“Mathematics is not a deductive science, that’s a cliché  ...  What you do is trial and error, experimentation, guesswork.” – Paul Halmos
    I love this quote!  Algebra is a course where many problems seem to be the same but end up requiring completely different approaches. Success in this course requires "trial and error, experimentation and guesswork".  Of course, if these are the requirements, you will also need to invest a lot of time and patience!   Therefore, you cannot simply sit around like a bump on a log and expect the to learn the material.  
    Tips for Success in Algebra:
    1. Review your class notes every night.
    2. Always check your homework answers in the back of the book.  Clearly mark which problems are wrong, so that you remember to ask about them.  Also, write in the margin what the answer should have been, so that you can retry the problem after you ask for help (and you'll know if you got the problem right the second time or need more help)! 
    3. Explain your homework answers whenever possible (even if the directions don't say to)!  Understand WHY you did the problem the way you did!
    4. Do the extra practice worksheets (to access the extra practice sheets, click the link on the left for the current chapter)
    5. Write down questions that you would like to ask (about the notes, homework, extra practice worksheets, vocabulary, etc.)...and then ask them during class - or get a pass to ask them during resource ASAP!