Math = Love: Algebra 1 Letters of Advice

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Algebra 1 Letters of Advice

After state testing was over, I had students write a one page letter of advice to students taking Algebra 1 next year.  I did this last year, but I did not specify how long the letters needed to be.  I didn't make my students write near enough this year.  Writing a full page was a struggle for some of them.  But, I think the letters I got this year were of a higher quality than last year's letters due to this requirement.  If you're interested in the advice my Algebra 1 students shared last year, check it out here.

I went through this year's letters and picked out the sentences that stood out to me the most.  I've semi-sorted it by topic.  In short, my students love our interative notebooks.  They hate my jokes.  But, they laugh anyway to make me feel better about myself.  The youtube videos I showed in class were cool.  I apparently have a good and bad side, and you should definitely avoid getting on my bad side.  This is a testament to my classroom management struggles.  I am too lax.  Then, I get super strict.  And, neither is good.  Next year, I aim to be consistent.  I shouldn't have a good side or a bad side.  There should be one side and one side only of me.

My Students Talk About Notebooks

You will be gluing and cutting a lot.  Don't be stupid!

You need a notebook to glue and color in.

Ms. Hagan has us keep this awesome notebook that helps you learn new ways of solving a problem and new formulas.

Your notebook helps a lot because if you ever need help on something you can look back at your notebook and it will help you.  It is way better than getting a textbook and doing work out of it.

Always do your notebook.  Your notebook will have all of your things you will learn in her class.  It does get annoying sometimes, but it's way better than a textbook and doing work out of it.

Whenever you get your notebook, be sure to always fill it in.  My notebook is what helped me study, and if you think that you forgot something, then you can always go back and look at it.  And before your EOI you can go through your notebook to look at everything that you have done throughout the year.

Make sure that you write down everything Ms. Hagan tells you.  The notebook is a really helpful tool to remember stuff.

You will have a notebook where you do some pretty cool things during class to glue in your notebook.

My Students Talk About What To Do And Not Do In Class

Don't be late to class.  Ever!  She'll be mean to you.

Her number one pet peeve is talking loud and yelling.

Try to get on the star.  It's like a game.  If you don't get on the star, you lose.

For this class, you should have a cleared mind and be ready to work all the time.  You might hit a couple of bumps in the road.

My advice to you is to be polite and to not make fun of your fellow classmates or she will make you say two or more nice things to that person.

Mind Ms. Hagan.  Her class is one of the easiest and most fun of all the classes that you'll have.  Do your work.  Don't interrupt her.  Listen.  Follow along.

Always pay attention to Miss Hagan.  She knows what she is doing.  Everything that she taught me was on my EOI test.

BIG ONE:  Don't backtalk the teacher.

Try your hardest to not miss any days of school because every day of algebra is important.

First you got to keep up with your assignments.  Those will toss your grade around.  They can be good or bad, but you better hope they're good.

Avoid the people that don't care about their future AKA the people that talk 24/7.

Bring your own mini white board and dry erase marker and eraser because the school's sucks.

Do not sleep.  You will fail big time.

Be nice and have fun, but stay on her good side.

Don't be late.  Ms. Hagan will be sad, and you will be counted late.

If she tells you to remember something, you better do it!

Go get on her good side cause if you do you'll pass her class with flying colors.

Don't be mean to her because she is a good person.

Do what you are told, or she'll either send you to the office or out in the hallway.

Never argue with your teacher.

My Students Talk About Randomness

Don't do drugs!

High school will be a rude awakening for some of you, so sleep while you can!  MATH WILL FIND WHERE YOU LIVE!

Don't ever over stress yourself.  Your brain will melt.

Eat a lot of crackers and BBQ sauce.

Good luck in high school.  You'll need it.  Trust me, there's drama!

My Students Reflect On The Year

Remember, your hard work will pay off and you will learn more than you ever thought you would know.

Algebra 1 was the most fun class that I took this year.

Algebra 1 is an amazing class, and it's always fun.  The classroom is also cool because it has Algebra type stuff on it.

Welcome to the hardest class in your life.  They call it Algebra 1.  Actually, it's not that hard, but there will be a lot that you don't understand.

You will do fun projects which include barbies and wrestlers.

Another thing is a fun project called Barbie Bungee Jump.  It's really fun.  Can't tell you about it.  You will have to wait and see for yourself.

You will have a blast.  You want to know why?  Because I did.  I had a wonderful time in this class.  Algebra 1 may be hard to you, but it's really not.  You will get used to it by the end of the school year.

 If you have Ms. Hagan, you'll do great - almost guaranteed!  I was so, so stressed for my EOI.  But come to find out, I went up 14 whole points from my score last year!  Last year I scored in the limited knowledge section, and I even took two math classes.  This year, I scored in the proficient section, and I only had one math class.

Anyways, algebra is fun sometimes.  The only reason you do a lot of work is because she cares and wants you to pass.  And, when you do pass, that's good.  She gets excited, and that's how you know she's a good teacher.  If you don't pass, then you clearly weren't paying attention because she's a wonderful teacher.

My Students Talk About Origami

P.S. You will learn to fold your letters like this!

Origami Letter

My Students Talk About Me

You won't have any problems with her because all you need to do is pay attention, don't talk, and don't make Ms. Hagan mad.

Ms. Hagan is a fun, wonderful teacher, and the year will zoom right by.

If you are nice to the teacher, then she will be nice to you.

I know algebra is a little difficult sometimes, but Ms. Hagan will help you.  She's so sweet, and she will do anything to help you pass your EOI.  Anybody can pass this class and the EOI if you pay attention and listen to Ms. Hagan.

Ms. Hagan is a great teacher and person.  She always has patience for a student when you give her the time of day she deserves.  Please don't make her all upset.  She deserves better.

If you mind Ms. Hagan, she will usually give you candy.  She's pretty much always nice unless you do anything to make her angry (not advisable)  But, she always keeps fun in the classroom and always keeps your attention as long as you pay attention.

If you give Ms. Hagan your respect, she will give you her respect.

Ms. Hagan makes Algebra 1 easy and actually fun to do on some days.

Do not get on her bad side.  You will regret it.

Ms. Hagan is a very patient person, but try not to push her buttons too much.

Out of all your teachers, Ms. Hagan will be one of your favorite teachers.  And, I'm pretty sure if you need help from any class, she will do her best to help you because she doesn't want anyone to fail.

Be prepared to have fun in Algebra 1 if you have Ms. Hagan.  Sometimes she gives a lot of work.  But, we play a lot of games.  If you pay attention to her and want to learn, you will love Algebra 1.

Say her name backwards: Ms. Nagah.

Algebra (1000*4)*0+1 is an awesome class.  Your teacher, Ms. [Wrong Name], is the BEST.  I've never learned so much math in my life.  It's a pretty awesome class.  No joke.  You're gonna learn about functions.  They're super easy.

Letter of Algebra Advice

She knows what she is doing.

Ms. Hagan is a good teacher.  All you need to do is pay attention to her and listen to her.  She knows what she's talking about, and you need to know all of the things she is teaching you.

Ms. Hagan may seem like a mean person, but she's just doing what's best for you.

You should enjoy this class unless you don't like math.  But, don't worry, even if you're not good at math, Ms. Hagan can and will explain everything.  Just be patient and make sure you pay attention.

Ms. Hagan is a good teacher, but I warn you: do not make her mad.  Or else, she will be your worst enemy.

In the event that you make it to this class, in which case you have, you should be glad to be here because Ms. Hagan is one of the best math teachers I have ever had.

Ms. Hagan is the funniest teacher.  You will have a blast in this class.

Ms. Hagan does not play games.  She will send you to the office or out in the hall.  But, beware!  She will probably forget you.

You will have a good year in Algebra 1 with Ms. Hagan if you become friends with her.

My Students Talk About My Grading System

You better finish all your papers because it's a 0 or a 100.  Make sure you show your work.

My Students Talk About My Jokes

Laugh at Ms. Hagan's jokes to make her feel better.  Ask her about her fish joke and elephant jokes.  And the joke about the bank.

Miss Hagan is a really good teacher and I think you will like her class.  Another thing you may like is her jokes even though they aren't really funny.

If you want Ms. Hagan to feel good and have a good day, tell her to tell jokes. Then, laugh even though they aren't funny.

Also, her jokes.  Some are funny and some you're just like "Miss Hagan!"  And, that's what makes you laugh.

Hey, she always tells jokes so make sure you laugh. :)

My Students Talk About Cell Phones

Don't talk to friends or text because you will need all of the tools that Ms. Hagan provides to you.

When you are in Ms. Hagan's class I would not get your phone out cause she will take it.

Play on your phone a lot, but make sure she don't catch you.

Don't get on her bad side.  Talking and being on your phone does that.

My Students Talk About The EOI

I'm writing to you today to give you little helpful tips to successfully pass the Algebra EOI.  Well, first things first, eat a good hearty, health breakfast, eggs, toast, whole food cereal, etc.  Get lost and lots of sleep you don't want to be passing out in the middle of the EOI.  Yawn.

Everything that Ms. Hagan taught me was on my EOI test.

My Students Talk About Math

Learn slope.  Trust me, you'll need it.

Don't forget to double check your answers and check the simple math.  You don't want to fail the EOI because you messed up simply adding 2+2.  So always check your work.

First thing is to forget the x in multiplying and start using ().

You have to sign a little card and take an oath.  It's kind of a big deal.

Get ready for the fun you will or may have in Algebra.

Remember to look out for positives and negatives because they will confuse you.

And the calculator is going to be your best friend in that class.

My Students Talk About The Math Videos We Watch Throughout The Year

You won't regret having Ms. Hagan as a teacher.  She has great teaching methods, and I think you will like it.  One thing you will have to do is endure her videos in class.  Some are good, but some will crack you up.

Pay attention to her stupid, annoying videos.  They help.

Another thing is Ms. Hagan will show you a few cool rap math songs.


  1. Hi Sarah,

    I just want to appreciate how generous you have been with your ideas and foldables. You rock! I am so grateful for all the inspiration! Happy Summer to you!

    Yours, Amy Zimmer
    Windsor High School, CA

    1. Thanks Amy! Your blog has been an inspiration to me as well!

  2. I love doing activities like this that help students reflect... and help me improve! I'm hoping to do my Google Form Report Card again, and use the feedback to make a 1st day of school video for my new crew in the fall. Check these out:

    1. I LOVE the idea of taking the quotes and making a video! I might just put one of these together this summer! Thanks for sharing!