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Pre-Algebra I—Semester B

Not all equations are created equal.

We know why you're here. Either you thought that last semester was a blast and you're ready for more, or you're one of those nosy types with a magnifying glass and a funny detective hat, always looking for the final clue, that last unknown that solves the whole equation.

Yes, we have been reading a lot of Nancy Drew lately. How'd you guess?

If you're looking for a fast and furious journey into the unknown—unknown variables, that is—then look no further. Grab a pencil and notebook, and it can't hurt to bring along a magnifying glass and a sidekick, too. (Where would Sherlock be without his trusty Watson?)

In this Common Core-aligned course, you'll get practice problems, examples, and activities that cover

  • calculating the perimeters and areas of triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, and just about any polygon you can think of. We'll even get our feet wet with the 3D realm of geometry, too.
  • translating English into numerical and variable expressions. We suggest keeping a pocket dictionary handy.
  • writing and solving one-variable equations and inequalities as well as some simple two-variable ones.
  • conducting legit statistical studies, analyzing the data, and representing it appropriately.

With a mastery of expressions, equations, inequalities, and statistics under your belt, we imagine there's little you won't be able to take on in your post-Pre-Algebra life.

P.S. Pre-Algebra I is a two-semester course. You're looking at Semester B, but you can check out Semester A here.

Course Breakdown

Unit 7. Geometry

Every day we're surrounded by all kinds of shapes and solids, but we usually don't look too closely at them. Now we're going to break out the magnifying glass and give them a good stare-down. From triangles to trapezoids to even weirder shapes, we'll start to unlock all sorts of shape mysteries. After that, we'll take a sneak peek at working with a couple 3D shapes, too. Just relax, or you'll never see the 3D dolphin hidden on the page.

Unit 8. Expressions, Variables, and Basic Operations

We can say expressions in English, and we can make expressions with our faces (but not too much, or they'll stick that way), but how do we make mathematical expressions? In this unit, we'll learn what they're made of, how to work with them, and even how to translate a run-of-the-mill English sentence into Mathese. Once we throw variables into the mix, we'll be one big step closer to the mysterious land of algebra.

Unit 9. Equations and Inequalities

It's time to take our algebra learnin' up a notch or two. We'll cover setting up and solving equations with one or two variables. Then we'll meet the equation's fraternal twin, inequalities; they have a lot in common, but they're not quite identical. Because equations and inequalities are so useful, we'll also apply them to real-world situations. Who knows? Maybe they'll solve one of your long-standing problems, like who is in charge of the remote control.

Unit 10. Statistics

Statistics can seem like a hairy subject, so we've brought along our fine-toothed comb to this unit to help straighten everything out. We'll cover what statistics means, how we can summarize data, and the best ways to collect, analyze, and present it. By the way, we did a study and found that 99% of all statistics units end with students running their own study; it doesn't look like this one is going to break that trend.

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 5: Numerical Expressions

This is the definition of a "don't care-ical" expression.


Before we saddle up those bucking broncos known as variable expressions, let’s take a few turns around the pasture with numerical expressions. Numerical expressions are gentle old ponies that won’t try to throw you with fancy tricks like variables. These simple creatures are made up of only two things: numbers and operations.

Friendly as they may be, numerical expressions still have their little quirks, and we’re going to get good and familiar with those before we head out on the trail. We might want to bring a carrot or two for them—just in case.

Numerical expressions are math phrases that we use to describe real-world situations. Let's say you want to figure out how many honey badger posters it would take to completely cover your bedroom ceiling. Or maybe your situation is even real-er, and you're calculating how many cans of honey badger chow you need to buy to survive this month with all your body parts intact.

A numerical expression will fearlessly wrangle these problems for you. No foe is too ferocious for numerical expressions. They're just crazy. They don't care.