Algebra FAQ

1. What if I did not have 8^{th} grade math in 7^{th} grade?
Many of the students have done well without taking 8^{th} grade math in 7^{th} grade. I have had many students that did not have 8^{th} grade math in 7^{th} grade. If they work, they do well.
2. Is Algebra hard?
Algebra is not difficult but new. Eighth grade math contains more than 50% of the same content as 7^{th} grade with an added degree of difficulty. Since most of the concepts in Algebra are new, the students find algebra very interesting. At appears to be challenging at the beginning of each new concept, but becomes very easy once the concept is mastered.
Some of the students that struggle the most are the ones ‘where math comes easy to them’ and they don’t think they need to do the homework.
3. Is there a STAAR test for Algebra?
Yes, it is an End of Course (EOC) meaning the STAAR tests only Algebra content (The 9^{th} grade TAKS test include 8^{th} grade math..
4. Will I get high school credit?
The class and the grade point average will count as a high school credit. If you pass the STAAR EOC you will not need to take the test again if you fail the class. If you pass the class, you will not need to take the class again if you fail the test.
5. Is there a lot of homework?
The homework averages about 1 hour for every two class periods.
6. What if my parents cannot help me with my homework?
Mr. Crookston is generally available for tutoring after school every day. Since class meets every other day, the student should try to do the homework the first day and come to tutoring the next day for help on difficult concepts.
My web site has some notes and Kahn academy online is a good source of help. It is also helpful to form study groups and work with your friends.
The online homework offers three helps:
 An example of a similar problem
 Hints for each step of the given problem
 A short tutor similar to what you would see on Kahn Academy
7. Do I need a calculator?
No. We have a class set of TI84+ calculators for school. The student will need a calculator at home. The calculator does not have to be a graphing calculator. It does need to have a square root key.
I do have a number of graphing calculators that the student can check out. Since graphing calculators are expensive (? $100), this would be a good time for the student to test out the different types of calculators available before purchasing one for high school.