Pencils and Erasers
Let's start with the basics. Math is for pencils, not pens, and when you get to algebra class put away those wood pencils with the dull points that haven't been sharpened since sixth grade. You need to have mechanical pencils with a good supply of lead. Also make sure you have a good eraser - those white polymer erasers are best. And also include a 6-inch ruler for making quick graphs. The shorter ruler is easier to use with your spiral.
You should have a quadrille (graph) paper spiral notebook. Algebra has lots of graphs, and the grid layout makes it much easier to sketch graphs in class or for homework. Also make sure the spiral has good quality paper that has been carefully printed. There are lots of bad graph paper spirals out there. There are several brands, but my spiral of choice is theCambridge. It has nice heavy paper that is a pleasant cream color with light gray lines. You can find it atOffice Max.
You need to have your own calculator for homework, and it should match the ones used in your classroom. I believe most of Fort Bend ISD has finally switched over to the new Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX calculator. Make sure you do not buy the CAS model as it is not allowed on any tests.
However, if your school is still using the TI-83/84, then you should buy the TI-84, which is available at several price points. Choose the one you want, but the most basic one will do. Calculators generally have good back-to-school sale prices. Check the ads carefully.
That's it. The only other things you need are a positive attitude and the willingness to work. Keep up with your algebra assignments as each one builds on the ones that came before. Do these things and you will have a great year!
About this Page
I have had a rewarding and complete classroom career teaching and coaching mathematics.
Variable Thinking is my way of sharing some of my ideas, tips, and savvy about education and student success with you.
I hope find the comments and articles interesting and useful to both you and your student.