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Essentials for Pre-Algebra

Topics covered in this full-year course include properties of integers, expressions and equations, inequalities, rational numbers, decimals, fractions, ratio and proportion, percent, two-dimensional geometry, three-dimensional geometry, relations and functions, and polynomials. Essentials for Pre-Algebra provides a solid foundation in the elements that are required to begin the study of Pre-Algebra and Algebra. This course is generally appropriate for students in grades 6 to 8. Students entering in grade 7 should consider whether the Essentials for Pre-Algebra or the Pre-Algebra course would be more appropriate. This class provides a solid foundation in beginning mathematics that can be counted on to support further mathematical studies.

To be successful in this course, students must have mastered the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and be ready to use these operations, without a calculator, in more challenging work. Parents and students can expect an assignment every week, a test for every chapter, a midterm and a final exam as well as quizzes and projects that will develop logic and reasoning skills. Students will need the support of a parent or other adult in learning how to manage deadlines, organize work, and produce quality homework.


Before registering, math students new to Excelsior Classes math classes should take the Essentials for Pre-Algebra readiness assessment; instructions are here. While this course is typically done in the 6th or 7th grade, ability to do the work is more important than age or grade. The goal of this assessment is to ensure students are well placed in Essentials for Pre-Algebra. When doing the assessment, students should show all of their work. When completed, the student and parent should email the student’s work and answers to the teacher. The goal of this assessment is to ensure proper placement of students so that they are set up for success. The questions asked are a good indication of whether students are adequately prepared for Essentials for Pre-Algebra. Please complete this step prior to registering and paying the deposit as deposits are nonrefundable although they are transferable to other math classes or other subject area courses. The teacher can answer questions and provide guidance.

As in all Excelsior Classes courses, math class instruction is tied to the curated syllabus, and the teacher will teach to the syllabus and not to a particular skill set of a student. In other words, the teacher cannot sacrifice content and expectations overall for an individual student as we need to stay in alignment with educational goals, class participant expectations, and NCAA approval of our courses. Students who have not met the prerequisites may find themselves falling behind and in a discouraging situation. In these circumstances, the teacher may recommend outside tutoring to help the student achieve success. Please know our goal is to set up your student for math success.

This class meets twice a week. Each meeting is 60 minutes.

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Fundamentals of Algebra, Sourcebook and Practice book bundle; Sadlier School ISBN 9780821583371. To order these books, please telephone Kristie Williams, Sadlier-Oxford, at 1-877-930-3336.

Judy Frank is passionate about mathematics. Judy has a Bachelor of Science in Theoretical Mathematics and Actuarial Science from the University of Calgary. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, both from Carleton University, and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Alberta. Judy is currently working part-time towards a Master’s of Education in Teaching and Learning.

Judy has 20 years of experience teaching a variety of levels of students including privately tutoring students in all levels in topics of mathematics from pre-algebra to calculus. During her extensive experience helping students learn math, Judy has learned that math is something that everyone can learn.

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