8th Grade Pre-Algebra Syllabus

8th Grade Math (Pre-Algebra) Syllabus and Class Guidelines


Welcome to Ms. Durrance’s 8th Grade Math class. I’m excited to be part of your child’s learning experience this year!  We will use a variety of learning methods in a blended learning environment, including small-group learning, hands-on activities, technology, interactive notebooks, projects, and whole-class activities. 


Contact information:  Please feel free to email me at durrances@ivyhawnschool.org or call me at (386) 228-3900 with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the year. I can also be contacted through messages on the Remind app.


Course Description:  The content for this course will consist of mastering the following:

  • Rational and Irrational Numbers
  • Properties of Exponents
  • Scientific Notation
  • Solving Multi-Step Equations
  • Pythagorean Theorem
  • Transformations
  • Functions
  • Systems of Equations
  • Statistics
  • Frequency Tables


Materials for this class:  Face-to-face and innovative learning students will need a notebook filled with paper for their interactive math notes and bell ringers. In addition, I recommend that all students have a calculator and some graphing paper. All work for this class should be done in pencil unless otherwise instructed! Please have a few sharpened pencils ready before coming to class. Also, all face-to-face students must have earbuds of their own that they can use in class, particularly for using some applications on the tablets. I recommend that innovative students use headphones/earbuds for Zoom sessions.


Classroom Expectations:  Students should attend class every day prepared to work hard and to focus on the things we need to learn.  Success in this course will set them up to be successful in high school in Algebra and Geometry which are required courses for graduation.  Students must not only take Algebra, but must also pass the Algebra EOC in order to graduate.  If they work hard this year, they will have the foundation they need to be successful in 9th grade!  Students will be expected to follow all school rules and class rules to create and sustain a positive learning environment for everyone. Actions that interfere with teaching and learning are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This class will require students to think, to process information independently, and to take responsibility for their learning—if they don’t understand something, they will be encouraged to ask questions!



Discipline ProceduresStudents who are unable to follow classroom rules and expectations will receive the following consequences:

  • Verbal Warning (1st offense)
  • Seat Moved/2nd Verbal Warning (2nd offense)
  • Student-Teacher Conference (3rd offense)
  • Parent Contact (4th offense)
  • Discipline Referral (5th offense)


Class Structure: This class will be structured in the following way –

All class days excluding Wednesdays and assessment periods

  • Complete bell ringer and discuss (5 min)
  • Whole group instruction (20 min) – Teacher led, Students will take notes in ISN (Interactive Student Notebook)
  • Small group rotations (60 min) – Students will work on learned content in a variety of ways, including technology and one rotation with teacher supported activity
  • Closing of class (10 min) – Closing discussion, can also include an exit ticket as a formative assessment

Wednesdays (45 min) – Supporting activity of newly learned content


Formative Assessments (40%):  Formative assessments include classwork, bell ringers, quizzes, homework, ISN (Interactive Student Notebook) checks, and other activities that help assess mastery. The ISN is created in class and should have all information that appears in the teacher’s ISN to receive full credit.


Summative Assessments (60%):  Summative assessments include tests, projects, and district assessments. If a student receives a poor grade on a summative, students will have one opportunity to do test corrections to bring their grade up. Students will need to turn in a separate paper which includes an explanation of what they did incorrectly, along with the corrected work. Students will be able to earn half of the points back for each corrected response. Test corrections are a great way for students to identify their mistakes and learn from them.


Showing all workStudents are required to show all applicable work on tests, quizzes, in-class assignments, and homework.  Students will not receive credit for math problems if they only give a final answer and work was clearly required to get the answer.


Make-up workIf a student is absent, it is their responsibility to get missed work.  Students are allowed one day per missed day to make up missing assignments unless extenuation circumstances necessitate additional time (and this is approved by the teacher).


Course ObjectivesAgain, this course is the foundation for Algebra (and to some extent, Geometry).  It is in your best interest to focus and do the work that needs to be done to be successful in this class so that you will be ready for your high school math classes.  My goal is for every one of you to pass the 8th grade FSA!


Additional Resources:  There are several resources available to students who need extra help.  They can use Mathspace, IXL, or iReady at home any time they like.  They can also use Khan Academy—simply google a topic and you will see Khan Academy videos. 


Covid-19 Classroom Implementations: Students will be assigned seats and distanced between 4 and 6 feet apart, including a shield between them. Students are required to wear their masks for the entire class period. There will be a sanitation station set up in the room for students to sanitize hands before and after coming into the classroom. Each student needs to be prepared with their own supplies for class, as there will be no shared supplies. Technology and desks will be sanitized daily. Students that are unable to adhere to the above guidelines can be considered for the innovative classroom option. It is imperative that we enforce these guidelines to help keep students and faculty safe and healthy.


Innovative Learning Students: Sign into Zoom meeting at designated scheduled class times. Attendance will be taken. Class will be structured in the same format as above (refer to Class Structure). Students will need to be present on video in their Ivy Hawn uniform. Each student needs a distraction free work space and must be the only one present and communicating during class time. Parents can schedule a meeting at a different time to ask questions or for conferences via email or Remind. Phones, game systems, and devices other than the computer used for class are prohibited during class time. Students are required to follow the same rules as an in-school student. Discipline will be carried out the same as above (refer to Discipline Procedures). Keep in mind that some offenses could lead directly to a referral or withdrawal from the innovative course. Assignments will be posted on Edgenuity. Students will sign in using the following website –  https://auth.edgenuity.com/Login/Login/Student.



Remember, this course is full of foundational skills needed for success in Algebra. I ask all students and parents to read this syllabus carefully to have a better understanding of expectations. I look forward to a great, productive year!