do you solve, graph, and use quadratic equations and
• Radical Expressions: How do square roots and radical expressions work with the rules of arithmetic
• Rational Expressions and Equations: How can understanding of fractions help simplify and use
rational expressions, and help solve rational equations?
Textbook – Glencoe Mathematics, Algebra 1 (2005). This textbook, along with support
materials like reviews and practice tests, is available online through the class website.
Grading – grades are earned through a combination of homework (30%), tests (50%),
quizzes (10%), attitude, effort and participation (10%).
Homework – there is almost always a homework assignment due for every class day.
Your odd-numbered answers should habitually be checked in the back of the book for
correctness. All missed assignments need to be made up and late assignments will be
penalized. Homework assignments are given on the assignment board in class and will
also be posted on the class web site.
Extra Help – I am free during some activity blocks as well as after school most days.
After I go home I can be reached at 343-1216 until 9 pm.