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Summer Math Brain Teaser!

A train leaves the town of Monroe and heads for the town of Jackson 200 miles away.  The Train travels at the spead of 40mph.

a.  If t represents the number of hours since the train left Monroe, write an expression to represent how far the train must still travel to reach Jacskon.

b.  If the train has been traveling for more than three hours, how far is the train from Jackson?

c.  For what range of time will the train be between 30 and 100 miles from Jackson?

Good Luck!

My Educational Philosophy

Everyone has the right to an excellent education, and as an educator, I will help students attain that education.  The role of a teacher in students' lives is a significant one, and my beliefs are fundamental in creating my educational philosophy.   Great teachers are the cornerstone of an excellent education, and I have great respect for every individual I teach.  

My educational philosophy is composed of four fundamental components.  First, my educational philosophy is based upon the concept that we as educators, regardless of subject specialization, are teachers of life.  Life is full of challenges, and we should learn from those challenges.  Learning is a life-long process.  Our most important duty is to prepare our students to develop the necessary skills that will lead them to a productive and successful adulthood.  I constantly challenge my students to reach new heights and to continually challenge themselves. 

Second, my view of knowledge directly impacts my method of teaching.  I view knowledge as problem-solving skills so students will be empowered to understand conceptually and to influence their environment.  I challenge students to develop their intelligence and talents as fully as possible.  I teach them to recognize their individual learning styles, to take responsibility for their own education, and to teach themselves and othersBecause I feel so deeply in acquiring knowledge, I believe that it is important to share my enthusiasm for learning with my students. Hopefully, in return they will begin to value learning and realize that learning continues outside the classroom and for life.

Learning is the basis for personal growth, and teaching is one opportunity to learn from others.  Students possess the desire to learn and share.  They each have a unique view of the world to offer.  I encourage an exchange of ideas between myself and my students.  I always consider myself to be a student while I am teaching, so I am the best student in the room.  Students have a wealth of experiences to share, and I want my students to know that I am eager to learn from them also.   "The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know." - Socrates

As students accept a greater amount of responsibility and become more active in their own education, they will ultimately learn more.  My emphasis on "learning to learn" and student ownership of learning are related to my belief that students and teachers should learn together.  Each student is blessed with individual gifts and talents; a school that engages students in their abilities in and out of the classroom provides the optimal educational environment to be challenged and to develop.  I believe that the very best teaching practices include teaching with the student’s interests in mind, setting high expectations, and balancing instructional methods.  If these practices are executed properly, one outcome would be that students find learning interesting and challenging.  I think when students work together as a team they are learning academically and socially, and they are exposed to the diversity of fellow students.  I believe teachers can address student’s differences by teaching that uniqueness is a good thing and not everyone is the same.  I try to integrate thinking, feeling and hands on work into lessons.  I believe that students should be active and learn to solve mathematics problems by reflecting on their life experiences. 

My third educational philosophy component is based upon a belief in fairness.  I believe every student should be treated fairly.  Every student should receive what they need to gain in education.  They will receive an even amount of time, energy, and effort from me both in and out of the classroom.  I give every student an equally proficient education, and in doing this, sometimes I have to treat students differently.  Some students  need more from me than others do, so sometimes fair means I extend myself further to those students who need me more.  I am there for all of my students and their individual needs.  All students should be treated fairly and should have the same access to an education.  I want all students to know that knowledge is power, and that they are responsible for their own education.

Finally, professional development is required for any teacher who seeks continuous self-improvement.  I am facilitator in the learning process and serve as a role model.  I have an ongoing responsibility to increase my knowledge of both content and pedagogy, and to continually reassess my actions and programs in response to a constantly changing environment. As an educator I need to be keenly aware of the role I play in a student's life.  Life offers an infinite realm of learning opportunities, each catalyzing personal growth and expanded knowledge.  As an educational facilitator, I need to be a flexible role model who demonstrates an unconditional, consistent acceptance of all my students and continuously seeks to facilitate an education that matches each individual.  In my classroom, I will provide a safe, student-centered environment which fosters a respect of individual self-concept and learning style.  Everyone has a significant contribution to offer to this world.  Wherever I can, I will assist students in their pursuit of their identity adjacent to the broad goals of education.

My educational philosophy has been shaped by many things.  I rely on my philosophic foundation to help me build both content and pedagogy.  It is important to have strong beliefs, grounded in sound theory to guide our teaching.  It is equally important to remain open minded to new trends and techniques that may benefit our students.  An educational philosophy is not static; it changes with time and experience, and I will continually reflect, examine, and refine what I believe and why I believe it.  I believe that my philosophy and the way that I understand things will change with the knowledge that I gain.  With this change I am open to anything and my views will be flexible and as open to opinions as I can be.  I know that if my students believe that they can do anything and dream, they can conquer a new goal everyday, then I will have succeeded as a teacher in my classroom.

 In conclusion I believe that every person can walk through the door eager to learn and walk out ready to teach others with new, bright, and broad horizons.  A profession which impacts the lives of so many people demands nothing less than my best efforts.

East Orange Campus High School Algebra I Course Syllabus

The purpose of the Algebra 1 Curriculum is to increase student awareness of the importance of mathematics in the modern world. The students will become more confident of their ability of work with mathematical concepts and relationships. They will learn how to think systematically and use the precise logic required for mathematical problem solving. This course builds on the student's understanding of basic mathematics in the study of algebraic skills and problem solving. Students will learn to express real-world problems in algebraic sentences in order to find solutions. Successful completion of the course is an indispensable step in preparation for geometry, more advanced algebra, trigonometry, and advanced mathematics.


This course is scheduled for a year of study in which the students will be exposed to the above concepts in various ways. We will discuss the concepts in detail during class discussions. Classroom Powerpoint presentations will be used to reinforce concepts. Many sample problems will be presented. I will lead the students step-by-step through various thinking and problem solving strategies required to solve many kinds of problems. Students will be given ample opportunity to practice solving problems through in-class assignments as well as through homework assignments. Students will keep binders that contain their class notes.


Materials Required


3-ring binder 1 ½ inches wide


Ruled notebook paper Graph paper

Straight edge/ruler

Scientific or graphing calculator


Course Evaluations



Each student will be evaluated on the basis of performance in each of the following areas


            Daily Practice




            Formative Assessments

            Semester Projects


Regular math tutoring is available on Tuesday. Additional tutoring is available by appointment.


*Extra credit is available for quiz grades at the discretion of the instructor.


Students are required to bring their notebooks to class and to take class notes every day. My philosophy on class notes is that if I write it on the board or present it in an overhead, the student should write it in their notebooks. Notebooks may be used for reference during tests.



Class Rules

Remember the 3 P’s:  Prepared, Prompt, Polite


1.        To receive respect, you must show respect. I will respect you, I expect you to respect others and me.

2.        Be polite to all people. Listen carefully. Do not interrupt the teacher or other students. Do not use bad language.

Rudeness and disrespect will not be tolerated.

3.        Respect the property of others. Put litter in trashcan. Return borrowed items. All classroom books must be placed on the designated shelf before leaving the classroom. Do not write on desks, books, walls, etc.

4.        Bring all needed materials to class every day (pencil, paper, text, notebooks, and assignments).

5.        Use the restroom before coming to class. ONLY "Emergency" restroom passes may be given.

6.        Obey all school and district wide rules (e.g., dress codes; absentee and tardy policy; no food, drink, or gum in the classroom; and NO laptops (without permission), cell phones, iPods, or mp3 players during class time they will be subject to confiscation; etc.)

7.        Exercise self-control at all times. Crude and offensive language will not be tolerated. Keep hands and feet to yourself. No items (e.g. pencils, paper wads, etc.) are to be thrown or tossed inside the classroom. Tone and volume of voice will be controlled at all times.

8.        Academic Dishonesty. Cheating, Academic Dishonesty, and/or Plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment in question for all persons involved and a referral to the office for reprimand.




Before Entering the Classroom:

Make sure you have text, paper, pencil, notebooks, and completed assignments.


When You First Enter the Classroom: Sharpen pencil before the tardy bell. Be seated in your assigned seat.

Have assignment ready to turn in (with name, date, period, page number, problem numbers, and assignment number, at the top of page).

    Begin daily practice problems as preparation for the days coursework.


Late Work:

    Late work is accepted for full credit after an excused absence and according to school/district policy.

o     Accepted up to twice the amount of time absent with a maximum of five days.

o     Due on the immediate return to school: assignments/tests that were schedule prior to the absence

    Late work is NOT accepted for unexcused absences.



When the Bell Rings to End the Period:

Return all borrowed materials to the teacher and all text books to the designated shelf. Pick up all books, papers, folder, trash, etc.

Leave only when you are dismissed (normally at the bell).




The following schedule will require students to use algebra as a tool for representing and solving a variety of practical problems.  Tables and graphs will be used to interpret algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities and to analyze

functions. Matrices will be used to organize and manipulate data.  Graphing calculators, computers, and other appropriate

2   technology tools will be used to assist in teaching and learning. Graphing utilities enhance the understanding of functions;

they provide a powerful tool for solving and verifying solutions to equations and inequalities. 

Course topics


Module - Expressions

Lesson 1: Variables and Expressions

Lesson 2: Order of Operations

Lesson 3: Open Sentences

Lesson 4: Identity and Equality Properties

Lesson 5: Distributive Property

Lesson 6: Commutative and Associative Properties

Module - Positive and Negative Numbers

Lesson 1: Adding and Subtracting Integers

Lesson 2: Adding and Subtracting Rational Numbers

Lesson 3: Multiplying Rational Numbers

Lesson 4: Dividing Rational Numbers

Module - Solving Equations

Lesson 1: Solving Equations by Addition or Subtraction

Lesson 2: Solving Equations by Multiplication or Division

Lesson 3: Solving Multi-Step Equations

Lesson 4: Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides

Lesson 5: Solving Literal Equations and Formulas

Lesson 6: Direct and Inverse Variation

Module - Solving Inequalities

Lesson 1: Solving Inequalities by Addition or Subtraction

Lesson 2: Solving Inequalities by Multiplication or Division

Lesson 3: Solving Multi-Step Inequalities

Lesson 4: Solving Compound Inequalities

Module - Relations and Functions

Lesson 1: Coordinate Plane

Lesson 2: Relations

Lesson 3: Tables and Relations

Lesson 4: Graphing Functions

Lesson 5: Functions

Lesson 6: Patterns

Module - Linear Equations

Lesson 1: Slope

Lesson 2: Point-Slope and Standard Form

Lesson 3: X- and Y-Intercepts

Lesson 4: Slope-Intercept Form

Lesson 5: Graphing Linear Equations

Lesson 6: Graphing Linear Inequalities






Module - Polynomials

Lesson 1: Multiplying Monomials

Lesson 2: Dividing Monomials

Lesson 3: Scientific Notation

Lesson 4: Degree, Ascending, and Descending Order

Lesson 5: Adding and Subtracting Polynomials

Lesson 6: Multiplying a Monomial and a Polynomial

Lesson 7: Multiplying Polynomials

Lesson 8: Special Products

Module - Factoring

Lesson 1: GCF and Prime Factorization

Lesson 2: Factoring GCF

Lesson 3: Factoring Difference of Squares

Lesson 4: Factoring Trinomials

Lesson 5: Factoring Perfect Square Trinomials

Lesson 6: Solving Quadratic Equations

Module - Systems of Equations

Lesson 1: Solving Systems by Graphing

Lesson 2: Solving Systems by Substitution

Lesson 3: Solving Systems by Elimination Using Addition and Subtraction

Lesson 4: Solving Systems by Elimination Using Multiplication

Lesson 5: Solving Systems of Inequalities by Graphing

Module - Data Analysis

Lesson 1: Adding, Subtracting, and Scalar Multiplication of Matrices

Lesson 2: Measures of Central Tendency

Lesson 3: Box and Whisker Graphs

Lesson 4: Line of Best Fit

Lesson 5: Deviation and Z-Scores

Module - Square Roots

Lesson 1: Pythagorean Theorem

Lesson 2: Simplifying Radical Expressions

Lesson 3: Operations with Radical Expressions

SOL Review

SOL Testing

Finals Review

Finals Testing



Grade                                                A                      B                     C                     D



Minimal Percentage Required                              90%               80%                 70%                 65%

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