Stapley Junior High 8th Grade Pre-Algebra (MA08) 2017-2018

Teacher: Mr. Patrick McDonnell                                                       Phone number: 480-472-2747

Email:                                            Website:


Welcome to 8th grade Pre-Algebra! This class offers a challenging curriculum focused on linear equations and functions, systems of equations, geometry, exponents, and data analysis. In order to create an environment where scholars take responsibility for learning, I expect all to participate in class discussions, collaborate in groups, create projects, and complete in-class, online, as well as at-home assignments.  Students will be required to critically think, model work, and defend conclusions verbally, mathematically, and in sentence form.  Organization and effort are key! I look forward to a successful year together. If you have questions at any point in the year, feel free to contact me by email or phone.


                                                                                    Mr. McDonnell


1.     Materials Required for Class: (due Monday, August 14th)

∞ Pencils (many) and Pens,

∞ Dry Erase Markers (Fine tip)

∞ 5 subject notebook

∞ Folder with prongs to hold all handouts OR math tab in binder

∞  Optional: Kleenex, colored pencils, hand held pencil sharpener, highlighter



2.     Classroom Expectations:

∞ Be Respectful: to yourself, others, and to all property

∞ Be Responsible: with all required work and materials needed for class

∞ Be Ready: seated and ready to work when bell rings

∞ Be Truthful & Trustworthy: Set a positive example for others

∞ Follow all school rules in handbook



3.     Consequences: May include one or more of the following

∞ Verbal Reminder                                           ∞ Behavior/Academic Contract                

∞ Removal from class                                       ∞ Referral to Administration 

∞ Conference with teacher and/or parent            ∞ Work Detail

∞ Detention-teacher assigned 15 or 30 minutes before or after school only



4.     Homework:

∞ Expect homework approximately three to four days a week. Assignments due at the beginning of class.

∞ All homework must be completed in pencil. Illegible handwriting or completion in pen will result

    in re-doing the assignment.

∞ Students must show all steps in order to receive credit for an assignment.

∞ All problems must be reasonably attempted mathematically or a written explanation must be provided, addressing the area that is not understood.

∞ Assignment submitted online must be accompanied by work on paper and turned in for credit.






5.      Attendance and Make Up work:

It is solely the responsibility of the scholar to check the assignment board, website “Homework Calendar,” and folders after returning from an absence to ensure all work is received and made up.  The teacher is not responsible for reminding the scholar of this responsibility.

∞ The day you return, all assignments which were due the first day you were absent must be turned in.

∞ You will have 1 day per day absence to make up work. (ie. 2 days absent, 2 days to make up work).

∞ Tests and Regular quizzes must be arranged with teacher and be made up outside of class. Homework quizzes may not be made up.



6.     Tardies: Scholars should be in their seats, prepared to work when the bell rings.


7.     Grades:  (detailed grading policy to be outlined in a separate document)

90%- and up = A           Tests (unit, midterms, final exams): 40%

80%-89% = B               Quizzes: 30%

70%-79% = C               Assignments (classwork, homework): 10%

60%-69% = D               Weekly Reviews & Homework Quizzes: 20%

59% and below =F


8.     Communication:

mcdonnell webpage: Click “Staff” from Stapley website homepage. My homework calendar is updated daily with assignments, notes from lesson, test dates, pdf worksheets, tutoring hours, and more. Email and texting communication application I use to send important updates and reminders  regarding upcoming assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests. 

Email:  The best way to contact me is via email.  Phone messages will be returned before or after school.  I regularly send emails regarding class updates to any email provided on the next page.

Online Gradebook:(synergy portal) Shows missing assignments and grades for assignments and classes. I update grades several times a week. Contact the front desk if you need assistance with your parent login or password.



9.     Resources: Students Use Them!

Big Ideas Textbook: Odd numbered answers are in the back of the book. I highly recommend students check their answers after each question. However, all steps to support answer must be shown on paper.

Big Ideas Website and Online textbook:  Login link is on my webpage - Contains instructional videos for each lesson, additional examples, extra practice, selected odd answers, and online tutor chat.

Notes from class composition notebook (copies of lesson notes are on my website): Review current chapter lessons each evening for 5-8 minutes.  Before beginning homework, review class notes from that day and refer back to it if you have questions.

Internet:  It is okay to look up concepts in which you need help! Videos, similar examples etc.

Relatives or Friends:  Find a friend or relative who can assist (not give answers) – Utilize all other resources on your own first.

Tutoring: My before and after school hours are posted on my Stapley website and updated weekly.