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# Algebra Initiative

The Chicago Public Schools’ Algebra Initiative course sequence prepares teachers in elementary and middle grade schools to offer algebra in the 8th grade to qualified students in their schools. Teachers successfully completing the program and passing the certification exam offered at the end of the course will be certified by the Chicago Public Schools to teach algebra in the eighth grade. The course sequence is also open to teachers in lower grades so that they can better prepare their students for algebra in the eighth grade.

The course sequence helps teachers achieve a high degree of mastery of first year high school algebra, well beyond the level they will be teaching in eighth grade. Each course emphasizes problem-solving, the connections of algebra to arithmetic and geometry, and the use of algebra in modeling real situations. Teachers examine common misconceptions beginning students have and become well-prepared to address them.

There is a common qualifying exam for teachers in the Algebra Initiative. It is usually offered shortly after the course sequences conclude.

Students who complete the 8th-grade algebra course under the instruction of a teacher who has fulfilled the university coursework will be eligible to take a placement examination upon entering a CPS high school. The results of the placement examination will determine the appropriate high school math course.

If you are a middle school math endorsed CPS teacher who is interested in participating, contact David Jabon at djabon@depaul.edu.

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Mathematics Content

• Number systems

• Problem solving

• Linear equations, functions, identities and inequalities

• Systems of equations

• Systems of inequalities

• Functions in general

• Polynomials

• Quadratic equations and functions

• Exponents and exponential functions

• Arithmetic and geometric sequences

#### Pedagogical Content

• Making sense of the mathematics

• Using multiple representations

• Formative assessment practices

• Developing student agency