Course Syllabus

Welcome to Intermediate Algebra!


Course Expectations, Classroom Policies and Grading Policy

Ms. Smith ~ Math Office ~ Room 429

2019 – 2020


Classroom Policies and Expectations:  Be Present, Prepared, Productive and Curious



  • Arrive to class ON TIME. Four tardies counts as a class cut.
  • Minimize the amount of time spent outside of the classroom. When leaving the class for a bathroom or water break please be as time efficient as possible (5 minutes or less).
    • Only one student is allowed out of the class at a time. Please sign out and erase your name from the whiteboard on your return.
    • If you need to go to the Nurse’s office please ask and I will fill you out a pass.
    • Students will not be allowed to leave the room during Assessments.
  • You are responsible for the missed content and any missed assignments. It is a great idea to check in with a classmate or Ms. Smith (during Block 1, Math Lab, or after-school) to see what you have missed!
  • If you are absent the day assessment, you should schedule a make-up in a timely manner. Please email me as soon as you know you will miss the assessment to schedule a make-up time.

Prepared and Productive:

This means you should:

  • complete the homework assignment BEFORE the class it is due.
  • work cooperatively with others on in-class group assignments.
  • take detailed notes on material presented in class.
  • come to class with the necessary materials: textbook(workbook), skill book, pencil, calculator
  • Prepare in advance for all assessments by:
  • doing your homework on a consistent and thorough basis.
  • using class time wisely by actively engaging in class activities/assignments, note taking, and class discussions.
  • come in for help or to check your understanding of the material to be assessed.
  • Stay current with the material by:
  • asking questions to help clarify any areas you find challenging or confusing.
  • see me when you begin to find yourself struggling with new material. I am in Math Lab this year; you are welcome to drop in any time you see my name on the schedule! I will post additional help opportunities on the class slides leading up to an assessment. Please email me if these times don’t work with your schedule and we will find a time to meet.
  • be sure to arrive for extra-help with the materials necessary to make the meeting productive. Have your notebook, recent homework assignments and a list of questions regarding the material with which you are having difficulty.
  • ask a classmate for assistance.
  • utilize the math lab located in Room 452 during Block 1 and Room 427 during the day. The math lab schedule is posted on Canvas.


Park Your Phone!


Technology is a great and wonderful tool that we will utilize in class but can also be very distracting. To help students focus in the classroom, they will be asked to “park” their cell phones when the cell phones are not being utilized for academic purposes.  After you have recorded the homework for the night (if you choose to use your cell phone for this purpose), it is an expectation that you will turn your phone off (or turn it on silent mode) and place it in an assigned numerical “parking lot” space provided by your teacher.  The cell phone parking lot is located in a secure and visible location in the classroom. Cell phone retrieval will occur at the end of class or when needed for academic purposes as expressly stated by your teacher.


You are not permitted to have your phone on your person during class unless expressly permitted by your teacher.  If your device is not placed in the parking lot and is visible during class time (this includes bathroom and water breaks), then the phone will be confiscated and consequences will follow those stated in the Student Handbook.


Thank you for respecting the cell phone policy in Intermediate Algebra. This policy is designed to help you actively engage in class discussions and activities.



Learning mathematics is about discovering patterns, making connections, and problem solving.  Mathematics is NOT about memorizing formulas and speed. Being curious and open to new ideas and to exploring and discovering math concepts will make the course much more enjoyable.


Mistakes are a HUGE part of learning mathematics. As part of our classroom culture it is important to value mistakes and the learning opportunities they provide. Please be curious and make mistakes! Making a mistake means you are working towards your own understanding and learning!



Grading Philosophy and Policy:[1]


The grade a student receives at the end of a term reflects the student’s level of understanding of the mathematical concepts covered during the current as well as previous term(s).  Students are given an opportunity to formally demonstrate their understanding of material on quizzes, tests, online assignments, and one end-of-term cumulative assessment.


  • A list of learning goals will be provided in advance of each assessment given.
  • An end-of-term cumulative assessment will be given each term. The purpose of the cumulative assessment is to allow students an opportunity to demonstrate they have mastered and retained previously assessed mathematical concepts.
  • Students will be given time to process feedback on each assessment during class time. If students wish to spend more time reviewing their performance feedback on any given assessment, then they are encouraged to communicate this to their teacher. An appointment will be made to spend more time reflecting on the assessment outside of regular class time.




The end of term grade will be calculated as follows:


Practice (Homework, Reflections, Classwork, Online Assignments)                    20%

Quizzes                                                                                           40%

Tests                                                                                              40%


              Your Year grade will be calculated as follows:


    Term 1: 22%     Term 2: 22%      Term 3: 22%.      Term 4: 22%      Final Exam: 12%




Homework is assigned to give students independent practice opportunities. It is expected that students will complete the assigned problems to the best of their ability and include the math process (work) next to each problem. If a student finds that he or she needs practice beyond the problems assigned, then the student should complete additional problems in the areas they find challenging.


  • Homework will be assigned a maximum of five times per WHS cycle (for each day our class meets). You should expect each assignment to take about 15 – 25 minutes. Homework assignments will be announced in class and posted on Canvas.
  • Students will discuss the homework assignment with a partner or in a small group during the next class. This conversation is meant to encourage student sharing of their problem-solving processes and solutions. Homework discussions involving the entire class will be dedicated to explaining problem-solving processes and presenting solutions to the more rigorous problems.


Homework is a grade but is also serves as an important tool in student preparation for success during in classwork, assessments and the end-of-term cumulative assessment.


Academic Integrity:


Please read the Student Handbook regarding the School’s policy on academic integrity. Any incident of cheating will result in a grade of zero and a phone call home.  Cheating includes, but is not limited to, copying assignments, lending assignments to be copied by others, programming graphing calculators with information you are supposed to know without assistance, use of “cheat sheets” during assessments, etc.  Repeated incidents of cheating could result in a zero for the course.  Don’t jeopardize your integrity.  Cheating, in any form, is NEVER worth it.


I look forward to getting to know you and having a challenging and enjoyable school year! ~ Ms. Smith


[1] Any change to the term grading policy will be discussed as a class prior to implementing the change(s).


Course Summary:

Date Details