Knowre Blog

Common Incoming Skills Gaps for Students in Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2

Posted by Bara Levitt on 10/13/20 1:36 PM
Bara Levitt

As students reach higher levels of math, incoming skill gaps can be particularly challenging since they have compounded over so many years. It can often be difficult to figure out where to begin when the dual tasks of closing skill gaps and teaching new material are on the to-do list. 

Our goal is to help you determine where to begin the often immense task of review and gap filling. This article includes common skill gaps that we recommend reviewing with Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 students. The recommended skills shared come out of data collected from Knowre Math’s Ready? Check. Go! diagnostic. This diagnostic is designed to identify skills gaps by giving students a chance to engage with key topics from their prior math course (ie. Algebra 1 students complete a Ready! Check. Go! focused on 8th grade/Pre-Algebra skills).

Below you’ll find a list of recommended skills to review with students. Please note that the percentage indicated at the end of each skill reflects the percentage of students who demonstrated an understanding of that skill of focus.

Skill Gaps to Focus on with Algebra 1 students: 

  • Finding the Volume of a Right Cylinder Given a Figure (14%)
  • Graphing a Direct Variation (21%)
  • Graphing Translations (33%)
  • Finding the Length of the Hypotenuse Given Lengths of Two Legs in a Figure (44%)
  • Finding Length of Unknown Side Given Two Similar Triangles (54%)
  • Determining the Surface Area of a Cube or Right Rectangular Prism (57%)
  • Finding Discounted Price Given Original Price and Percent Discount (58%)
  • Identifying the Input Given the Output and a Linear Function (61%)
  • Solving Linear Equations with Variables on Both Sides (65%)
  • Finding the Probability of an Event - Sample Set Given (65%)
  • Application Problem (69%)
  • Using Random Samples to Make Predictions About Population (72%)
  • Finding the Measure of a Missing Angle in a Triangle (73%)
  • Subtracting Multi-Digit Integers - Different Signs (78%)

Skill Gaps to Focus on with Geometry and Algebra 2 students: 

  • Graphing Linear Functions in Slope-Intercept Form (25%)
  • Writing the Equation of a Parallel Line Through a Given Point (25%)
  • Graphing Translated Quadratic or Absolute Value Functions (32%)
  • Simplifying Power of a Quotient and Power of a Product (34%)
  • Solving Quadratic Equations with the Quadratic Formula - Discriminant is Irrational (36%)
  • Finding the Slope of a Linear Graph (38%)
  • Solving Systems of Linear Equations Where Coefficient of a Variable is Not a Multiple of the Other (39%)
  • Using Substitution and Multiplication to Solve a System of Linear Equations When One Variable is Given in Terms of the Other (42%)
  • Creating Equivalent Bases to Solve Exponential Equations (43%)
  • Factoring a Quadratic When a=1 and c is Negative (45%)
  • Evaluating Rational Exponents with Single Base After Prime Factorization (45%)
  • Subtracting Polynomials Horizontally (46%)
  • Using Factoring to Solve Quadratic Equations in Standard Form with Lead Coefficient Not Equal to One (48%)
  • Simplifying Square Roots with Natural Radicands (50%)
  • Using the Distributive Property to Multiply Two Binomials (50%)
  • Solving Quadratic Equations - Two Steps to Isolate the Squared Variable (58%)
  • Evaluating Functions Given Equation - Numeric Input (64%)

Ready to review these topics with your students? Sample problems for each of the skill gaps shared can be found on this resource. We recommend reviewing and practicing these skills with your students so that they do not hinder them from successfully engaging with new content.

Look out in the coming weeks for more resources designed to support you as you work with students to close their skill gaps. 

If you’d like to use the Ready? Check. Go! diagnostic to identify and address your student’s skill gaps, sign up for a free trial of Knowre Math. Once students have completed it you are able to assign them with video-instruction including gap filling lessons in just a few clicks.

Topics: Back to School, Data, Education Technology, Formative Assessment, Student Success, Math Instruction