We cover the following topics in the Pre Algebra class:
Pre Algebra syllabus for middle school students: Click to Read the Book
- Whole Numbers
Each of the four basic operations with whole numbers—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—is modeled and explained. As each operation is covered, discussions of algebraic notation and operation signs, translation of algebraic expressions into word phrases, and the use the operation in applications are included.
- The Language of Algebra
Mathematical vocabulary as it applies to the whole numbers is presented. The use of variables, which distinguishes algebra from arithmetic, is introduced early in the chapter, and the development of and practice with arithmetic concepts use variables as well as numeric expressions. In addition, the difference between expressions and equations is discussed, word problems are introduced, and the process for solving one-step equations is modeled.
While introducing the basic operations with negative numbers, students continue to practice simplifying, evaluating, and translating algebraic expressions. The Division Property of Equality is introduced and used to solve one-step equations.
Fraction circles and bars are used to help make fractions real and to develop operations on them. Students continue simplifying and evaluating algebraic expressions with fractions, and learn to use the Multiplication Property of Equality to solve equations involving fractions.
Basic operations with decimals are presented, as well as methods for converting fractions to decimals and vice versa. Averages and probability, unit rates and unit prices, and square roots are included to provide opportunities to use and round decimals.
Conversions among percents, fractions, and decimals are explored. Applications of percent include calculating sales tax, commission, and simple interest. Proportions and solving percent equations as proportions are addressed as well.
- The Properties of Real Numbers
The properties of real numbers are introduced and applied as a culmination of the work done thus far, and to prepare students for the upcoming chapters on equations, polynomials, and graphing.
- Solving Linear Equations
A gradual build-up to solving multi-step equations is presented. Problems involve solving equations with constants on both sides, variables on both sides, variables and constants on both sides, and fraction and decimal coefficients.
- Math Models and Geometry
The chapter begins with opportunities to solve “traditional” number, coin, and mixture problems. Geometry sections cover the properties of triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, circles, irregular figures, the Pythagorean Theorem, and volumes and surface areas of solids. Distance-rate-time problems and formulas are included as well.
Adding and subtracting polynomials is presented as an extension of prior work on combining like terms. Integer exponents are defined and then applied to scientific notation. The chapter concludes with a brief introduction to factoring polynomials.
This chapter is placed last so that all of the algebra with one variable is completed before working with linear equations in two variables. Examples progress from plotting points to graphing lines by making a table of solutions to an equation. Properties of vertical and horizontal lines and intercepts are included. Graphing linear equations at the end of the course gives students a good opportunity to review evaluating expressions and solving equations.