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Preparing for High School through a Summer of Algebra

11 August 2023

Jacob has gotten a head start on a successful high school experience. 

Lake View Student Jacob

While the beginning of a new school year is always a period of transition for CPS students, it’s an especially unpredictable time for our recent eighth-grade graduates who are starting high school. More than 400 soon-to-be freshmen—including Jacob, who will be attending Lake View High School—got a head start on their high school experiences by participating in the District’s Summer of Algebra program. 

Not only does this program allow students to familiarize themselves with their new buildings and begin building relationships with their fellow freshmen, it also helps them grow their math skills to potentially earn their algebra competency and take a more advanced math class when the school year begins. 

Check out our Q&A with Jacob below to learn more about his experience this summer. 

How have you been feeling about your freshman year of high school? 
I feel like it’s going to be really different. It was a little scary to graduate knowing that I was coming to a new school where I didn’t know anyone. I was at my previous school, Logandale Elementary, from kindergarten through eighth grade, so I knew everyone there. 

Has participating in summer programming changed those feelings? 
Definitely. It was much easier than I thought it would be to meet new people. And I also think that I’ve been learning a lot.

students viewing whiteboards

How would you describe your interests both inside and outside of the classroom? 
I like math and science the best. Outside of school, I love basketball. My specialty is shooting, because it’s what I’m good at. I’m a Bulls fan, obviously, and I like DeMar DeRozan. Other players I like are Jayson Tatum and Jamal Murray, 

As someone who enjoys math, how would you compare how you learned algebra in eighth grade and how you are learning it this summer? 
Learning it here is nothing like in middle school. Back then, I would just be shown an equation and then have to plug that equation into the question being asked. But, now, I’m learning how to solve an equation in as many different ways as I can. That is helping me think about each problem more creatively. 

What does a typical day in the program look like? 
I’ll usually eat breakfast and talk with my friends for a little bit. Then, we’ll have an assignment and explain how we came up with our answer in a group using a whiteboard. After that, we’ll use Desmos on our Chromebooks. And then we’ll eat lunch and go outside for a few minutes. When we come back inside, we might use Desmos for another activity. The days go by pretty fast. 

How has the instruction been? 
My teacher, Mr. Smith, has been great. I feel like he understands how kids work. He’s really patient, and I’ve never seen him get mad. 

With the beginning of your freshman year coming up, what are some of your goals for high school? 
I have three main goals. Work hard. Don’t get distracted. And stay focused on what matters.

outside of school image

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