INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA SYLLABUS

MTH 140.004 and 140.005 for Spring 2000

3 CREDIT HOUR

Instructor: William V. Thayer


St. Louis Community College at Meramec

Section information:
MTH 140.004 meeting on Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 9 to 9:50 a.m. in SO 111
MTH 140.005 meeting on Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 10 to 10:50 a.m. in SO 111

Campus Hours and Office Telephone 314 984 7866 or Home Telephone 821 5299
    Office hours Mon., Tue., Wed., Thur., & Fri. from 11 to 11:50 a.m. in SW 218
    Office hours Mon., Tue., Wed., Thurs. & Fri. from 1 to 1:50 p.m. in SW 218
    or by appointment with the exception of department meetings, campus meetings or:

MAJOR - MerAmec Juggling ORganization - on Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
    meeting in the Student Center Quadrangle or Student Center.
    Juggling Club Web Page URL http://www.jug/wt/major.htm

StLCC at 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 or call me. 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 007 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 Jan. 14, 2000.

TEXTBOOK:
UNDERSTANDING INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA - A COURSE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS by Hirsch and Goodman

TIME ON COURSE: The three class hours and project time you spend on this course will require about ten homework hours per week for high grades to around seven 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 "BE ALL YOU CAN BE" each day for the personal obligation you have undertaken to learn this mathematics. Your instructor expects you to be prepared with homework done or near done each day.

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 COLLEGE ALGEBRA found on pages 9 and 10 in the MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT'S SYLLABUS. You should get 80% of the questions right or else consider repeating Elementary Algebra to master necessary skills for Intermediate Algebra.

The student answer key has more than the answers.

Computer software may be used in SW 109 and I will help you with this mathematics software. I would suggest using graphing software for this course.

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). Instructional videotapes (VL#--) are available for use in the Library Learning Lab.

Please consider all the HAVING TROUBLE WITH MATHEMATICS, page 8, ideas and read SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO STUDY MATH, page 7, in the Mathematics Department's Syllabus.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENT: All students are required to pass gateway algebra properties tests. The first algebra properties test includes those properties covered in elementary algebra and is given during the first week of class.

CHAUTAUQUA



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 exercises 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 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 an active discussion. It is generally assumed 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.

Individual communication is not permitted in class when attention is directed to one individual.

EXPECTATIONS: This syllabus including its Course Approximate Schedule (below), the MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT'S SYLLABUS, pages 1-11, including ASSIGNMENT SHEETS on pages 2 and 3, INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA OBJECTIVES on pages 4-6, and MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT POLICIES on page 11 combined with the St. Louis Community College Spring 2000 Fact Finder student handbook gives you the relevant course, student academic rights and responsibilities, and study guide information. 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. 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, 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 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 8:30 PM if you can.


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 or 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".


* Keep pencil and learning journal, log or just plain scratch paper next to you and actively fill in the details of ideas that lack continuity.


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 AND ALGEBRA OPERATION PROPERTIES (OF A GROUP):

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

OTHER NUMBER AND ALGEBRA OPERATION PROPERTIES:

DISTRIBUTIVE (ALSO FACTORING OR 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 AND ALGEBRA RELATION PROPERTIES:

      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.

      ADDITION: If a = b, then a + c = b + c and a - c = b - c

      also: If a is less than b then a + c is less than b + c

      and: If a is less than b then a - c is less than b - c

      MULTIPLICATION: If a = b, then ac = bc and a/c = b/c for c not equal to zero.

      also: If a is less than b then ac is less than bc when c is positive.

      and: If a is less than b then ac is greater than bc when c is negative.

      INCLUDE CORRESPONDING RULES FOR DIVISION WITH A LESS THAN RELATION AND

      CORRESPONDING RULES FOR THE FOUR OPERATIONS AND A GREATER THAN RELATION.

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 notebook with 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 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. The tests are composed of the same type of exercises you found in the assignments (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 160 College Algebra, or a TEST AVERAGE of 70 or better before you take Math 155 Survey of College Mathematics (EARTH ALGEBRA) the courses for which intermediate algebra are a prerequisite.

ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED and over three absences will result in a course grade of F. Six times tardy will result in a course grade of F. Call me before hand if you have a problem with missing a class.

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


And this syllabus may change due to math department needs or time and activity adjustments.


Intermediate Algebra Course Schedule

WEEK//TEXTBOOK SECTIONS & UNIT TESTS//Schedule comments

Jan 10 // Handouts, tests, 2.2, 2.3 //
Jan 19 // 2.4, 3.1 // No Class Monday
Jan 24 // 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 //
Jan 31 // 3.5, TEST #1, 4.1 //
Feb 7 // 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 //
Feb 14 // 11.1, 11.2, TEST #2 //
Feb 23 // 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 // No Class Monday
Feb 28 // 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, TEST #3 //
Mar 6 // 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 // No Class Friday and Spring Break 3/13 to 3/19
Mar 20 // 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7 //
Mar 27 // TEST #4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 //
Apr 3 // 7.4, 7.5, 7.6 // Substitute Algebra Classes on Wed. and Fri.
Apr 10 // 7.7, 7.8, TEST #5 //
Apr 17 // 8.1, 8.2 //
Apr 24 // 8.3, 8.4, 8.5 //
May 1 // 8.6, 8.8, TEST #6 //
FINAL EXAM for 140.004 is on Mon., May 8, 9 - 10:50 a.m.
FINAL EXAM for 140.005 is on Fri., May 12, 9 - 10:50 a.m.

Copyright © 1982 through © 2000
with all rights reserved by
William V. Thayer, PedLog