Pre-AP Algebra 1

Pre-AP Algebra 1 gives students a scaffold for deep mathematical learning and gets them ready for AP and other college-level math courses.

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Pre-AP Algebra 1 focuses deeply on the concepts and skills that are most essential for college and career success. Therefore, mastery of linear relationships is a major focus of this course.

Linear equations and functions are the basic building blocks of many advanced topics in math. Pre-AP Algebra 1 is streamlined to give students the time and space to thoroughly master these concepts and skills.

The course emphasizes these essential practices for building math muscle and confidence:

  • Building conceptual understanding
  • Building procedural fluency
  • Using and making mathematical models
  • Crafting mathematical arguments

In Pre-AP Algebra 1, students will:

  • Work with their peers to build math knowledge, persevering through challenges and making important conceptual connections.
  • Use authentic applications of math to solve real-world problems.
  • Acquire the tools needed for making, testing, refuting, and supporting mathematical arguments.

Instructional Shifts

The Pre-AP Algebra 1 instructional resources focus on the following key instructional shifts:

  • Emphasis on linear equations and linear functions: Students develop deep and robust understanding of linear relationships in procedural, conceptual, and applied settings.
  • Focus on authentic applications: Students employ mathematics to model and explain authentic scenarios.
  • Concentration on creating mathematical arguments: Students use evidence to craft mathematical conjectures and prove or disprove them.

Course at a Glance

The tabs below show the four main units in Pre-AP Algebra 1, the recommended length for each unit, and the key topics in each.

Linear Relationships / Nonlinear Relationships


Unit title: Linear Equations and Functions

Timeframe: 9 weeks

Key topics:

  • Slope and rate of change
  • Linear functions
  • Graphs of lines
  • Linear equations
  • Scatterplots and lines of best fit
  • Function notation
  • Linear inequalities

Unit title: Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities

Timeframe: 5 weeks

Key topics:

  • Solving systems of linear equations graphically, with a table of values, and algebraically
  • Modeling with systems of linear equations
  • Solving systems of linear inequalities graphically
  • Modeling with systems of linear inequalities

Unit title: Quadratic Equations and Functions

Timeframe: 9 weeks

Key topics:

  • Building quadratic expressions from linear expressions
  • Modeling with quadratic functions
  • Graphing quadratic functions
  • Writing equations for quadratics
  • Solving quadratic equations graphically
  • Solving quadratic equations algebraically

Unit title: Exponents and Exponential Functions

Timeframe: 5 weeks

Key topics:

  • Exponent rules
  • Geometric sequences
  • Exponential growth and decay
  • Modeling with exponential functions
  • Roots of real numbers

Underlying Unit Foundations

These big ideas are addressed across units:

  • The structure of real numbers
  • Functions
  • Linear functions
  • Quadratic functions
  • Solutions

Instructional Resources

  • A course framework and targeted lessons for key topics within each unit provide teacher support and student scaffolding for implementing the instructional shifts and shared routines.
  • Local school and district materials can be used alongside these supporting lessons during the rest of the unit with continued infusion of instructional shifts and shared routines.
  • Units include recommendations for targeted Khan Academy practice to support students in building foundational skills across the units.

Assessments and Feedback

Each unit contains:

  • Assessments: Short, digital formative quizzes, or learning checkpoints, offer opportunities for actionable feedback within each unit.
  • A performance task (assignment): This performance-based task is scored by the teacher. It features a multistep real-world problem that builds readiness for free-response questions on the AP Exam.