The Algebra I materials are designed to cover all of the Common Core State Standards for Algebra I. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practices are emphasized throughout the course. The first unit, Pre-Algebra, acts as a review of topics that the students learned the previous year in either Course III or Pre-Algebra. The next three units, Solving Linear Equations, Relations/Functions, and Analyzing Linear Equations, discuss topics that were introduced to the students in their previous courses. However, the topics are going to be analyzed more in-depth. In addition, a few more topics are included in these units.
The next few units introduce topics that the students have not seen before. These topics include inequalities, systems, polynomials, and factoring. These units expose the students to these topics at the proper level of understanding to meet the standards, while preparing the students for Geometry and Algebra II. The final unit, Data Analysis, is a great way to finish up the year as this unit involves less abstract topics. This unit contains more activities and projects that relate to the students. The topics in each of the units build as the unit progresses, while constantly spiraling back. The units are also designed to connect current topics to previous units. This type of design helps improve understanding and retention.
Each of the lessons starts with engaging discussions that will get the students talking and thinking about mathematics. The lessons continue by stating a high-level objective. These objectives are met through high-level questioning that emphasizes reasoning ability and conceptual understanding as well as facts and algorithms. All of this is done by engaging the students with activities, applications, and games in a teacher-friendly format.