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Algebra I

Tools for understanding math

Tools for understanding mathCompleting the elementary curriculum for math doesn't necessarily produce depth of understanding. Nor does it always equip the student with the problem-solving tools he or she will need in algebra.

Yet an intimate understanding of certain concepts and operations — percentages, fractions, negative numbers, decimals, and more — is crucial not only for more advanced math courses, but also for the sciences, in particular chemistry and physics.

Class agenda
During class, we will address a variety of math concepts, and to keep students engaged and motivated, we will use a variety of instructional tools and methods, such as games and competitions. Students will solve problems with the help of the teacher, and once the concept is understood, homework will be assigned to reinforce the learning.

Homework usually requires 3 hours per week. There will be periodic quizzes and both a mid-term and a final test.

Among the topics explored in Algebra I

  • Absolute valueThe language of math.
  • Understanding numbers:
    — fractions;
    — percentages;
    — least common denominator;
    — greatest common factor;
    — signed numbers;
    — absolute value.
  • Texts to purchase

    Students in Algebra I will need two items currently available only from the website of their publisher, VideoText Interactive. Both items can be ordered from this page:

    The items to order are:

    • Algebra Module A WorkText
    • Algebra Module B WorkText
  • Solving for variables (placeholders).
  • Linear functions, including graphing.
  • Working with huge numbers, such as those encountered in both the astronomical and microscopic worlds.
  • The feared word problems — students will learn how to approach them systematically and solve them successfully.

Incoming students should already have some familiarity with fractions, decimals, percents, and basic math. At the same time, we will be delving into such topics — and much more — to help students gain full understanding and full mastery of those concepts.


Our approach to ...


All too often high school mathematics divides students into those who are "good" at math and those who aren't. — Not at the Blend. Our classes will engage even the most reluctant budding mathematician.

Math at the The Blend is designed to build skills applicable to science as well as those found on standardized tests. In addition, our content is aimed at demystifying seemingly advanced topics while bringing real meaning to the concepts covered in traditional high school math. As a result, math features prominently among our liveliest, most engaging classes. Math is explored actively, with a spirit of genuine intellectual curiosity. Rather than rote learning resulting on one "right" way to solve problems, students share ideas and approaches while investigating real-world math through word problems. Our content is aimed at helping students think mathematically and develop logical reasoning skills.

  • Homework and classwork require the student to apply mathematical reasoning to solve problems — the same skills necessary for answering questions on standardized tests.
  • In-class activities include games, good-spirited competitions, and student-led explanations.
  • Homework problems require students to apply concepts that include previously learned content; students build their math vocabulary and learn to speak in the language of mathematics — a skill foundational to the physical sciences.
Least common denominator

My son reached a place in his educational journey where he wanted to be more challenged academically, and he wanted to be around peers who were also more serious about their academics. We joined the Blend, and he couldn't be happier. He is an active participant in all classes, asking questions, taking on assignments, truly enjoying all parts of the Blend experience. Roy and Diane have found a lovely balance of honoring each student's individuality and challenging them to seek their full potential.

—Mom of 14-year-old unschooler


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