Many thanks to Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts for their support of this site.
This web site got started when I taught there, from 1999 to 2008.

ONE MATHEMATICAL CAT, PLEASE! A First Course in Algebra

 web page lessons (1st half of course,lessons 1–91) web page lessons (2nd half of course,lessons 92–164) This is a complete, sequenced, free course, with unlimited, randomly-generated exercises and worksheets. It can be used for a year-long high school course, or a one-semester college course. You're about to learn that $\,x\,$ is to mathematics as ‘cat’ is to English. The hope is that the next time you find yourself faced with $\,x\,$, you'll think: One Mathematical Cat, Please! and laugh a bit $\ldots\,$ making mathematics a little less stressful, and a little more fun. ‘cat-in-hammock’ the full text

F U N   S T U F F   (for when you need a break)
Sections with the light green background are from the original ‘cat’ book.
The original ‘cat’ book was filled out to become this First Course in Algebra.

Section 1:
The Language of Mathematics

Section 2:
Brushing Up On Basic Arithmetic Skills

Section 3:
The Real Numbers

Section 4:

Section 5:
Subtraction of Signed Numbers

Section 6:
Average

12.5 application of averaging concepts: factoring a quadratic
Section 7:
The Base Ten Number System

Section 8:
Decimals

Section 9:
Mathematicians are Fond of Collections

Section 10:
Holding This, Holding That

Section 10.5:
Solving For A Particular Variable

(important for science classes)
Section 10.7:
Scientific Notation and Significant Figures

(important for science classes)
 32.5 (optional) a conundrum: When is equal, not equal? Or, not equal, equal?
Section 11:
Introduction to Fractions

Section 12:
Multiplying Fractions

1. finding reciprocals
2. determining if a product is positive or negative
3. multiplying and dividing fractions
4. practice with the form $\,a\cdot\frac{b}{c}\,$
5. more practice with the form $\,a\cdot\frac{b}{c}\,$
6. renaming fractional expressions
Section 13:

Section 13.5:
Prime Numbers and Related Concepts

(Short on time?
Section 13.5 can be skipped without any loss of continuity.)
48a. prime numbers
48b. the Prime Factorization Theorem
48c. relatively prime numbers and related concepts
Section 14:
I Live Two Blocks West Of You

Section 15:
Numbers Have Lots of Different names!

Section 16:
Exact versus Approximate

Section 17:
Rounding

Section 18:
Unit Conversion

Section 19:
More Unit Conversion

67a work problems: basic concepts
67b work problems: quick-and-easy estimates
67c work problems: guided practice
Section 20:
Exponent Notation

69.3 (optional) Laurel, Yanny, Cookies, Bananas, and Clocks
69.5 taking PEMDAS too literally: don't make this mistake!
Section 21:
Exponent Laws

1. practice with $\,x^mx^n = x^{m+n}\,$
2. practice with $\,(x^m)^n = x^{mn}\,$
3. practice with $\,x^m/x^n = x^{m-n}$
4. practice with $\,x^{-p} = 1/x^p$
5. one-step exponent law practice
6. multi-step exponent law practice
Section 22:

78.5   renaming square roots
Section 23:
Rational Exponents

Section 24:
The Distributive Law

Section 25:
Revisiting Exponents

Section 26:
FOIL and more

98.5   dividing more than one term by a single term
Section 27:
These Sentences Certainly Look Different!

Section 28:
Introduction to Factoring

Section 29:
Greatest Common Factor

Section 30:
Transforming Tool #1

Section 31:
Transforming Tool #2
(the Multiplication Property of Equality)

Section 32:
Solving Linear Equations in One Variable

Section 32.5:
Applications and More

Section 33:
Solving Linear Inequalities in One Variable

Section 34:
Introduction to Absolute Value

Section 35:
Solving Absolute Value Equations

Section 36:
Solving Absolute Value Inequalities Involving ‘Less Than’

Section 37:
Finishing Up Absolute Value Sentences

Section 38:
Factoring a Difference of Squares
Section 39:
Solving Equations Involving Perfect Squares
Section 40:
Factoring Trinomials
1. basic concepts involved in factoring trinomials
2. factoring $\,x^2 + bx + c\,$,   $\,c > 0\,$
3. factoring $\,x^2 + bx + c\,$,   $\,c < 0\,$
4. factoring trinomials, all mixed up
Section 41:
Section 42:
1. factoring $\,ax^2 + bx + c\,$
2. solving more complicated quadratic equations by factoring
Section 42.5:
Arithmetic with Fractions Involving Variables
Section 43:
Percent Increase and Decrease
Section 44:
Introduction to the Coordinate Plane
Section 45:
Lines
Section 46:
More On Lines
160.5   linear inequalities in two variables
Section 47:
Functions