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**Students/Parents (English)**

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*Core Connections Algebra* is the first course in a five-year sequence of college preparatory mathematics courses that starts with Algebra I and continues through Calculus. It aims to deepen and extend student understanding built in previous courses by focusing on developing fluency with solving linear equations, inequalities, and systems. These skills are extended to solving quadratic equations, exploring linear, quadratic, and exponential functions graphically, numerically, symbolically, and as sequences, and by using regression techniques to analyze the fit of models to distributions of data. Read More...

On a daily basis, students in *Core Connections Algebra* use problem-solving strategies, questioning, investigating, analyzing critically, gathering and constructing evidence, and communicating rigorous arguments justifying their thinking. Students learn in collaboration with others while sharing information, expertise, and ideas.

The course is well balanced among procedural fluency (algorithms and basic skills), deep conceptual understanding, strategic competence (problem solving), and adaptive reasoning (extension and application). The lessons in the course meet all of the content standards, of Appendix A of the *Common Core State Standards for Mathematics*. The course embeds the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice as an integral part of the lessons in the course.

Key concepts addressed in this course are:

- Representations of linear, quadratic, and exponential relationships using graphs, tables, equations, and contexts.
- Symbolic manipulation of expressions in order to solve problems, such as factoring, distributing, multiplying polynomials, expanding exponential expressions, etc.
- Analysis of the slope of a line multiple ways, including graphically, numerically, contextually (as a rate of change), and algebraically.
- Solving equations and inequalities using a variety of strategies, including rewriting (such as factoring, distributing, or completing the square), undoing (such as extracting the square root or subtracting a term from both sides of an equation), and looking inside (such as determining the possible values of the argument of an absolute value expression).
- Solving systems of two equations and inequalities with two variables using a variety of strategies, both graphically and algebraically.
- Representations of arithmetic and geometric sequences, including tables, graphs, and explicit or recursive formulas.
- Use of exponential models to solve problems, and to compare to linear models.
- Investigation of a variety of functions including square root, cube root, absolute value, piecewise-defined, step, and simple inverse functions.
- Use of function notation.
- Statistical analysis of two-variable data, including determining regression lines, correlation coefficients, and creating residual plots.
- The differences between association and causation, and interpretation of correlation in context.
- Comparison of distributions of one-variable data.

The *Core Connections* courses are built on rich, meaningful problems and investigations that develop conceptual understanding of the mathematics and establish connections among different concepts. The lesson problems are non-routine and team-worthy, requiring strategic problem solving and collaboration. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to justify their reasoning, communicate their thinking, and generalize patterns. Read More...

In each lesson students work collaboratively in study teams on challenging problems. The teacher is continuously providing structure and direction to teams by asking questions and giving clarifying instructions. The teacher gives targeted lectures or holds whole-class discussions when appropriate. The teacher has the freedom to decide the level of structure or open-endedness of each lesson. While students are in teams, the teacher checks for understanding by questioning students’ thinking and asking students to justify their solutions. Questioning is informative to both the teacher and the student as it guides the students to the learning target. At the close of each lesson, the teacher ensures that the students understand the big mathematical ideas of the lesson.

The homework in the “Review & Preview” section of each lesson includes mixed, spaced practice, and prepares students for new topics. The homework problems give students the opportunity to apply previously-learned concepts to new contexts. By solving the same types of problems in different ways, students deepen their understanding. CPM offers open access homework support at homework.cpm.org. Read Less...

Chapters are divided into sections that are organized around core topics. Within each section, lessons include activities, challenging problems, investigations and practice problems. Teacher notes for each lesson include a “suggested lesson activity” section with ideas for lesson introduction, specific tips and strategies for lesson implementation to clearly convey core ideas, and a means for bringing the lesson to closure. Read More...

Core ideas are synthesized in “Math Notes” boxes throughout the text. These notes are placed in a purposeful fashion, often falling one or more lessons after the initial introduction of a concept. This approach allows students time to explore and build conceptual understanding of an idea before they are presented with a formal definition or an algorithm or a summary of a mathematical concept. “Math Notes” boxes include specific vocabulary, definitions and instructions about notation, and occasionally interesting extensions or real-world applications of mathematical concepts.

Learning Log reflections appear periodically at the end of lessons to allow students to synthesize what they know and identify areas that need additional explanation. Toolkits are provided as working documents in which students write Learning Logs, interact with Math Notes and create other personal reference tools.

Each chapter offers review problems in the chapter closure: typical problems that students can expect on an assessment, answers, and support for where to get help with the problem. Chapter closure also includes lists of Math Notes and Learning Logs, key vocabulary in the chapter, and an opportunity to create structured graphic organizers.

The books include “Checkpoints” that indicate to students where fluency with a skill should occur. Checkpoints offer examples with detailed explanations, in addition to practice problems with answers.

In addition, CPM provides a *Parent Guide with Extra Practice* available for free download cpm.org of in booklet form for purchase. In addition to practice problems with answers, the *Parent Guide with Extra Practice* provides examples with detailed explanations and guidance for parents and tutors.

Each chapter comes with an assessment plan to guide teachers into choosing appropriate assessment problems. CPM provides a secure online test generator and sample tests. The Assessment Handbook contains guidance for a wide variety of assessment strategies.

Technology is used in the course to allow students to see and explore concepts after they have developed some initial conceptual understanding. The course assumes that classes have access to at least one of these three technology setups: a set of graphing calculators and whole-class display technology for the teacher, a full computer lab with computers that have graphing software for each student, or a classroom computer with graphing software equipped with projection technology. Read Less...