# Algebra IA Prerequisite SKills

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by WaterfallLady, Jan 5, 2011.

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Jan 5, 2011

I am trying to do some research to find out what skills a student absolutely must have to enter Algebra IA. I am the only Algebra/ higher level math teacher at my school so I don't really have a department to consult. Here is what I think is the bare minimum. I teach at a special education school so not many kids make it to algebra and I am often given kids not ready. Here are the skills I am thinking are prerequisites. Am I missing anything?

-Be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide negative numbers without a calculator (addition and multiplication charts OK as an accommodation if allowed)
-Be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions.
-Solve simple word problems (OK if read as an accommodation)
-Graph points like (-4, 2) on a 4 quadrant graph

Please help. I realize some kids come into algebra in normal schools not knowing this but my students learn very slowly so I can't spend a lot of time reviewing. I'm still trying to teach how to add and subtract integers and we should be much farther along by now.

3. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jan 5, 2011

OK, off the top of my head:

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of:
- fractions
- decimals
- positive and negative integers.

- Convert between fractions, decimals, and percents.

- Translate simple expressions into algebraic expressions

- Solve simple inequalities and graph on a number line

- Understand Order of Operations

- Understand exponents

-Recognize a perfect square, and understand the meaning of square root

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Jan 5, 2011

I knew you would come to the rescue Alice!!!! i couldn't find anything online.

5. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jan 5, 2011

Since your kids ARE Special Ed, could you allow the use of calculators so you could get beyond the integers??

I think my school is in a very very tiny little minority that don't allow them to be used in Algebra.

Another good source of info: Google Catholic High School Entrance Exams. They're generally given in Fall of 8th grade, and are a pretty good summary of what's expected of incoming freshemen.

6. ### mmswmModerator

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Jan 5, 2011

What Alice said.

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Jan 5, 2011

Yes, I allow them to use calculators once we get past the integer section of the book. I think it's really important to be able to add and subtract numbers like 4-(-8) so I don't let them use the calculators until it is mastered. They can look at addition and multiplication charts. I think its important to at least be able to have an idea of how to do that.

8. ### CindyBlueCohort

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Jan 6, 2011

What Alice said, with the addition of some focus on the properties (such as multiplicative identity, associative properties, commutative properties, etc.) that justify the arithmetic operations, and a major emphasis on fraction operations (and not just shortcuts, but the actual operations and hopefully the understanding of the properties that justify those operations)

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Jan 9, 2011

Are there any tests for algebra readiness?

It's a major problem at my school...deciding which kids are ready and which aren't. It's the difference between a regular and special diploma for some kids.

10. ### mmswmModerator

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Jan 9, 2011

I don't know of any offhand...just the pretests in algebra books, but if you don't find anything, I'd be happy to help you write something.

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Jan 9, 2011

I've taught this a lot.

Multiplication facts.

All operations with fractions, decimals, integers.

Experience with word problems and 'translating' them into equations.

12. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Jan 9, 2011

How about taking a look at some of the Catholic High School Entrance Exams? (Some are called the COOP or the HSTP) http://www.4tests.com/exams/examdetail.asp?eid=60

I'm most familiar with the one given on Long Island. It's given in October of 8th grade, right around Halloween. The math component is 40 questions, and they range in difficulty from simple addition and subtraction to systems of equations (though there are only 5 or 6 real algebra questions on each one.)