Algebra I

Algebra 1

Tutor:  Sarah Ohland



8th grade – 12th grade

I love teaching math!

Course Description:

This Algebra 1 course consists of lectures, homework assignments, problem set reviews, weekly quizzes and/ or tests, group work, and mathematical journaling.  Completion of weekly homework assignments is required.  This course is a high school level Algebra 1. The content of the course includes analyzing algebraic expressions, solving/graphing/writing linear equations, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and exponential functions, polynomial functions, quadratic equations and functions, data analysis, and probability.


Each family must provide the textbook for the student.  Prior to the first class an assignment from the book will be given.  Each student must come prepared to class by bringing the following:

  • Textbook:         Holt McDougal Larson Algebra 1

By  Ron Larson, Laurie Boswell, Timothy D. Kanold, Lee Stiff

Copyright 2012

ISBN:  978-0-547-64713-5

Cost:  $35 used – $89 new

  • Pencils
  • Homework notebook (1 subject spiral bound notebook is fine)
  • Journal notebook (1 subject spiral bound notebook is fine)
  • Class notes notebook (1 subject spiral bound notebook is fine)
  • Graph paper
  • Two pocket folder
  • Calculator: TI-83 plus or TI-84 plus graphing calculator is preferred as it is helpful for the ACT exam and can be utilized through college.  Cost:  $15 used – $100 new

Tuition $360 for the year

  • $30 non-refundable deposit due upon registration
    • $150 on the first day of class in September
    • $180 on the first day of class in January

Drop/Add Policy:

If a student needs to drop this class in the first two weeks, tuition will be refunded less a small amount for the church building fee.  If the drop occurs after the third class, the tuition is non-refundable.  No new students may add the course after registration closes without consent from both the tutor and KAT.

Absence/Cancellation Policy:                          

If the student misses class it is his/her responsibility to contact Mrs. Ohland for assignments.  In the event of a cancellation the student needs to work on the homework assignment as listed in the Course Schedule.

About the Instructor:

I have always enjoyed teaching.  I like getting to know the students, interacting with them, and watching them succeed.  I especially love teaching math.  In 1992 I received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Physics from Western Michigan University.  I taught math and physics at Schoolcraft High School from 1992-1995.  In 1994 I was one of thirty teachers in the State of Michigan selected to participate in a National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Sequential Summer Institute.  Through this program I received my Masters Degree in Mathematics Education from Western Michigan University in 1997.   After having our first child I taught part time at Western Michigan University until 2000 when our third child was born.  At this time until the present I have been homeschooling our children.

I am a devoted follower of Christ.  He is my highest priority and goal.  I am blessed to be married to Bruce and to have five children.  We are members of Berean Baptist Church where I teach the 4 year old class and lead a small group in the middle school youth group.

Note about the Curriculum: 

In choosing the textbook I did a significant amount of research and weighed the options carefully.  My goal was to pick a curriculum that explained concepts well, had a good traditional scope and sequence, and offered help to students and parents as they worked through the assignments at home.  I wanted to prepare students for the next level, and provide them with tools to excel on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams.

With all of this in mind, I chose the Holt McDougal Larson Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 books.  These textbooks are very readable and provide good explanations for mastering new concepts.  The scope and sequence is aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards.  This curriculum comes with a Work-Out Solutions Key that I provide to parents with each new chapter.  This is an invaluable tool in helping students understand how to solve a problem they are struggling with, because it not only gives the answer but all the steps necessary to arrive at the answer.  As far as preparing students for the next level, the author of these textbooks is the same author of the Pre-Calculus textbook at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  The college entrance exams draw from the NCTM Standards and assume proficiency with a graphing calculator.  This curriculum provides many and varied opportunities to learn and use this technology.

One of the only drawbacks to this curriculum is that some will judge these books by their covers.  On the front cover are the words:  Common Core Edition.  Some parents after seeing this refuse to enroll their student in this class. This is unfortunate because this is a good, solid, traditional curriculum.  I would have chosen the nearly identical 2008 edition which is not labeled as Common Core, but it does not come with a teacher package Worked-Out Solutions Key.  By choosing this curriculum I am neither supporting nor endorsing Common Core.  I simply wanted to provide students with the best option to understand and master mathematical concepts in a way that would prepare them to excel and perform well in college and beyond.  Please don’t judge this book by its cover, rather by its content.