Algebra 1 Syllabus


Course Syllabus and Guidelines for Algebra I – Mr. Beretsky- Room B-230


 Course Description


Algebra I is a full year algebra course which has no prerequisite.  All students at BHS are required to take and pass Algebra I, some students may have taken it at the middle school.  The Algebra I course reflects the belief that the BelchertownHigh Schooleducational community fosters academic excellence and responsible citizenship in a positive, safe and respectful environment in order to develop productive contributors to society.


Algebra I students are expected to:


  • Read mathematical problems actively and critically.
  • Write effective solutions to problems and projects
  • Present solutions to problems effectively
  • Use a variety of appropriate resources including the computer and calculator to solve mathematical problems
  • Employ multiple critical and creative thinking strategies in reasoning and problem solving
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of how mathematics can be used outside the mathematics classroom
  • And meet all of the course objectives listed below


Topics Include:


  • Connecting with Algebra
  • Using Real Numbers
  • Balancing Equations
  • Graphing to find slope
  • Writing linear equations
  • Solving and graphing linear inequalities
  • Systems of linear equations and inequalities
  • Rules of exponents
  • Polynomials and Factoring
  • Solving quadratic equations and functions
  • Radicals and Geometry
  • Rational Equations and Functions
  • Probability and Statistical Data Analysis


It is a full year course (5 – graduation credits)


Course Objectives


The student will be able to:


  • Apply and demonstrate the different way numbers are represented and used in the real world
  • Determine the effects of operations on numbers and the relationships among these operations
  • Select appropriate operations, and compute for problem solving
  • Write and solve single and multi-step equations including real-world applications
  • Explain how rates and ratios are similar or different
  • Use rates and ratios to model and solve real-life problems
  • Articulate under what conditions a relation is a function
  • Describe, analyze, and generalize a wide variety of patterns, relations, and functions
  • Display representations of a functions (equations, graphs, and tables)
  • Connect representations of a function in a real world context and communicate mathematical thinking
  • Solve systems of equations using various methods
  • Use inequalities in an applied application to solve/evaluate real world data
  • Identify, graph and analyze an exponential growth and decay function
  • Apply various types of factoring methods to solve real-world problems
  • Graph, analyze and solve quadratic equations
  • Explain the concept of radical functions as applied to Geometry
  • Explain the concept of rational functions as applied to a specific real-world situations
  • Find probabilities of simple and compound events
  • Analyze, create, display and interpret data using statistical methods






Algebra I – Ron Larson, Laurie Boswell, Timothy Kanold and Lee Stiff -Published by McDougal Littell – 2007.  An online copy is also available at home after you log on to the book web-site and set up an account


Book Web-site:


You need to know the ISBN number 0618594027 to set up an account and further information to access the textbook on-line.  The activation code is 2690118-10


Internet Access


I have a homepage on the Internet.


This page will contain a course specific section on which I hope to put all homework assignments, problems of the week, an online copy of the course syllabus and links that will be helpful and interesting to you.  Be sure to visit this page regularly.  Email can be sent to me at




You are expected to bring the following materials to class every day:


A Notebook (must be a three ring binder with sections)


– lined paper


– graph paper


Ruler – scaled in centimeters


Pencils and erasers


Textbook – covered at all times


Practice Workbook


A Scientific calculator is required


General Classroom Behavior


  • You are expected to respect and value yourself, your school environment and the diversity of the BHS community. 
  • You are expected to contribute to classes and work cooperatively whenever the situation requires. 
  • You are expected to come to class prepared and you are responsible for all missing work
  • Bullying of any kind is not permitted in this classroom
  • You are expected to use pencil and show work for all mathematics on homework, class work, projects, tests and quizzes
  • You are to be in your assigned seat when the bell rings.  Otherwise you are late which may result in a detention.
  • You are expected not to talk while I am speaking or interrupt while other people are speaking.
  • There will be no getting out of your seat or speaking without permission.  If you want to speak or get of your seat during class, raise your hand and wait to be recognized.
  • There will be no leaving the room except for emergencies, which should not occur often.
  • If you need to leave the room, just take the pass and leave as quietly as possible.
  • Books should be covered at all times.  If you lose your book, report it to me immediately.
  • The bell does not dismiss the class.
  • No eating or drinking in the classroom.
  • The Pass is to be used only in an emergency


 Quarter Grading Policy


Your grade consists of tests, quizzes, homework, class work, journal writing and projects which are assigned a point value.  Quarter grades will be calculated by dividing the total number of points that you have earned by the maximum number of points that you could have earned and calculating a percent.  For example if you earned 600 points out of a possible 800 points, then you get 600/800  = 75%.


Tests will account for about 30% of your grade, Quizzes for 30%, Homework for 20% and all other work (Projects, Classwork, etc.) 20%




Year Grading Policy


Quarter 1 – 20%                                                        A   90 -100


Quarter 2 – 20%                                                        B   80-89


Quarter 3 – 20%                                                        C   70-79


Quarter 4 – 20%                                                        D   65-69


Midyear Exam – 10%                                              F    0-64


Final Exam – 10%






You are required to keep a well-organized three ring binder with two sections:


Section 1 – Notes in chronological order


Section 2 – Practice Workbook, other Homework/Class work/Projects


All materials should be neat and dated and each section of your notebook should be in chronological order. You are expected to take notes in pencil every day.


Quizzes and Tests


Quizzes – Generally, shorter (20-30 minutes) / 6-8 per quarter / Covers selected sections (50 points).  Tests – Full Period – 3 or 4 per quarter / Covers a chapter (100 points).


Intermediate work, if needed, must always be shown to get full credit, even if you use a calculatorI generally give partial credit on tests and quizzes for correct work even if the final answer is incorrectYou must use pencil to get full credit.




Homework is very important when learning mathematics.  Homework assignments (posted on my homepage) will be given daily and will often be graded. Grades will range from 5 to 0.  5 indicates that you attempted all problems (work shown) and got most of them correct. 0 indicates you did not do your assignment, missed an assignment and did make it up, or made very little attempt.  Homework may be turned in one day late at reduced credit.  At any time during the year that you score 84% or above on a test or quiz you earn a homework-pass, which gives you full credit for one homework assignment.  This pass is only valid until the next quiz or test.  You must use pencil to get full creditRepeated failure to complete homework on time may result in a detention.  






Throughout the semester there will be projects and research papers, many of which will require a computer.  (There are computers in the classroom and the library, which are available during study periods and before and after school, if one is not available at home.)  These projects will require class work and home work and will be assigned a numerical value from 25 to 150 points.  Projects will be posted on my Internet homepage.  Projects must be typed and all mathematics must be done in pencil.




Midyear Exam


At the end of the second term, you will be given a midyear exam.  This exam will consist of all the material from the beginning of the year to that point.  This will count for 10% of your final grade.  So, this is an important test!!


Problems of the Week – Extra Credit


Any time, that your grade on a quiz or test is below a 75%, you may do a problem of the week to earn up to 5 extra credit points.  This is the only opportunity that you get to get extra credit!  You can access the problem of the week and a blank answer sheet via my Internet homepage.  Extra Credit problems of the week will be due anytime before the next quiz or test. You will be required to write up a solution or indicate why you could not solve the problem.   (Your solution will be graded from 0 – 5 points extra credit points – to be eligible for extra credit your work must be on time and contain a complete write upYou must use pencil to get full credit.


Make-up Work


If you miss a test, a quiz, project or a significant class work assignment (or a homework assignment (posted on my homepage) for any reason, you are expected to make it up. Generally, you will be given up to one week from the day you return to make up that assignment.  For example, if you are out of school on Monday and return on Tuesday, you have until the following Tuesday to make up your work.  Incomplete work, for any reason, will count as a 0.  Quizzes and tests may be made up, before school, after school or during study periods.




Extra Help


If you are having trouble with any material, you are expected to seek extra help from me.  I will be available after school in room B-230 from Monday to Thursday and before school by appointment on any school day.  I may also be available during your study period.