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Elizabeth Andrews High

Dekalb County Schools

Coordinate Algebra

Coordinate Algebra is the first in a sequence of three high school courses designed to ensure career and college readiness. The course represents a discrete study of algebra with correlated statistics applications and a bridge to the second course through coordinate geometric topics. The standards in the three-course high school sequence specify the mathematics that all students should study in order to be college and career ready. Additional mathematics content is provided in fourth credit courses and advanced courses including pre-calculus, calculus, advanced statistics, discrete mathematics, and mathematics of finance courses. High school course content standards are listed by conceptual categories including Number and Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Conceptual categories portray a coherent view of high school mathematics content; a student’s work with functions, for example, crosses a number of traditional course boundaries, potentially up through and including calculus. Standards for Mathematical Practice provide the foundation for instruction and assessment.

The fundamental purpose of Coordinate Algebra is to formalize and extend the mathematics that students learned in the middle grades. The critical areas, organized into units, deepen and extend understanding of linear relationships, in part by contrasting them with exponential phenomena, and in part by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend. Coordinate Algebra uses algebra to deepen and extend understanding of geometric knowledge from prior grades. The final unit in the course ties together the algebraic and geometric ideas studied. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. 

Unit 1: By the end of eighth grade students have had a variety of experiences working with expressions and creating equations. Building on the standards from middle school, students will use quantities to model and analyze situations, use quantities to interpret expressions, and use quantities to create equations and inequalities to describe situations. In solving real-world problems, students will use equations or inequalities, along with systems of equations and/or inequalities, to create, represent, and interpret constraints that may limit solutions. Students will rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest. 

Unit 2: By the end of eighth grade, students have learned to solve linear equations in one variable and have applied graphical and algebraic methods to analyze and solve systems of linear equations in two variables. This unit builds on these earlier experiences by asking students to analyze and explain the process of solving an equation and inequality. Students develop fluency writing, interpreting, and translating between various forms of linear equations and inequalities, and using them to solve problems. They master the solution of linear equations and apply related solution techniques and the laws of exponents to the creation and solution of simple exponential equations. Students analyze and explain the process of solving a system of linear equations in two variables, and they find and interpret  their solutions. All of this work is grounded on understanding quantities and on relationships between them. 

Unit 3: In earlier grades, students define, evaluate, and compare functions, and use them to model relationships between quantities. In this unit, students will learn function notation and develop the concepts of domain and range. They move beyond viewing functions as processes that take inputs and yield outputs and start viewing functions as objects in their own right. They explore many examples of functions, including sequences; they interpret functions given graphically, numerically, symbolically, and verbally, translate between representations, and understand the limitations of various representations. They work with functions given by graphs and tables, keeping in mind that, depending upon the context, these representations are likely to be approximate and incomplete. Their work includes functions that can be described or approximated by formulas as well as those that cannot. When functions describe relationships between quantities arising from a context, students reason with the units in which those quantities are measured. Students build on and informally extend their understanding of integer exponents to consider exponential functions. They compare and contrast linear and exponential functions, distinguishing between additive and multiplicative change. They interpret arithmetic sequences as linear functions and geometric sequences as exponential functions. 

Unit 4: This unit builds upon students’ prior experiences with data, providing students with more formal means of assessing how a model fits data. Students use regression techniques to describe approximately linear relationships between quantities. They use graphical representations and knowledge of the context to make judgments about the appropriateness of linear models. 

Unit 5: In previous grades, students have experience with rigid motions: translations, reflections, and rotations. Work in this area continues to build upon those experiences and makes the connections to transformations of functions using linear and exponential functions as examples. 

Unit 6: Building on their work with the Pythagorean Theorem in 8th grade to find distances, students use a rectangular coordinate system to verify geometric relationships, and slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines.