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It has been said that the key to success in math is the ability to use mathematics in the real world. This requires both math skills and problem-solving ability. The Pre-Algebra course is designed to provide numerous opportunities for students to develop and fine tune their understanding and use of mathematics.
The course begins with a study of algebraic expressions and integers, allowing students to combine the abstract thinking, involved with variables and the more concrete thinking involved in operations with integers. Students then progress to solving equations and inequalities as they apply such concepts as number properties, rounding, estimation, and use of formulas. Decimals, factors, fractions and exponents are explored as students learn about measurement, divisibility, simplified and scientific notation. Operations with fractions are studied in detail. Students compare, order and find equivalent values for fractions. They then learn how to perform the four basic operations with fractions and apply these skills in problem-solving situations. Students work with decimals, fractions and integers as they solve problems using ratios, proportions and percents.
In Pre-Algebra students begin to solve equations and inequalities using several steps and involving decimals as well as fractions and integers. Linear functions are graphed and explored as students determine slope, y-intercept and solve systems of equations.
Geometric reasoning is introduced and students begin the study of points, lines planes and angles. Polygons are introduced and explored using principles of congruence, translations and symmetry. Students then move into measurement of plane and solid figures through use of formulas as they
find area and volume. Right triangles are explored through a study of the Pythagorean Theorem as it relates to square roots, irrational numbers and special right triangles.
An overview of data analysis and probability teaches students how to represent data and determine probabilities. The course concludes with a study of nonlinear functions and polynomials.
Upon successful completion of this course, students are prepared to pursue a more detailed study of algebra and geometry.