Thursday, June 06, 2013

What Should Students Leave Algebra 1 Knowing

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be teaching Algebra 1 next school year. I am beginning the process of putting together my curriculum map, however, I have to say I am pretty overwhelmed at the moment. I am also taking a course through our county's educational service center about writing SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes). Part of what we have to do is decide what standards we should cover with our SLO. I thought at some point, some one had a post about what the most important skills and concepts that students should leave Algebra 1 with but when I tweeted it out this morning, I got crickets.

So, I pose the question to you, dear readers. What do you think the five most important skills and/or concepts that a student master in Algebra 1? If you happen to know where they fall in the Common Core State Standards, that would be helpful, too. Thanks!

8 comments:

Bob Lochel said...

I believe that students should be able to exposed to "real" data on an almost daily basis, and leave Algebra 1 being able to build and assess a linear model. Too often, I find that algebra 1 is too filled with skills practice (solving for a variable, findind an equation given 2 points), with assessing a model left for the end of a chapter if time allows. Data should be the start of the show, and allows for real discussion of algebraic concepts.

Sue VanHattum said...

I like what Bob said, and if I were teaching this course now, I'd try to make that happen. I wonder if you were thinking of my post from 3 years ago: http://mathmamawrites.blogspot.com/2010/07/sbg-wading-into-water.html

Shannon said...

At mt school our big concepts are: equations (including multi step and proportions), linear functions (graph and write), linear systems, quadratics (graphing and solving)...

Lisa said...

@Sue - no, that's not it. This happened late July or August 2012.

LSImonick said...

I agree with Bob that data analysis is quite important. To that I would add the concept of functions as a way to organize work with linear and quadratic functions. My focus is on multiple representations. I want to develop a fluidity of thinking around the different ways data and functions can be shown (data/pattern, table.graph, function rule).

Amy Zimmer said...

I concur with Shannon about what I want from an Algebra 1 student in their skill set. And I want them to be able to apply all those skills. I want those skills to be like riding a bicycle...no hesitation...because they have applied them so many times. They are so fundamental, they are a breeze. (In my perfect world at any rate!)
Within quadratic functions the students learn rules for radicals and can apply and use the pythagorean thereom.

SiouxGeonz said...

I want them to actually know what they know, not "have been exposed" to it.
"Build and assess a linear model" and be able to do that when asked to convert things or figure out how long it will take to get something done... oh, they should also really, actually *know* that 1/8 is not the same as .8 and that 3.5 hours isn't 3 hours and five minutes.

mrdardy said...

To follow up on Amy's comment (and amplify Sioux's) - they should have deep and quick command of the mechanics of linear functions and operations. I tend to de-emphasize the quadratic journey in Algebra I and see this course as the 1st degree relations course and save most of the oomph of quadratics for Alg II.