Instructor: William V. Thayer

St. Louis Community College at Meramec

Section information:
    MTH 140.610 [12033] meeting on Mon., Wed. & Fri. from 1 to 1:50 p.m. in SO 206
    MTH 140.611 [12034] meeting on Mon., Wed. & Fri. from 2 to 2:50 p.m. in SW 209

Campus Hours and Office Telephone 314 984 7866 or Home Telephone 821 5299
    Office Hours Fri. from 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. in SW 218
    Office Hours Mon., Tue., Wed., Thur. & Fri. from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in SW 218
    Office Hours Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in SW 218

    or on request, by appointment with the exception of department meetings and campus hours.
    Check with the math secretary if I am not in my office when you are free.
    You may also use email   or my Web URL
    to contact me for help or find course information.

MAJOR MAGIC - MerAmec Juggling ORganization MAGIC - on Thursday from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
    meeting in the Applied Science (AS)/Lecture Hall (LH) Quadrangle or Lecture Hall Atrium.

For college information try StLCC @ Meramec Web
Pages URL

PREREQUISITE: MTH 007 with C or a satisfactory score on the placement test. All students must provide appropriate documentation of satisfied prerequisite course enrollment to the instructor on or before Friday, Jan. 21, the second class meeting.

TEXTBOOK: INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA, 4th edition, by K. Elayn Martin-Gay

TIME ON COURSE: The three class hours time you spend on this course will require about eleven homework hours per week for high grades to around eight 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. A plan gives you the needed eight to eleven hours indicated above. This commitment is a pledge you make for yourself to "DO ALL YOU CAN DO" each day for the personal obligation you have undertaken to learn this mathematics. Your instructor expects you to be prepared with homework done each day and able to present assigned problems to your class.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: graph paper and a scientific calculator with trig and log, ln, and exp keys. A scientific calculator may be used on tests.

ADDITIONAL STUDY AIDS: Before the end of the first week take the SKILLS TEST FOR BEGINNING INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA found in the MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT'S SYLLABUS. You should get 80% of the questions right. If you score less than 80% repeat Elementary Algebra to master necessary skills for Intermediate Algebra.

The student answer key for our textbook has more than the answers.

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. Instructional videotapes (VL#--) are available for use in the Library Learning Lab. A reserved set of tapes for use in the library and a seven day checkout set (512.9 I613 2001)

Please consider all the "HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL MATH STUDENT" suggestions in the Mathematics Department's Syllabus handout. Some of the same suggestions are in these links: HAVING TROUBLE WITH MATHEMATICS, ideas and SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO STUDY MATH, also part of our Mathematics Department's hints for math students.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENT: All students are required to pass two gateway algebra properties tests. The first gateway algebra properties tests includes those properties covered in elementary algebra and is given during the first week of classes. Know and apply fourteen basic algebra properties, click here. The second gateway algebra properties test covers exponent rules and is first given around midterm. You may take these ten plus exponent rules from this link. These gateway tests are given in class once. If you miss anything, you may take a make up in my office area and again if needed to get 100% correct results before the end of a week of classes after the test is given. As long as you continue to take a test each week, you have unlimited chances to pass with 100% correct results up to the last week of the course, Friday, April 30, 2005. If not passed by midterm or this final date you will receive a D for your your course grade.


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 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, the first student that finds and reports a given textbook, answer key or classroom 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 an active discussion. I assume that prior to the date listed on the Course Schedule, you took notes as you read from the new section(s). You may wish to include the textbook examples in your class discussion of new material and your instructor will cover these and other examples.

Some class time is spent with all students working at the chalk board.
Some class time is devoted to group problem solving.

TEAM ACTIVITIES: Some class time is devoted to team work aimed at a deeper understanding of some course topics or their applications. Your instructor will assign you to a team and assign team coordinators. Sometimes a grade may result from this team work. When working on a team, students are to think for themselves treating the instructor as a coach, guide, consultant, and evaluator to the team. Always try to approach your team time with a knowledgeable position based on your personal studies. During team activity, you should display a willingness to generate discussion that leads to answers or more refined questions that converge to solutions to your team assignment.

You may be in the dark on some points but being open to change and willing to communicate your points even if mistaken at first helps the team move toward the final goals while helping you understand with greater clarity. At times we need team work to derive all the answers or computations in some assignments. And other times teams provide a natural background for discussion of the material and presentation of solutions. You are expected to help your team reach reasonable objectives on time and demonstrate to me that you are participating on your team in a meaningful way. Also, teams may wish to work as a study group covering daily assignments. This can be implemented via telephone or computer networking.

Individual communication is not permitted in class. Please note that individual communication is not very productive while another person is speaking in a group or class room situation.

EXPECTATIONS: This syllabus including its Course Approximate Schedule (below), the MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT'S SYLLABUS including ASSIGNMENT SHEETS, INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA OBJECTIVES, and MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT POLICIES combined with the St. Louis Community College Fall 2003 Fact Finder student handbook gives you the relevant course, student academic rights and responsibilities, and study guide information. All these items will give you a sense of the quality that your instructor works to achieve in this course. Please see me as soon as possible for any personal accommodations you require 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. Keep a pencil and learning journal, log or notebook and just plain scratch paper next to you while you study math. Actively fill in the details of ideas that lack continuity.

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 all homework that day. 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 and quiz yourself at the end of each homework session. 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, daily, spent on solving exercises, keeping good notes from the text and class, and doing plenty of daily reviewing. Include daily memorization of the many properties and theorems covered during this course. You are expected to contribute to your class and group's positive progress at all times. Use the enclosed course 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 9:30 p.m. if you can.

SOME GENERAL GOALS: Within your individual studies, during small group interaction, through all class activities and in your community, LEARNING IN THIS COURSE may be enhanced by your frequent willingness to use and improve on your goals. Click here for a copy.

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. Help yourself to be an expressive engaged learner, that is, "do all you can do".

SOME INITIAL SPECIFIC ALGEBRA GOALS: Know and apply these algebra properties and new ones.

Around midterm an additional set of exponent rules will be needed.

ASSIGNMENTS and NOTES: Your journal, log or notebook and scratch paper with your assignments and notes will 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 in your notebook.

TESTS: A test is given after each unit of work as shown on the Course Schedule and no make up tests may be taken. A missed test is a zero grade for the test. The tests are composed of odd numbered exercises in the textbook (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.

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 160 College Algebra or any course for which intermediate algebra is a prerequisite.

ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED and over three absences will result in a course grade of F. Sign the attendance sheet on each class day you are present. Two times tardy will count as one absence. Sign the attendance sheet with a T at the end of any class in which you are tardy. Call me before hand if you have a problem with missing a class. Students missing no classes may have a small share in the determination of their grade.

Changes: Some additions, substitutions and/or corrections to this syllabus will be made during the course due to math department needs or time and activity adjustments.

Intermediate Algebra Course Schedule


Week // Textbook Sections // Schedule comments
Jan 18 // Handouts, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 // No Classes Monday
Jan 24 // , 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 //
Jan 31 // 2.7, Test #1, 3.1 //
Feb 7 // 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 //
Feb 14 // 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 //
Feb 22 // Test #2, 5.1, 5.2 // No Classes Monday
Feb 28 // 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 //
Mar 7 // 5.8, Test #3, 6.1, 6.2 //
Mar 21 // 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 //
Mar 28 // 6.6, 6.7, Test #4 //
Apr 4 // 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 //
Apr 11 // 7.5, 7.6, 7.7 // No Classes Friday
Apr 18 // 7.7, Test #5, 8.1 //
Apr 25 // 8.2, 8.3, 8.5 //
May 2 // 8.6, 10.1, Test #6 //
FINAL EXAM for 140.610 is on Monday, May 9, 1 to 2:50 p.m.
FINAL EXAM for 140.611 is on Friday, May 113, 1 - 2:50 p.m.

Copyright 2005 with all rights reserved by William V. Thayer, PedLog