ELEMENTARY ALGEBRA SYLLABUS

MTH 007.013 & 007.022 for Fall 1999

3 CREDIT HOUR

Instructor: William V. Thayer


St. Louis Community College at Meramec

Section information:
    MTH 007.013 meeting on Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 1 to 1:50 p.m. in SW 206
    MTH 007.022 meeting on Tue.& Thur. from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in SW 206

Campus Hours and Office Telephone 314 984 7866 or Home Telephone 821 5299
    Office hours Mon., Tue., Wed., & Fri. from 8:45 to 10:00 a.m. in SW 218
    Office hours Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 12 to 1:00 p.m. in SW 218
    Office hours Tuesday and Thursday from 12 to 12:30 p.m. in SW 218
    Office hours Monday and Wednesday from 2 to 2:30 p.m. in SW 218
    or by appointment with the exception of department meetings, campus meetings or:

MAJOR - MerAmec Juggling ORganization - on Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    meeting in the Student Center Quadrangle or Student Center.
    Juggling Club Web Page URL http://www.jug/wt/major.htm

StLCC @ Meramec Web Pages URL http://www.stlcc.cc.mo.us/mcdocs/

Check with the math secretary if I am not in my office when you are free. You may also use email thayer@jug.net or my Web URL http://www.jug.net/wt to contact me for help or information.

PREREQUISITE: MTH 001 with C or a satisfactory score on the placement test. Students from other institutions must provide appropriate documentation for enrollment to the instructor on or before Aug. 27, 1999.

TEXT: ELEMENTARY ALGEBRA by Alan S. Tussy and R. David Gustafson, 2nd edition

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: graph paper and a scientific calculator with trig and log, ln, and exp keys. A scientific calculator may be used on tests. Instructional videotapes are available for use in the Library Learning Lab.

ADDITIONAL STUDY AIDS: After the first week our mathematics department tutors located in room SW 211 can help you and some library materials are available. Tutoring is also offered at the South County Education Center and the West County Education Center. To obtain individual peer tutoring through the College Success Program, contact Kathy Rose in the Administration Building, Room 232 (984-7571).

Before the end of the first week take the Skills Test for beginning Elementary Algebra found on pages 4 -9 in the Mathematics Department's Syllabus. You should be able to get 32 to 39 questions right. If you get 31 or fewer questions then consider taking Math 001 Basic Mathematics to master necessary skills for Elementary Algebra.

Please consider HAVING TROUBLE WITH MATHEMATICS ideas on page 3 and read SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO STUDY MATH on page 2 of the Mathematics Department's Syllabus.

Please see me as soon as possible for any personal accommodations you require.

TIME ON COURSE: The three class hours, field trips and special projects time you spend on this course will require about ten homework hours per week for high grades to around six hours per week for passing grades. It is best to construct a time schedule for each week of the course and mark out the study time you plan that gives you the needed eight to eleven hours indicated above. This commitment is a pledge you make to yourself to "BE ALL YOU CAN BE" for the obligation you have undertaken to learn this mathematics.

TYPICAL CLASS PERIOD: The first part, about twenty minutes, of class is open for answering questions about the previous assignment including exercises, reading material, or classroom notes. You are encouraged to answer other students assignment exercise questions for extra credit points by presenting chalk board work. For each exercise presented and noted as one point on the attendance sheet, one grade point will be added to your unit test. While presenting exercises is expected, this communication beyond the one point is not graded. Use this time to experiment with your ability to understand an exercise and convey your understanding to others. Don't worry about any mistakes you may make, that's part of learning. In fact, any student who finds and documents a textbook or answer key mistake may also report a point on the attendance sheet for that discovery.

The second part of class is used to introduce new material with examples and discussion and demonstrations or proofs. It is generally assumed that prior to the time new material is covered in class, you took notes as you read from the new section(s) and practiced the new vocabulary. You may wish to include the textbook examples in your class discussion of new material as your instructor will cover these ideas and concepts and do additional examples. Use this time to clarify any ideas you may have by asking questions or seek additional help hopefully during that same twenty four hours.

Some class time is spent with all students working at the chalk board.

Individual communication is not permitted in class when attention is directed to one individual. Some class time is devoted to group problem solving.

EXPECTATIONS: This syllabus including the Course Schedule (below), Math Department Assignment Sheet(s), Department Course Objectives, Department Suggestions On How To Study - Having Trouble - Beginning Skills Test and Mathematics Department Policies, combined with the SLCC Fall 1998 Fact Finder Student Handbook give you the relevant course, student academic rights and responsibilities, and study guide information. Please see me as soon as possible for any personal accommodations and please keep in mind that: The quickest way to resolve any difficulty, no matter how small, is to let your instructor know about it as soon as possible.

You are expected to read the textbook and take notes from the textbook and from each class. You are expected to finish each assignment on time except perhaps a few of the more difficult exercises that you should ask about in class (and then finish). Definitely ask for individual help when needed particularly if you can not work large portions of the exercises. Review the processes you used to solve home work exercises each day. Remember that you want to stay on top of your work and be able to adequately prepare for the unit test coming in a few days. This generally means you need to develop a dogged attitude with more than several hours per day spent on solving exercises, keeping good notes from the text and class, practice vocabulary and doing plenty of daily reviewing likely including some daily memorization. You are expected to contribute to your group's positive progress at all times. Use your personal weekly study schedule sheet to keep a record of finished work. Your instructor is located in the math department or you may call the office or home telephone number for extra help. Please call before 8:30 PM if you can. This course takes lots of gumption.


SOME GENERAL GOALS: Learning in this course may be enhanced by your frequent willingness to use and thereby improve:

    1. your ability to define and skill at defining terms, expressions, processes, operations, and strategies;

    2. your ability to listen, read, speak and write with vocabulary skills essential for progress in mathematics;

    3. your understanding of the general application of definitions and concepts and your energy in applying definitions and concepts to your basic areas of interest;

    4. your skill in computing accurately and efficiently with and without calculators or computers;

    5. your ability to recognize mathematics as a way of thinking and speaking about quantities, qualities, measures, and qualitative and quantitative relationships and to extend beyond to a level where you model your applications;

    6. your ability to use mathematics to gather data, to present and interpret this data, to read and understand mathematics reports, charts, graphs, and accounts with and without modern technology;

    7. your ability to use a general problem solving technique and incorporate computer and graphing calculator technology to facilitate problem solving;

    8. your understanding of the logical structure of a mathematical proof: both formal and informal and both deductive and inductive. Also, your understanding of the logical structure of subject areas within mathematics, and the logical structure of mathematics as a useful part of an individual's philosophy. Make these types of your logical structures meaningful;

    9. your ability to demonstrate mental traits such as visualization, curiosity, imagination, creativity, and play related to each concept and strategy to promote understanding and problem solving;

    10. your ability to develop attitudes that lead to appreciation, confidence, respect, initiative, and independence for yourself and foster the same for other individuals;

    11. your "preparation for" and "ability to" work with others in group activities and problem solving situations with an understanding of group dynamics for innovative decision making as well as conditions of "groupthink" that lead group problem solving astray.

within your individual studies, during small group interaction, through all class activities and in your community.*

Consider the above list as you strive for excellence in understanding mathematical ideas and develop corresponding techniques. Add more activities or general goals by experimenting with new ones that may help you increase learning or make learning more meaningful and pleasant. Reorganize your methods and even style of learning for deeper understanding and interest. Pursue the lines of inquiry that you find your mind selects naturally while not diverging from the outline of course material too far. It is OK to spend large amounts of time studying just a few ideas, pages, or problems and as a matter of fact this is YOUR MAGIC for learning mathematics. Also give yourself personal permission for making lots of mistakes. Use the criterion of "when time seems to flow" as your gauge for individual development to realize a sense of accomplishment then personal complexity may change as well. Don't get stuck or stay stuck! Help yourself to be an expressive engaged learner, that is, "be all you can be".




SOME INITIAL SPECIFIC ALGEBRA GOALS: Know and apply these algebra properties and new ones to everything. Assume that p is any real number, q is any real number and r is any real number.

NUMBER OPERATIONS:

PROPERTY // ADDITION // MULTIPLICATION

CLOSURE
p+q is a real number and pq is a real number.

COMMUTATIVE
p+q = q+p // pq = qp

ASSOCIATIVE
p+(q+r) = (p+q)+r // p(qr) = (pq)r

IDENTITY
p+0 = p = 0+p // p1 = p = 1p

INVERSE (0 is not equal to 1)
p+(-p) = 0 // p(1/p) = 1

DISTRIBUTIVE (FACTORING OF COLLECTING SIMILAR TERMS)
p(q+r) = pq+pr

ZERO PRODUCT
0p = p0 =0

FACTORS OF ZERO (WHEN THEY EXIST)
pq = 0 implies p = 0 or q = 0

NUMBER RELATIONS:

PROPERTY // EQUALITY p = q // INEQUALITY p is less than q

REFLEXIVE
p = p // p is not less than p

SYMMETRIC
If p = q then q = p. // If p is less than q, then q is not less than p.

TRANSITIVE
If p = q and q = r then p = r. //
If p is less than q and q is less than r, then p is less than r.

SUBSTITUTION
Any number, letter or algebra combination of numbers or letters may be substituted for p, q, or r in the properties listed above unless stated otherwise.
also: If a = b, then b may be substituted for a in any statement.

NUMBERS AND GEOMETRY
The numbers p and q may locate points on one line so: p and q locate the same point when p = q. p and q locate different points when not equal to each other.

If p and q locate points on a horizontal line then the absolute value of ( p - q ) gives the distance between p and q.

Absolute value is written | p - q |.

Also, if p and q locate points on a horizontal line and p is less than q, then we generally consider p on the left of q. In fact, p is less than 0 is another way to say p is negative.

Geometry: distance between p and q corresponds to this absolute value, | p - q |, in algebra.


ASSIGNMENTS and NOTES: If you wish, your assignments and notes may be checked for thoroughness at the end of each unit of material. Without exception all exercises worked, some notes from each section, and notes from lectures are strongly recommended. Seven extra credit points = 3 for completely worked homework exercises + 2 points for textbook notes + 2 points for class notes are given via a quick review of the thoroughness and spot checked for accuracy of your work. All material should be in sequential textbook order.

TESTS: A test is given after each unit of work as shown on the Course Schedule and no make up tests may be taken. The tests are composed of the same type of exercises you found in the assignments or odd numbered exercises from each section covered (80 to 90%) and from material highlighted during class (20 to 10%). Unit tests are graded and returned as soon as possible certainly less than a week. Ask for help if you need to develop better test taking skills. The final exam will count as two units but not returned for a semester.

GRADES AND THE GRADE SCALE: The final grade is based on the average of test units. Any extra credit points are added to the regular test points at the end of the course. The following scale used on each unit.
A for 90 points or above,
B for 80 to 89 points,
C for 70 to 79 points,
D for 50 to 69 points, and
F for under 50 points.

Test grades correspond to percentages of highest raw scores. I recommend a TEST AVERAGE of 80 or better from this course before you take MATH 140 Intermediate Algebra, the course for which elementary algebra is a prerequisite.

ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED and over three absences will result in a course grade of F. Two times tardy is counted as an absence.

CHANGES: Some adjustments, additions, substitutions and/or corrections to this syllabus will be made during the course.

The following schedule may change due to math department needs or time and activity adjustments.


Elementary Algebra Course Approximate Schedule

WEEK//TEXTBOOK SECTIONS & UNIT TESTS
Aug 23 // 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 //
Aug 30 // 1.5, 1.6, 8.1 //
Sept 7 // 8.2, Test//
Sept 13 // 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 //
Sept 20 // 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 //
Sept 27 // 2.8, Test, 3.1 //
Oct 4 // 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 //
Oct 11 // 3.6, 4.5, Test //
Oct 18 // 5.1, 5.2 //
Oct 25 // 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 //
Nov 1 // 5.6, 5.7, 5.8 //
Nov 8 // 6.1, 6.2, 6.4 //
Nov 15 // Test, 7.1, App. II //
Nov 22 // 7.2, 7.3 //
Nov 29 // (8.1, 8.2) 8.3, 8.4, 8.5 //
Dec 6 // 8.4, 8.5, Test //
FINAL EXAMS:
MTH 007.013 Final on Monday, Dec. 13, from 1 to 2:50 p.m.
MTH 007.022 Final on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 11 to 12:50 p.m.

Copyright © 1982 through © 1999 with all rights reserved by
William V. Thayer, PedLog

Reference: "The Evolving Self" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi © 1993