Grade 8 Academic Situations
Functions
Key Points:
â€‹

Understand what a function is

Compare properties of two functions each represented in a different way

Interpret the equation y = mx + b as defining a linear function, whose graph is a straight line.

Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities.

Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear)
Common Struggles:

They might incorrectly identify a relation as a function when an xvalue is associated with multiple yvalues.

While many students can recite the slopeintercept form of a linear equation, (y = mx + b), applying it to graph a line or interpreting the slope and yintercept in context remains challenging.

When given a word problem or a graph, students might struggle to translate the provided information into a linear equation, especially when the yintercept or slope is not immediately clear.
"
Consequences:
â€‹
Impediments in understanding higherlevel algebra and precalculus topics, where the concept of functions is extensively applied.
Challenges in subjects like physics and economics, where functions are used to model relationships between variables.
Solutions:
â€‹

Provide varied examples of functions in practical contexts to illustrate their usefulness.â€‹

Utilize graphing calculators or software to offer a visual representation of functions and their transformations.

Create activities that require students to identify, create, and interpret functions, fostering a deeper understanding.
The Number System
Key Points:

Irrational and rational numbers

Use rational approximations of irrational numbers compare the size of irrational numbers, locate them approximately on a number line diagram, and estimate the value of expressions.
Common Struggles:

Find it difficult to compare numbers without precise values
Consequences:
â€‹
Difficulties with high school algebra and calculus, as a strong grasp of rational, irrational numbers, and the real number system is foundational.
Struggles with understanding more complex mathematical concepts that rely on a solid grasp of how different types of numbers interact.
Solutions:
â€‹

Reinforce the concepts through practical applications and realworld examples.

Use visual aids and manipulatives to illustrate abstract concepts.

Provide targeted practice on weak areas, employing both digital tools and traditional methods.
Expressions and Equations
Key Points:

Know and apply the properties of integer exponents

Represent solutions to equations of the form x² = p and x³ = p

Scientific Notation

Linear equations

Graph and compare proportional relationships, interpreting slope as unit rate.

Derive equations y=mx (through origin) and y=mx+b (vertical intercept at b).

Solve linear equations in one variable.

Solve systems of two linear equations in two variables by graphing.

Solve systems of two linear equations in two variables algebraically.

Solve realworld and mathematical problems leading to two linear equations in two variables.
Common Struggles:

Confused by the rules of symbols.

Mix up properties of exponents

Find it difficult to compare slope in different forms.

Make algebraic errors in simplification

Don't understand that systems of equations can have one solution (intersecting lines), no solution (parallel lines), or infinitely many solutions
Consequences:
â€‹
Struggles in algebra, which is foundational to most highschool math pathways, including algebra II, trigonometry, and calculus.
Difficulty in solving realworld problems that require the formulation and manipulation of expressions and equations.
Solutions:
â€‹
Encourage students to verbalize their thought processes while solving equations; this can aid in identifying and addressing misconceptions.
Use stepbystep guided problems to build confidence and capability.
Implement daily practice problems to reinforce skills and concepts learned.
Geometry
Key Points:
â€‹

Congruence and similarity

Describe the effect of dilations, translations, rotations, and reflections on twodimensional figures using coordinates.

The angle sum and exterior angle of triangles

The angles created when parallel lines are cut by a transversal

The angleangle criterion for similarity of triangles.

Explain a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse.

Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles.

Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points in a coordinate system.

Know the formulas for the volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres and use them to solve realworld and mathematical problems.
Common Struggles:

1When solving problems involving right triangles, students might forget to apply the Pythagorean theorem or confuse when it’s appropriate to use it versus other approaches.

Mix up the relationships between angles when a pair of parallel lines is cut by a transversal, such as alternate interior angles, corresponding angles, and sameside interior angles.

Struggle with choosing the correct formula for composite shapes or forget to account for all surfaces when calculating the total surface area.
"
Consequences:
â€‹

Difficulties in high school geometry, where a deeper exploration of theorems, proofs, and complex shapes occurs.

Challenges in subjects like trigonometry, where geometric concepts are foundational.

Practical difficulties in fields that require spatial reasoning, such as engineering, architecture, and the visual arts.
Solutions:
â€‹

Engage students in handson learning activities, such as building models, to deepen understanding of geometric concepts.

Provide ample opportunities for students to practice geometric proofs and problemsolving in a variety of contexts.
Statistics and Probability
Key Points:

Construct scatter plots for bivariate data to identify associations like clustering, outliers, and linear or nonlinear relationships.

Use the equation of a linear model to solve problems in the context of bivariate measurement data, interpreting the slope and intercept.

Explore association in categorical data using twoway tables to show frequencies and relative frequencies, analyzing the possible relationship between two variables.
Common Struggles:

Confusion between mean, median, and mode, and difficulty in understanding when to use each measure. For variability, students might struggle with concepts of range and interquartile range.

Difficulty in understanding and applying the concepts of theoretical versus experimental probability and interpreting probability models.

Interpreting scatter plots and understanding the relationship between variables in bivariate data can be challenging, particularly when identifying correlation and causation.
Consequences:
â€‹
Students who struggle with basic statistics and probability might find higherlevel math courses, like Algebra II, Precalculus, and Calculus, more challenging. These subjects often incorporate statistical concepts to solve complex problems and interpret data.
Many high school science courses, particularly Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, rely on statistical methods to analyze experimental data. A lack of understanding in statistics can hinder a student's ability to perform laboratory work and interpret findings effectively.
Solutions:
â€‹
Ensure that students have a strong grasp of the basics, such as understanding mean, median, mode, range, and interpreting different types of graphs. Use reallife data and examples to make these concepts concrete and relevant.