## Algebra for Parents

**Overview**

In Algebra 1, students begin the year building on their prior work with linear functions and equation solving to develop a repertoire of ways to solve systems of equations. Students are introduced to the concepts of recursive and explicit equations (to be developed further in Geometry and Algebra 2) and use their initial understanding to compare linear functions to exponential functions. Students explore quadratic functions connecting the area model first introduced to them in 3rd grade to factoring complex quadratics. Inequalities offer an opportunity for students to see the connections between the three function families they’ve explored (linear, exponential & quadratic). Solving complex equations and transforming functions are introduced and they will build upon this work as they continue on to Algebra 2.

General Parent Tips for Supporting Students in High School Mathematics

- Talk about career choices, and investigate together what math is required for college or associates degree, a technical certificate, or possible on-the-job needs. Plenty of jobs use math, especially things like proportional reasoning and linear functions, jobs ranging from nursing to forestry to operations to accounting to computer-aided design to carpentry.

- Make sure your kids understand fractions and middle school math—especially proportional reasoning—super well. Work on real-world problems, in daily life etc. to reinforce these skills. Or for example, you can discuss financing their college, or have them imagine what their budget will be when they are 25 years old and discuss financing a car. Too often, arithmetic skills have been lost (because they were based on memorization and haven’t been reinforced) by the time kids get to college.

- Consider using resources such as Mathalicious or Dan Meyer 3-Act Tasks if you want enrichment or extra practice. Kahn Academy is working on Common Core skill practice as well.

- Enjoy math! It feels good to put some effort forward and figure something out. Work on your own to model this. See Carol Dweck’s work on mindset to understand how important attitudes towards effort and learning are.

From Bevans and Sinha, University of Oregon Department of Mathematics, October 2014