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MATH 99 - BASIC ALGEBRA

1. PREREQUISITES

Demonstrated scores within a selected range on Holy Cross College’s placement test, or completion of
Math 095 with a grade of C or better.

2. TEXTBOOKS AND/OR EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES (purchased by student)

A. Required
Intermediate Algebra, Charles P. McKeague, Seventh Edition, Brooks/Cole, 2007
B. Optional
Student Solution Manual, McKeague (not at bookstore)
Scientific or Graphing Calculator
Colored pencils or pens

3. COURSE DESCRIPTION

Basic Algebra does not assume previous instruction in algebra. Students are expected to be able to
perform basic arithmetic operations ( +, -, x, / ) on whole numbers, fractions, and decimals.

Course content includes the basic properties and definitions of algebra, signed numbers, translating
verbal expressions, and order of operations. Other topics include solving linear equations and
inequalities in one variable , properties of exponents , operations with polynomials and rational
expressions, a general strategy for factoring, and finally, solving quadratic equations by factoring.

Students who successfully complete this course with a grade of C or better will have the skills necessary
to advance to MATH 101 (Intermediate Algebra) or MATH 111 (Discrete Mathematics).

4. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

A. General
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able:
To read the math textbook
To perform the mathematical objectives stated in each lesson
To work cooperatively in small groups
To be attentive and follow directions
To give clear and logical explanations

B. Content
Content objectives are listed in this syllabus after the assignment sheet.

C. Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes are listed in this syllabus after the assignment sheet and content objectives.

5. GRADING SCALE

Percent Grade Percent Grade
92-100 A 78-79 C+
90-91 A- 72-77 C+
88-89 B+ 70-71 C-
82-87 B 60-69 D
80-81 B- 0-59 F

*Note: A grade of C or better is required to progress to Math 101 and a grade of D or better is
required to progress to Math 111

6. GRADING CRITERIA AND REQUIREMENTS

Class Participation Work: (15%) Students must take advantage of opportunities to share problem
solutions at the board, correct any test mistakes, possibly do journals, computer labs, and visit the LRC
tutoring center. Classroom participation is mandatory. Attendance will be factored into your grade here.

Homework: (15%) Problem sets (exercises at the end of each section) will be assigned daily to be turned
in the following day. To earn full credit, you must write down the problem, show any necessary work,
arrive at the correct solution, and circle or highlight your solution please. As you work the problems,
check answers in the back of the book to make sure that you understand the concept. Indicate your
name, homework number and Math 99 – 1 at the top right hand margin of your homework paper(s).

Quizzes: (10%) Quizzes may or may not be announced but will only cover the most recent material.
Always be prepared! Some quiz scores may be dropped at semester’s end.
Tests: (40%) Think of our chapter tests as opportunities to excel. Please complete the tests in pencil, and
of course, you must show all scrap work neatly numbered. If you are absent on a test day, your test
grade will be zero unless arrangements for a make-up test are made within 24 hours. One low test score
will be dropped if you miss three (3) or fewer classes.

Exam: (20%) The final examination will be taken on Saturday, December 13 from 10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

7. MAKE UP POLICY

Homework will be handed in daily. Late homework (even due to absence) may be given reduced credit
and will not be accepted for full credit after the assignments have been returned to the class. Random
homework problems will be checked daily. Credit will be granted only if you show your work and it is
correct. Quizzes may be planned or unannounced. Missed quizzes may not be made up.

8. ATTENDANCE POLICY/ WITHDRAWAL POLICY

Punctual class attendance is required and will be factored into your class participation grade. 100 %
attendance is expected. Try not to miss any class. If you miss 3 or fewer classes, you may drop one low
test score at the end of the semester. Perfect attendance will be rewarded by dropping two low quiz
scores and your low test score at the end of the semester. Your attendance grade will drop by 10% for
each absence. Three tardies count as an absence.

September 1 is the last day to drop a class. October 31 is the last day to withdraw from a class with a
grade of W. December 11 is the last day for class withdrawal with a WP or WF.

9. OTHER INFORMATION

• Reminder:

In order to be successful, you need to be a participant, not a spectator. YOU are responsible for your
own education. I will facilitate, encourage, counsel, guide, and support your learning. Merely being
present expecting someone to feed you information does not mean you are learning. People become
educated because of the work they themselves do. You must be actively engaged. In our class,
checking the answers in the back of the book is essential. You are expected to preview the section that
will be covered in class the following day. As you read the text, work the margin problems as directed.

• Special Needs/ Learning Disabilities:

You are encouraged to make known to us any problems that may make it difficult for you to learn math.
We will do our best to work with you to help you succeed. Any special accommodations must be
requested in advance, and only after appropriate paperwork has been received by me from Brother Chris
Dreyer, Director of Student Counseling Services. For more info, consult your student handbook.

• Good Advice:

If you are ever discouraged or have concerns or questions, do not hesitate to talk with me. Please call or
make an appointment, or just drop by during office hours, or visit me at the Learning Resource Center
during my scheduled hours.

• Tutoring:

You are encouraged to make use of the Learning Resource Center. Hours and location will be posted on
the bulletin board in the Max and on the internet at www.hcc-nd.edu/tutoring . Peer tutors, adult
tutors, and teachers are available to help you FREE OF CHARGE. If your grades falter, you may be
required to visit the tutoring center as part of your class participation grade. Videotapes of all lectures
are also available at the library for viewing in the LRC or your dorm. A CD is included with your text that
has a video lesson for each section from the text, as well as practice problems. You have 24/7 web
access to text-specific tutorials, and live, one-on-one help from a qualified instructor on the web during
specific hours.

• Academic honesty policy/classroom conduct policy/student athlete policies:

The student should consult the student handbook if he has questions about appropriate classroom
conduct or attire, students’ rights, academic honesty policies or student athlete policies. Cell phones
should not be used or in sight during class times . Student athletes are responsible for missed
assignments.

• Important Dates:

September 1 is the last day to add/drop a class
October 18 -26 is fall break
October 31 is the last day for class withdrawal with W
November 26-30 is Thanksgiving break
December 11 is last day for class withdrawal with WP or WF
December 12,13, 15, 16 are final exams
December 13 Saturday, 10:15 to 12:15 is your math final exam

PLAN AHEAD: Do NOT ask to take the exam at any other time because of travel commitments.

10. ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE

Note: You are to do every 3rd problem for homework, starting with 3: i.e. do 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, etc.

Date   Classroom / Lesson   Assignment Due
Mon 8/25 Introduction   None
Wed 8/27 1.1 Fundamental Definitions and Notation HW # 1 p. 8: Getting Ready, 1 - 4
        p. 2: 2 - 20 even
        Class Participation Questions on Syllabus
Fri 8/29 1.2 The Real Numbers HW # 2 1.1: 3 – 120, every 3rd
Mon  9/1 1.3 Properties of Real Numbers HW # 3 1.2: 3 – 84, every 3rd
Wed 9/3 1.3 Continued HW # 4 1.3: 3 – 132, every 3rd
Fri 9/5 1.4 Arithmetic with Real Numbers   CP Handout on Properties
Mon 9/8 1.5 Recognizing Patterns HW # 5 1.4: 3 – 150, every 3rd
Wed 9/10 Review HW # 6 1.5: 3 – 45, every 3rd
Fri 9/12 Test #1: 1.1 to 1.5 HW # 7  
Mon 9/15 2.1 Linear Equations in One Variable HW # 8 p. 74: 2 - 20 even
        p. 88: 113 – 124 even
        p. 99: 92 – 100 even
        p. 114: 54 – 68 even
Wed 9/17 2.2: Formulas HW # 9 2.1: 3 – 96, every 3rd
Fri 9/19 2.3: Applications HW # 10 2.2: 3 – 42, every 3rd
Mon 9/22 2.3: Applications HW # 11 2.2: 45 – 78, every 3rd
Wed 9/24 2.4 Linear Inequalities in One Variable HW # 12 2.3: 3 – 51, every 3rd
Fri 9/26 2.4 Continued HW # 13 2.4: 3 – 39, every 3rd
Mon 9/29 Review 2.1 – 2.4 HW # 14 2.4: 42 – 51, every 3rd; 65 – 72 all
Wed 10/1 TEST 2: 2.1 – 2.4 HW # 15 p. 145: 2 – 34 even
Fri 10/3 5.1: Properties of Exponents HW # 16 p. 324: 2 – 24 even
        p. 335: 114 – 126 even
Mon 10/6 5.2: Polynomials, Sums, and Differences HW # 17 5.1: 3 – 102 every 3rd
Wed 10/8 5.3: Multiplication of Polynomials HW # 18 5.2: 3 – 54, every 3rd
Fri 10/10 5.3 Continued HW # 19 5.3: 3 – 54, every 3rd
Mon 10/13 5.4 The Greatest Common Factor and HW # 20 p. 344: 64 – 74 even
    Factor by Grouping   p. 354: 72 – 80 even
Wed 10/15 Review HW # 21 5.4: 3 – 48, every 3rd
Fri 10/17 Test 3: 5.1 – 5.4 HW # 22 p. 399: 2 – 36 even
    Enjoy your Fall Break!!!    
Mon 10/27 5.5 Factoring Trinomials HW # 23 p. 360: 56 – 70 even
        p. 368: 78 – 90 even
Wed 10/29 5.6 Special Factoring HW # 24 5.5: 3 – 66, every 3rd
Fri 10/31 5.6 Continued HW # 25 5.6: 3 – 60 every 3rd
Mon 11/3 5.7 Factoring: A General Review HW # 26 5.6: 63 – 96, every 3rd
Wed 11/5 5.8 Solving Equations by Factoring HW # 27 5.7: 3 – 72, every 3rd
Fri 11/7 5.8 Continued HW # 28 5.8: 3 – 18, every 3rd
        5.7: 14, 20, 26, 34, 40, 46, 52
Mon 11/10 Review HW # 29 5.8: 21 – 48, every 3rd
        5.7: 56, 58, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70
Wed 11/12 Test 4: 5.5 – 5.8 HW # 30 p. 399: 37 – 61
Fri 11/14 6.1 Basic Properties and HW # 31 p. 404:1 – 20 all
    Reducing to Lowest Terms   p. 418: 64 – 84 even
        p. 429: 50 – 60 even
Mon 11/17 6.2 Division of Polynomials HW # 32 6.1: 3 – 51, every 3rd
Wed 11/19 6.3 Multiplication and Division HW # 33 6.2: 3 – 36, every 3rd
    Of Rational Expressions    
Fri 11/21 6.4 Addition and Subtraction HW # 34 6.3: 3 – 51, every 3rd
    Of Rational Expressions    
Mon 11/24 6.5 Complex Fractions HW # 35 6.4 3 – 63, every 3rd
    Thanksgiving Break Already!    
Mon 12/1 6.6 Equations Involving HW # 36 6.5 3 – 27, every 3rd, and
    Rational Expressions   40 – 50 even, 49
Wed 12/3 Review HW # 37 6.6 3 – 54 every 3rd
Fri 12/5 Test 5: 6.1 – 6.6 HW # 38 p. 485: 2 -34 even
Mon 12/8 Exam Review with Quiz HW # 39 Review Sheet, ch 1 & 2
Wed 12/10 Wrap Up (drop low scores) HW # 40 Review Sheet, ch 5 & 6
Sat 12/13 FINAL EXAMINATION*   10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
*Ask About additional optional exam review!  

PLAN AHEAD: Do NOT ask to take the exam at any other time because of travel commitments.

4. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

B. Content
Upon completion, the student should be able to:

Chapter 1
• translate phrases written in English into algebraic expressions
• simplify expressions containing exponents
simplify expressions using the rules for order of operations
• graph simple and compound inequalities
• use commutative, associative, and distributive properties
• simplify expressions containing absolute value
• identify the opposite of a number
• identify the reciprocal of a number
• add, subtract, multiply, and divide signed numbers and fractions
• extend an arithmetic sequence
• factor whole numbers into primes
• reduce fractions to lowest terms

Chapter 2
• simplify expressions by combining similar terms
• simplify expressions by applying the distributive property
• find the value of an expression for a given value of the variable
• use the addition and multiplication properties of equality to solve an equation
• check the solution to an equation by substitution
• solve a formula for one of its variables
• solve simple percent problems
• apply the Blueprint for Problem Solving to a variety of application problems
• use both the addition and multiplication properties to solve an inequality
• graph the solution set for an inequality and state solution in interval notation

Chapter 5
• simplify expressions using properties of exponents
convert between scientific notation and expanded form
• multiply and divide expressions written in scientific notation
• give the degree of a polynomial
• add, subtract, and multiply polynomials
• evaluate a polynomial for a given value of its variable
• factor by factoring out the greatest common factor (GCF)
• factor by grouping
• factor trinomials with leading coefficient of one
• factor trinomial with a leading coefficent other than one
• factor perfect square trinomials
• factor the difference of two squares
• factor the sum or difference of two cubes
• solve equations by factoring
• apply the Blueprint for Problem Solving to solve application problems whose solutions involve quadratic equations
• solve problems that contain formulas that are quadratic

Chapter 6
• reduce rational expressions to lowest terms
• divide a polynomial by a monomial or a polynomial
• multiply and divide rational expressions
• add and subtract rational expressions with like and unlike denominators
• simplify complex fractions
• solve equations containing rational expressions
• solve formulas containing rational expressions for one of the variables
• solve application problems whose solutions are found from equations
containing rational expressions
• solve conversion problems using unit analysis

C. Learning Outcomes*

At Holy Cross College, we have identified a number of Core Competencies which we hope that all
of our students will exhibit by the time they graduate. The five core competencies are:

Critical and Creative Thinking
Written and Oral Communication
Personal, Moral, and Social and Cultural Development
Technology and Information Management
Quantitative Reasoning

In our Basic Algebra class, the successful student will achieve these specific learning outcomes:

The student will be able to:
• Read critically
• Ask relevant, detailed, and probing questions
• Solicit feedback, evaluate, and revise creative products

• Understand and employ the basics of grammar, syntax, and usage

• Listen to and give effective feedback to speakers
• Prepare and deliver well-organized and coherent oral presentations, with a clear main
point and supporting details
• Defend a point of view with clear, logical, convincing arguments

• Respect self and others and apply the basic principles of effective social interaction
• Know, accept, and fulfill mature responsibilities, and stand accountable for their decisions
and actions

• Demonstrate operational abilities in information and communication technologies

• Demonstrate higher-order thinking skills, such as reasoning from evidence
• Use mathematical principles and skills to help recognize, evaluate, and solve problems in
everyday life
* There are many other learning outcomes included in our course that are observed, but not formally assessed.

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