Pre-algebra is designed to strengthen the arithmetic skills students learned in elementary and middle school, such as operations with numbers, decimals, fractions, and percents, etc. It also introduces students to beginning algebra concepts so these are not brand new when students see them in algebra 1.
What sets Denison Pre-Algebra apart from other courses is that it was created with the "non-mathy" student in mind. It not only reviews essential arithmetic topics and introduces basic algebra skills in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-remember fashion, but also teaches students the habits and techniques they will need to study upper level math. Essentially, they will learn how to learn math.
With this course, students will gain a solid pre-algebra foundation, setting them up for success in algebra 1, while also reducing math anxiety and building confidence in their math ability.
Pre-Algebra Course Includes:
1-year access to our comprehensive Pre-Algebra teaching videos. These are short, to-the-point instructional videos covering all essential Pre-Algebra topics. The course also includes access to the Pre-Algebra Solutions Library where every homework and test problem is worked out and explained on video.
Student Textbook & Solutions Manual
Our spiral bound student textbook is consumable, which allows students to easily follow along, take notes, and work problems exactly as they see them in the video lessons. This avoids the frustration of copy errors and makes handling and reading easier. The spiral bound solutions manual works every single homework problem in detail so both students and parents can check work and accurately assess progress.
Chapter Tests & Solutions
This packet contains two versions of tests for each chapter (forms A and B), allowing a student to re-test if he or she needs further practice on concepts. The corresponding solutions manual works out each problem for each version of the test in detail. The 3-hole punch packet format allows parents, tutors, or teachers to easily disperse individual test forms as needed and accurately check work afterward.
The parent guide provides parents with all the information they need to successfully guide their student through Pre-Algebra, whether the student needs the parent to be fully hands on, mostly hands off, or somewhere in between. It provides pacing guides, grading suggestions, and grade recording pages.
What exactly is pre-algebra, and do students really need to take it?
Pre-algebra is designed to be a bridge course between middle school math concepts and the abstract world of algebraic concepts. It reviews and strengthens arithmetic concepts, as well as introduces students to beginning algebra topics. All algebra topics taught in pre-algebra are retaught in algebra 1 but at a deeper level. So, there are not specific “pre-algebra” topics that are not taught in algebra 1. Basically, the reasoning is that if students can be exposed to intro algebra topics in pre-algebra, then when they see them again in algebra 1, they will have an easier time understanding them and going deeper. If students can fit pre-algebra into their schedules, then, it is recommended that students take pre-algebra before algebra 1.
We also have aPlacement Testavailable to help you gauge if your student would be better suited in pre-algebra or algebra 1.
What does my student need to know before taking pre-algebra?
Pre-Algebra was not written with any specific pre-requisites in mind beyond the basic ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide one-digit numbers. All other topics are reviewed and retaught (including arithmetic, integers, fractions, decimals, and percents).
Is my student ready for Denison Pre-Algebra?
Essentially, if a student is ready to take pre-algebra, either because of age or grade level (7th or 8th grade), they will be prepped enough to take this course. Students do not need to have arithmetic skills perfectly mastered because they will have a lot of reinforcement and practice using these skills throughout the course. The course gives an overview of broad, high-level math topics leading up to algebra and introduces algebra topics, preparing students to take Algebra 1.
How can you write a pre-algebra course with such few prerequisites?
For starters, any student going into 7th or 8th grade has no doubt already been exposed to (and most likely been beaten up by) all of the essential elementary and middle school math topics needed already (place value, long operations by hand, fractions, decimals, percents, etc.), even if it was done in a scattered or ineffective way. So, while a student may not have fluency in these areas, this gives us something to build on. In Denison Pre-Algebra, we start out by reviewing and reteaching the most basic math skills, but in a gentle way that makes sense for high school level math study. For example, it is not necessary to insist that students multiply large numbers by hand, such as 1438 x 805. This is very tedious and defeating for a lot of students (and is a waste of time). In high school, we usually use a calculator for such large numbers. So, in Denison Pre-Algebra, we review and reteach sensible arithmetic skills that you would do by hand, such as 72 x 8, but not long tedious arithmetic that causes heavy cognitive load on students. We review the basics of arithmetic, fractions, decimals, etc., but not at a highly tedious and defeating level. This allows us to push through the arithmetic block often experienced by struggling students and move on to learning algebra concepts in high school. This also allows us to write a course that does not require heavy prerequisites.
Does pre-algebra count as a high school math credit?
It depends on your state and your transcript goals. If you are generally following the requirements for public/private school students in your state, then most likely pre-algebra will not count as a high school credit. So make sure you double check your state requirements. As a homeschool parent, you of course have the freedom to count pre-algebra however you wish, if you are not following the requirements for public/private school students.
Is this course completely stand-alone?
Yes. This course is designed to take a student (even a "non-mathy" one) through an entire pre-algebra course without the need for a tutor or additional instructor.
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