# Introduction to Algebra Concepts and Skills

**COURSE DESCRIPTION:**

**MAT 023 and 024** are designed to provide the basic skills necessary to
succeed in universitylevel

mathematics and mathematics dependent courses.** MAT 024- Introduction to
Algebra
Concepts and Skills, Part 2** includes the following: Elementary study of
linear and quadratic

functions; integer and rational exponents and radicals; solution of equations and inequalities.

These topics extend and build upon topics covered in MAT 023 or MAT 021. Emphasis is on

conceptual understanding and problem solving in applications in context. Graphical, numerical

and algebraic approaches are used throughout. Elementary geometric and numerical concepts

and skills are used both as problem solving tools and as a source of problems.

**COURSE OVERVIEW:**

MAT 024, the second semester of non-credit preparation for mathematics at the
university level,

is intended to reinforce students’ number sense and understanding of arithmetic
operations, and

further develop foundation mathematics skills including elementary algebra
skills and concepts,

problem solving, reasoning, and communication in mathematics. The course
provides

opportunities for students to see mathematical models of real world situations
and to connect

mathematics with other disciplines as they develop their foundation skills.

**COURSE OBJECTIVES:**

Students will be able to:

• Construct graphs and numerical tables for given linear and quadratic
functions; write the

equation of a linear function given its graph or a numerical table;

• Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, systems of linear
equations in two

variables, and quadratic equations;

• Use the concepts of slope and y-intercept of a linear function to analyze the
function and

interpret it in a problem situation;

• Evaluate numerical radical expressions and rewrite them, where appropriate,
with rational

exponents; simplify algebraic expressions with rational exponents; solve
equations involving

radicals;

• Use Pythagoras’ theorem to solve appropriate problems;

• Demonstrate conceptual understanding of numbers (integers, fractions,
decimals, scientific

notation, percents) in problem solving and in graphing;

• Interpret and communicate the results of elementary algebraic analysis of a
situation;

• Use technology, when appropriate, to analyze graphs, data, and algebraic
expressions;

• Demonstrate maintenance of skills listed as objectives in MAT 023.

**TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS:**

The student must be responsible for her/his own learning. The instructor’s role
is to provide the

student with contexts and opportunities that facilitate the learning process.
During class, students

will be actively engaged in mathematical activity carefully designed to build
conceptual

development. Students will work collaboratively in small groups on most of the
activities. We will

have classroom discussions when appropriate for sharing findings and summarizing
important

outcomes. Many of the activities will require the use of a graphing calculator.
Each student

should bring a graphing calculator to every class meeting.

To assure the acquisition of basic skills, we will
administer ‘gateway quizzes’ in a laboratory

setting. Students are required to pass these quizzes, but they are permitted
multiple tries, with

variations in the problems.

To assure development of problem solving skills and
understanding of the mathematical concepts

in the course, we will provide ‘mini-projects’, investigations in real world
context to help students

establish connections and construct meaning.

**STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES:**

Students are required to attend class regularly and on time, participate
actively in an assigned

small group and participate in class discussion. Note that this attendance and
participation are

required to earn a passing grade in this course. Quizzes and examinations are
required. There

will be assignments collected periodically. No late assignments or make-up
examinations will be

accepted without an **acceptable **(usually medical) excuse. All examinations
are cumulative.

**REQUIRED:**

Elementary Algebra: A Prerequisite for Functions, by Abney, Mowers, Calland, and
Crowley with additional

material fpr Math Skills Program at the University of the Virgin Islands by
Dance and Sandefur (Pearson

Custom Publishing, 2005)

Graphing Calculator (recommended: TI-84 Plus)

Looseleaf notebook

Journal book (small notebook, not looseleaf)

ruler

graph paper

**EVALUATION OF STUDENT’S ACHIEVEMENT:**

The student will receive a passing grade if the requirements of one of
Assessment Methods I, II, or III are

fully satisfied. Note that regular attendance is required for both options I and
II. If the student has

demonstrated via testing a need for the Math Skills Program, then the student
must be in attendance for a

passing grade to be awarded. Students who find they are unable to attend are
counseled to withdraw from

the course.

Assessment Method I |
Minimum requirement |

1. In-class Quizzes, Homework | 60% average with all journals submitted |

2. Gateway Quizzes | 90%. (Multiple tries) |

3. In-class mini-projects | 90% participation; 75% average score |

4. Examinations | 65% average, with a minimum of 60 on the Final Examination |

5. Attendance | No more than 5 absences, for any reason |

Assessment Method II |
Minimum requirement |

1. Final Examination | 70% on final exam |

2. Attendance | No more than 7 absences, for any reason |

Assessment Method III |
Minimum requirement |

Final Examination | 80% on final exam |