Pre-AP Algebra 1

Offer Pre-AP Algebra 1 at your school.

In Pre-AP Algebra 1, students develop a deep understanding of linear relationships emphasizing patterns of change, multiple representations of functions and equations, modeling real world scenarios with functions, and methods for finding and representing solutions of equations and inequalities. Taken together, these ideas provide powerful conceptual tools that students can use to make sense of their world through mathematics.


Areas of Focus

The Pre-AP mathematics areas of focus are aligned to the disciplinary practices that are fundamental to mathematics in high school, AP courses, and beyond. This gives students multiple opportunities to think and work like mathematicians as they develop and strengthen these disciplinary reasoning skills throughout their education:

  • Connections among multiple representations: Students represent mathematical concepts in a variety of forms and move fluently among the forms.
  • Greater authenticity of applications and modeling: Students create and use mathematical models to understand and explain authentic scenarios.
  • Engagement in mathematical argumentation: Students use evidence to craft mathematical conjectures and prove or disprove them.

Unit Foundations

These big ideas are addressed across all units:

  • Patterns of change
  • Representations
  • Modeling with functions
  • Solutions

Course at a Glance

Pre-AP Algebra 1 has four main units.

  • Unit 1: Linear Functions and Linear Equations (~9 weeks)
  • Unit 2: Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities (~5 weeks)
  • Unit 3: Quadratic Functions (~9 weeks)
  • Unit 4: Exponent Properties and Exponential Functions (~5 weeks)

Instructional Resources

These resources support teachers as they design instruction for each unit, but do not constitute a full day-by-day curriculum. They are intended to be used alongside local school or district materials to address objectives of the course framework:

  • Course framework: An anchor for model lessons and assessments, the framework defines what students should know and be able to do by the end of the course. Teachers can use this as the primary document to align instruction and course content.
  • Teacher resources: Available in print and online, these include a robust set of model lessons that demonstrate how to translate the course framework, shared principles, and areas of focus into daily instruction.

Additional Resources

All students need access to a graphing utility such as a graphing calculator, cellphone app, or laptop with graphing software such as Desmos, but students do not need to purchase any particular device or equipment.

Assessments for Learning

Each unit contains:

  • In-lesson formatives: Short, open-ended problems that highlight the targeted content and skills for each lesson.
  • 2 learning checkpoints: These multiple-choice and technology-enhanced questions modeled closely after the types of questions students encounter on AP Exams and the SAT. Learning checkpoints require students to examine graphs, data, and short texts—often in authentic contexts—to respond to questions that measure students' understanding of the unit’s concepts and skills.
  • 1 performance task: A sustained problem-solving task that asks students to synthesize the unit’s skills and concepts while answering questions about a novel context.
  • Practice performance tasks: 1 or 2 practice performance tasks with scoring guidelines and instructional suggestions.

A final exam allows students to demonstrate their success with the skills and content outlined in the course framework. This exam is optional. Pre-AP has not offered practice exams or published exam questions from prior years.