"FYI" = "For Your Information" (Suggestions, Useful Information, etc.)
It has been my experience over the years that many students tend to start strong in their math classes, when the material is kind of easy, and they get the feeling that this class is going to be a breeze.  After a short while, students often begin to feel complacent and think that they don't have to put forth much effort, and they begin to slack off.  Well, at about the same time that they are slacking off, the material is beginning to get more difficult.  Math builds on itself, so to speak, and if you're not paying attention and you don't really know what you're doing in chapter 2 or 3, etc., then you'll be struggling when you get into chapters 4-6 (and on into the next math course, as well).  And as I tell my students, slacking off at the same time that it's getting more difficult --  not a good combination!  So start strong, stay strong, & don't let yourself get behind. 
Also, if at some point students do start to need help catching up or catching on, I always want students to feel free to ask me for help during class.  I am also available for a few minutes after school, and they could come by and ask for help any time that they don't understand something. 
One way that students can help improve their grade is by keeping up with all their daily homework assignments in their Algebra Notebook.  There is a Notebook Test about every 3 weeks, and a sample question might be something like "From 1/24/12 give the answer to p. 67 problem #18."  This is easy for students to do, if they have made corrections as we go over homework every day, and if they are keeping up with all of their homework pages, labeling them with date, etc., so that they know "what's what" in their notebook.  It should be an easy 100 point test grade, 3 times each 9 weeks grading period, to average in with their other tests and help to bring up any test grades that were maybe not as high as students wanted them to be.
I hope that all my students will make the best of this year, academically and in every other way, as well. 
Let's work together to make this a successful semester for everyone!
Parents, please feel free to email me at if you have questions about your child's progress.  Also, I post grades regularly on iNow, so you can check your child's grades online anytime. 
Thank you and may God bless you all!