Pre-Algebra A

What are the basic ways people use algebraic and geometric concepts to be effective in their jobs and careers?

Why Take This Course?

Pre-Algebra bridges the gap between arithmetic and algebra.

Pre-Algebra bridges the gap between arithmetic and algebra.

What do you want to do when you grow up? In this math course, go on an adventure with Fred (from the Life of Fred series) to find out what career path might be in your future. As Fred explores principles of economics on his own quest to get a summer job, we will apply our mathematical knowledge to build our problem-solving skills. You’ll be surprised how much our job search requires us to solidify our foundational algebra and geometry skills, and how relevant and meaningful these skills can be to our everyday lives.

The focus of this course is learning how to use algebra to understand equations and functions with meaningful applications. Students will review numbers and operations, explore patterns of geometry, and continue solving equations with one unknown. They will represent and solve real-world situations with two-variable linear functions, and statistical data analysis. This High School Math course includes an emphasis on having a growth mindset towards math, with an engaging midterm that helps students see the fun and fascinating side of mathematics.

Expedition: Get a Job!

This semester, students will be trying different types of jobs in a series of imaginary “internships,” (including logistics, animation, science, or contracting) that provide us with necessary skills to build up our resume. Students will increase their number sense and statistical analysis skills during an internship with NASA. After an internship with a contractor, students will have mastered the Pythagorean Theorem and volumes of 3D objects. Students will continue with internships with an online store and Animation Studios to fine-tune their solving and scaling skills. The Get a Job! expedition allows the students to explore careers while applying math in a meaningful way. Throughout the semester, students will build their resumes and practice presentation skills, preparing for the Summit Project of interviewing for a job.


Course Framework

Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4
How is math applied in the scientific world?Where can we see math in the physical world?How does algebra represent logistical relationships?Where’s the math in animation?
How is scientific notation used to represent the universe?What is the Pythagorean Theorem and where does it come from?
What is a solution?What is a transformation in math?
How do I measure the distance between planets and stars?How can I use the Pythagorean Theorem to find a missing side of a right triangle?How can I solve multi-step equations?How do translations, reflections, rotations, and dilations affect a shape and its coordinates?
How can I add and subtract in scientific notation?How can I use the Pythagorean Theorem to help build a playground?How can the distributive property and combining like terms help me?How are transformations used in animation?
How many times bigger is one planet than another?What is the volume of a solid prism?How can I write equations?Do we see congruence or similarity in animation?
How do I multiply and divide in scientific notation?How many times will a cone fill up a cylinder?What is a system of equations?Which characteristics are consistent in congruence and similarity?
How can I use scientific notation in my job as a scientist?How does geometry help me as a contractor?How can I solve equations using substitution?How can I use transformations to do my job as an animator?
What’s the best way to represent bivariate data?How many possible solutions are there to a system?
What is a scatter plot?

Texts and Materials Students Must Purchase

Find required versions and ISBNs on the High School Booklist

Stanley SchmidtLife of Fred: PreAlgebra 2 with Economic
  • Students must also create an account in Khan Academy and add Williamsburg Academy as their coach.
  • Students taking the self-paced version of this course do not need to purchase any texts or materials.


  • Recommended Grade: 9th (Freshman)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Versions & Estimated Weekly Hours: 7*
  • Format: Live / Self-Paced / Independent
  • Credits: 0.5

*Math students spend at least one hour a day practicing math, plus two hours a week in live class sessions.