Math 1110 Algebra II Syllabus

TEACHING TEAM

Course coordinator

Instructors

See the program schedule for a list of instructors, course times, class rooms, office hours and final exam dates.

OVERVIEW AND COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is designed to sharpen algebra skills and concepts. Some of the topics covered are linear functions, power functions, quadratic functions, rational functions, composing and decomposing functions, inverse functions, logarithmic and exponential functions. In addition to this, the course is designed to strengthen analytical thinking. You will be asked and encouraged to find patterns, make conjectures, and judge the validity of given conjectures. You will test your conjectures and eventually provide counter examples to disprove invalid conjectures or give justifications for conjectures they determine are valid.

This course serves as a prerequisite course and does not satisfy the Proficiency 3 general education requirement.

Required course materials

In addition to our textbook you will also need a graphing calculator, WileyPlus with Orion, and a course pack. If you purchase a new textbook from the WMU bookstore then an access code for WileyPlus will be bundled with your text. To cut down on the price of your text, I have created a custom version which contains only the chapters we will be covering. You may purchase either the custom version or the full version of the text. If you purchase the full version, then you might also need to purchase WileyPlus.  Some retailers will bundle the textbook with WileyPlus.

  • Textbook: Algebra: Form and Function edition 2 by McCallum, Connally, Hughes-Hallett, et al.
    ISBN-13 of e-text packaged with WileyPlus:  9781119434115
    there are three ways to purchase this bundle.  Currently the cheapest option is to purchase WileyPlus and the E-Text when creating a WileyPlus account through the class WileyPlus URL.
  • Graphing calculator: If you already own a graphing calculator, then that will suffice for this course. If you do not all ready own a graphing calculator, then you should determine which course you will be taking to satisfy proficiency 3 and then find which graphing calculator best suits your future need. Also note that your instructor will be demonstrating on a TI84. Feel free to discuss your graphing calculator needs with either your instructor or the director of the Developmental Mathematics Program.
  • Math 1110 Course Pack: The course pack contains all of the worksheets for the course and the reading assignments.  The course packs can be found in the bookstore next to the text book.
  • Three-ring notebook.

Accessing WileyPlus with Orion

WileyPlus is an online interactive tool packaged with our textbook that provides immediate feedback. The majority of the problems come straight from the text, so this application will provide you feedback on many more problems than traditional paper and pencil homework. Orion is an online application that assess your knowledge on a subject and then tailors practice problems in terms of your individual needs.  Orion is not offered for all WileyPlus class, but is for "Algebra: Form and Function" and comes with WileyPlus (so you only need one access code and will log into WileyPlus each time you use either tool).  We will be using these tool to help strengthen your mathematical skills and more importantly to help you become more efficient in these skills. Efficiency in these skills is vital for success in this course as well as the courses in which Math 1110 serves as a prerequisite. 

To create a new account or access your previous Wiley Account proceed as follows:

  • Each class is assigned a unique WileyPlus URL. Find and click on your class WileyPlus URL.
  • If you have an Algebra II WileyPlus account, log in.
  • If you are new to Algebra II, click on create account, and follow the directions.  Do not use your WMU Bronco NetID or password. The Wiley login page might not be SSL/HTTPS (encrypted) protected. This means that any time you log into the site, someone could intercept the username and password. You are strongly encouraged to use only secure wireless access like WMUSecure and to avoid free, public wireless that can be found in coffee shops and other eating establishments. If using unsecured wireless, it is advised to connect to web services with a VPN (virtual private network). If you are unfamiliar with this, you are advised to contact WMU’s Help Desk, (269)387-4357, if you have any questions.
  • Eventually you will be asked to input the registration code packaged with your text or purchase a code ($80).
  • Continue to follow the directions and when asked for an email address provide your WebMail Plus address.

COURSE FORMAT AND PARTICIPATION

Whole class discussions of different solutions to a problem and the mathematics underlying these solutions will play a central role in this course. Though these discussions will take different forms on different occasions, it will always be the case that your ideas, strategies and questions will guide the discussion. Thus, as a class, we will examine each others thinking and come to a better understanding of the mathematics by doing so. Given the student-centered nature of this course, attendance and participation is of the utmost importance. Satisfactory participation means that you are willing to share your thought process, questions and solutions with the class (even when you don’t think you have the right answer), that you support your classmates by listening and thoughtfully reacting to their ideas, and that you attempt all of the homework before lass so that you can actively participate in our discussions.  Consistent and productive participation in class will be considered in determining final grades (see participation rubric below).

GRADING POLICY

If all course requirements have been met, grades will be assigned according to the scale:

A: 90-100 percent
BA: 85-90 percent
B: 80-85 percent
CB: 75-80 percent
C: 70-75 percent
DC: 65-70 percent
D: 60-65 percent
E: Below 60 percent

You must attain at least a "C" in this course in order to take the mathematics course which satisfies Proficiency 3 of your general education requirements.

Course requirements

The following is a tentative outline of the required graded assignments and their weights.

Exams: 40 percent of final grade
Comprehensive final exam: 25 percent of final grade
Participation/Presentations: 5 percent of final grade
Course pack: 10 percent of final grade
WileyPlus with Orion: 20 percent of final grade

Attendance policy

Each class utilizes tools and concepts learned from previous classes, so be sure to arrive on time and stay until you are dismissed. Not only do excessive absences, tardiness, and early departure suggest a lack of professionalism and commitment, but they also guarantee that you will not attain the objectives of this course.  You will not earn any participation points if you do not attend class.

Course notebook
We suggest you organize your work for this course in a notebook (e.g., one-inch three-ring binder) that includes the following sections:

  1. In-class and post-class notes. It is often the case that you may have difficulty taking notes on the discussions that occur during class. For this reason we strongly recommend that you take at least 10 minutes after each class to capture important mathematical ideas that have been discussed during class. This will help to solidify your understanding, and highlight areas/issues around which you still have questions. Post-class notes will save you valuable time when studying for an exam. Along with providing the main ideas of the activity, the post class notes could also contain "aha" moments (a defining moment in which you gained real wisdom or insight), a list of questions you still have about the material in the activity, and a "cheat sheet" like list (things you would need to know for an exam: definitions, formulas, important examples, calculator key strokes, etc).
  2. Initial homework thoughts. Use this section to organize scratch work, strategies, and your first attempt at a homework assignment. You will us this to rewrite your homework in a well organized manner. We highly recommend crossing out incorrect work rather than erasing it and then write yourself some notes as to why your fist methods were invalid. This will help you learn from your past errors rather than repeat them.
  3. Assignments. Your aim should be to make your notebook into something that will serve as a resource for you over time. This will also serve as your main resource when studying for each exam. Items within your notebook will be assessed through various means. Therefore, it is critical to always bring your notebook to class with you, and to keep up on your daily work and seek help when you don’t understand an assignment. Here are suggestions for each section of your notebook. This section will contain journaling, reflections, and any other assignments that will be assigned by your instructor. You will want to keep both the graded and not graded assignments in this section so that you can reflect on all before tutor sessions, group homework sessions, or an exam.

Reading questions

Pre-reading a textbook is a key element to success in a course, but students often have difficulty reading a mathematics/science text/journal. All of you are taking math 1110 as a prerequisite either to chemistry or to calculus. As such you will all be required to read a science/mathematics text in the near future. Each of you have also chosen a field in which you will at sometime need to read a technical journal. To help you with these future tasks, we have created reading questions to help students learn how to read a mathematics text. One main difference between reading a science text and casual reading is that you will need to read sections from the text several times. During the first read through you should not try to understand all of the pieces instead you should determine the main goals of the section. You might need to read the section several times before seeing the key points. After this, you will want to read with a more technical eye and determine why all of the pieces are valid and how they fit together. Then look over the reading questions and reread the text as needed to answer the reading questions. Since pre-reading is so important, the Academic Skills Center devotes an entire College Success Seminar to Text Book Reading Strategies. Recall that the Academic Skills Center service are free to all WMU students. I highly recommend utilizing these services.

Course pack assignments

In order to succeed in any class, it is critical that you stay on top of your assignments. Be sure to start your homework early and utilize your instructor and the tutor lab when needed. Also to keep you on schedule, late homework will not be accepted. In the event that you must be absent from class, have your homework delivered to your class. If allowed by your instructor, you may either send an e-mail scanned copy of your homework before class or have your homework delivered to the Math Department mail room before class. Each instructor has a mailbox in the Department of Mathematics, 3319 Everett Tower. Be sure to attach a cover sheet to your homework that contains your name, class time and instructor's name.

Collaboration

Your instructor might allow and encourage students to work together on assignment. What this means is that students can share strategies. You cannot share final versions of assignments. The final polished version of the assignment must be your own work. Similar problems may appear on an exam, so you will want to be sure that you can complete each problem on your own after working with peers.

Presentations

Most students must take an active rule in order to learn/ understand mathematics. For this reason we will encourage each student to present at least one problem during the semester. 

Exams

There will be four unit tests worth a total of 40 percent of your final grade. Most of the problems on the unit tests will be similar to, or elaborations of, WileyPlus with Orion, course pack assignments and group work. Other questions may test definitions, example problems, and/or in-class work.  Note that answers to selected section problems are in the back of your text and each chapter has review exercises. You may wish to use these as practice problems. The final will be a comprehensive test worth 25 percent of your grade. If you are unable to attend class on any exam day you must notify Dr. Eisenhart (269) 387-4117 or (269) 873-8194 before the exam or a make-up may be denied. All APPROVED make-up exams will be given on the mass make-up exam date: Thursday, December 14 during the evening. 

Accommodations

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact their instructor and the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of the semester. If you believe you need some type of accommodation due to a disability, contact them.

Policy on incompletes

According to University policy, incompletes are given only in those rare instances when extenuating circumstances have prevented a student from completing a small segment of the course. An incomplete is never given as a substitute for a failing grade and the Chair of the Department of Mathematics must approve all incomplete grades. The last day a student can process an officially withdrawal from a class to avoid a failing grade is Monday, November 6 for fall 2017.

Academic integrity

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs that pertain to academic honesty (under Academic Policies, Student Rights and Responsibilities). These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.

Student conduct

Please familiarize yourself with the student code of conduct and the definition of plagiarism. The use of cell phones is strictly prohibited during class, unless it’s a life-and-death emergency. Silence your phones, tablets, iPods, etc., at the entrance of the classroom and store them.

Class participation rubric

Class participation will be informally assessed on a continuing basis. Class participation grades will be based on participation in both small group and whole group settings.

A: Contributing to others' learning

  • This is the goal of the class. This does not mean telling or showing someone else how to do something. Sometimes it means sharing your thoughts about the mathematics so that others can analyze and learn from it. Always it means listening carefully to what others are saying, connecting what you hear to your own thinking and asking questions that will help everyone involved better understand the mathematics. The expectations for receiving this grade will increase as the semester goes on. That is, it is assumed that these are skills that you are learning so in the beginning attempts at doing this will be sufficient to earn the grade. As you develop these skills, it will require competence in them to earn the "A".

B: Contributing to one’s own learning

  • Here you are clearly engaged in learning the mathematics, but haven’t moved outside yourself to interact well with others. It generally means doing quality work, but not being willing to share your thinking with others or not showing interest in making sense of their thinking. In the context of whole class discussion, it would mean listening and learning, but not sharing your ideas or observations with the class.

C: Getting by

  • This involves showing up, minding your own business and doing what you are told.

D: Interfering with learning of self or others

  • There are various ways one can do this; the most obvious are distracting group members from the task at hand or being belligerent about what one is asked to do. More subtle ways include implying someone is stupid because they don’t understand a problem or telling someone how to do a problem and thus undercutting their opportunity to figure it out for themselves.

F: Not there

  • This includes not being there physically and/or mentally. Note that whenever you are absent, it is your responsibility to make up the work, preferably before the next class so that you are able to participate in class.