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Mathematics - Syllabus for ONM 11

ONM 11 PreAlgebra – Spring (Sample)

Instructor: Linda Rottmann
Office: 113 East Annex
Phone: Office: 581-2314
Fax: 581-4252
Office Hrs: M-F TBA; T/TH 10:00-11:30 am (and by appointment)

Onward Math Lab: TBA

Course Overview

Welcome to ONM 11 Prealgebra! This course is designed to give you the basic mathematics skills needed for success in future math courses at UMaine and for many personal and professional situations as well. I hope you find it useful and enjoyable. The course emphasizes a review of operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents; ratio and proportion; word problems; basic geometry; and an introduction to signed numbers, algebra and linear equations. You will also have a chance to practice several specific study techniques, which are useful for learning algebra. This course is worth 3 credits, but these will not count towards your bachelor’s degree. They do count toward financial aid, and all UMaine add/drop and withdrawal policies apply.

There is a lot of material in this course, and we have learned that students vary greatly in what they need to learn and how difficult it is for them to learn it. You may need just a quick refresher in some areas of the curriculum, but you may need to learn totally new material in other areas. You will need to take responsibility to put in extra time and/or get extra help on areas of the curriculum that are hard for you. If you need extra help or have any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact me. Also, please check out the Onward Math Lab at the times and locations TBA (To Be Announced). Study groups usually work well in mathematics courses, and you are encouraged to work on homework and to study with other students. In addition, your text is supported by “My Math Lab (MML),” a web-based tutorial package provided by the publisher, which includes video clips, diagnostics and prescriptive practice exercises, tutoring, etc. The MyMathLab program is required for this course.

I am looking forward to working with you this semester and hope it will be a productive experience for you.

Text and Materials:

Introductory Algebra for College Students (4th ed.), Robert Blitzer, Pearson/Prentice Hall.

MyMathLab (MML) from Pearson/Prentiss Hall. Student Standalone ISBN: 013147894X


Onward Placement Test

Course Goals:

The two primary goals of ONM 11 Prealgebra are:

  • to develop student’s competency in Prealgebra
  • to develop student’s study skills for learning algebra

Specific Learning Objectives:

  • Regarding the development of competence in Prealgebra, at the end of this course, students will be able to:
    •  perform operations (add, subtract, multiply an divide) with whole numbers, use exponents and order of operations with whole numbers
    • apply basic rules of algebra, such as using the commutative, associative and distributive properties, combining like terms, and simplifying and evaluating algebraic expressions with whole numbers
    • perform operations (add, subtract, multiply an divide) with integers, use exponents and order of operations with integers, simplify and evaluate algebraic expressions with integers
    • be able to find the perimeter and area of a rectangle, square, and triangle; be able to use geometric formulas for these
    • find the prime factors of a whole numbe
    • reduce fractions to lowest terms and simplify fractions containing variables; convert between improper fractions and mixed numbers; perform operations (add, subtract, multiply an divide) with fractions and mixed numbers, including fractions with variables; use the order of operations with fractions and simplify complex fractions; solve equations containing fraction
    • write ratios, rates and proportions; solve proportions and applied problems involving ratios, rates and proportion
    • solve linear equations using one or more properties of equalities and/or algebraic simplification; check solutions to equation
    • convert between fractions and decimals; perform operations (add, subtract, multiply an divide) with decimals; evaluate algebraic expressions and use the order of operations with decimals; solve equations containing decimal
    • change between fractions, decimals and percents; translate and solve percent equations; solve applied problems involving commission, percent of increase or decrease, and simple interest.
    • find perfect square roots; use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the missing side of a right triangle
  • Regarding the development of study skills for success in mathematics courses, at the end of this course, students will be able to:
    • Use computer-based textbook support materials, specifically MyMathLab(MML)
    • Complete homework assignments on a timely basis by submitting MML problems on a class-by-class basis and text-based homework at each test (includes checking answers in the back of the book, using text and classnotes as a resources.
    • Use additional resources when needed, such as the Onward Math Lab (peer led), meeting with professor, classmates, etc.
    • Work with classmates practicing new material in class (involves teamwork, communicating in mathematics and frequent, careful checking of answers)
    • Prepare notes for exams (can bring these to first two exams)
    • Make test corrections after each exam

Course Requirements:

Homework (10% of your grade): Homework is an important part of this course. Most of you can expect to spend more time on homework than you spend in class! Since mathematics involves learning techniques for solving problems, for most people extensive practice is important. In short, you learn how to do mathematics by doing it. Your homework grade will be based on Textbook and MyMathLab assignments:

Text-Based Homework (5% of your grade): A set of assignments will be given out at the beginning of the course. All assigned problems should be completed on the date indicated, unless otherwise instructed by the professor. Homework will be collected. At each exam, the homework for the chapters covered by that test will be collected with the test. You will need to keep a notebook showing complete solutions to these problems, not just answers. Make sure to label the section or page numbers and problem numbers on the homework. I will not be correcting your homework, however. You are expected to correct your own homework using the answers in the back of the text and to ask for help if you do not understand how to do a problem. If you need extra help, please stop in during office hours or call me, or use the Onward Math Lab, work with your Peer Advisor or with other students, use MyMathLab, solutions manuals, CD’s, or any other resources which you find helpful. When requesting help, please have your notebook and work on assignments present; it will help to me to understand your thought process so far. At the end of this syllabus, you will find a rubric explaining the grading criteria for Textbook-Based Homework.

MyMathLab Homework (5% of your grade): In addition, or each section of the text we cover in class, you will be assigned some homework problems in the MyMathLab(MML) program. These will usually be due one-half hour before the start of class. After this deadline, you will not be able to submit the homework, nor will you be able to make it up. However, 5 of the assignments will be dropped. These assignments are not quizzes; you are encouraged to get help, use all resources, work with others, etc.

Exams (50% of your grade): You will be given 4 exams worth 100 points each. These will account for 50% of your overall grade in this course. Dates for the exams are listed on the homework assignment outline. Exams must be taken when scheduled, except in case of illness or emergencies. “Not being ready” or “needing more time to study” would not be excused absences. In the event of an illness or emergency on the date of an exam, you must contact me as soon as possible. If a make-up exam is appropriate, it needs to be taken as soon as possible (usually your first day back). Make-up exams will generally be scheduled in the afternoon or evening. Students will not be able to bring study notes to make-up exams (see below). **Students who take a make-up exam without an excused absence will have their grade for that test based on a maximum score of 70.

Test Notes (first two exams only): When preparing for an exam, it is usually helpful to make an outline or a “mind map” of the chapter(s) covered by the test. This could also include notes from class and sample problems done in class and from the text. For the first two exams only, you will be allowed to use one or two pages of your own handwritten study notes during the exam.

*Calculators cannot be used on any tests or quizzes or classwork.

Exam Corrections (5% of your grade): We usually do not have time to go over exam questions in class, but you can learn a great deal from reviewing your tests as soon as you get them back. To this end, you will be expected to review each exam after you get it back and to write corrections for any questions you got wrong on that exam. Corrections should be done on a separate sheet of paper and handed in attached on top of the original exam. These Exam Corrections will count for up to 10 points each if they are completely correct and will account for 5% of your overall grade in this course. You will lose one point for each incorrect or incomplete problem (up to a maximum of 10 points), but you may resubmit corrections if you do lose any points until you get the full 10 points. I encourage you to get help in making your Exam Corrections from me, the Onward Math Lab, other students and any other resources you may have. If you do not do the Exam Corrections, you will lose points towards your final grade in this class—these corrections are not optional!

**BONUS: You can get a bonus 5 points on your exam if you hand in the Exam Corrections within one week of the date the exam is returned to the whole class and have all problems properly corrected. This will actually increase your exam grade by 5 points.

Quizzes (10% of your grade): Quizzes will be given on * days, usually during the last 10 minutes of class. Each quiz counts as 10 points and will account for 10% of your overall grade in this course. Sometimes a quiz may be given to be completed outside of class; in this case, that take-home quiz will be due at the start of the very next class (unless otherwise indicated). Quizzes missed cannot be made up. You will, however, be able to discard your two lowest quiz grades. If a quiz is missed because of absence from class or a take-home quiz is not returned at the beginning of the next class, it will be considered a grade of zero and can be one of the “low” quizzes that are dropped.

Classwork (10% of your grade): These will be several opportunities to submit graded classwork, which will account for 10% of your overall grade. This will usually involve working in pairs, with each partner getting the same number of points. You can get either 5, 3, 1 or 0 points each day. If you are absent, you get a zero, and cannot make-up the points.

Final Exam (15% of your grade): The final exam will be cumulative; it will cover material from the entire course. The final will account for 20% of your overall grade for this course. The final must be taken on the date scheduled.

Attendance: Regular attendance is required. (If you are not in class, you will get a zero for any quizzes or graded classwork for that day.) Students who miss a class are responsible for learning the material covered, any announcements, assignments, notes, etc. Most people find it difficult to make up the work if they miss two or more classes in a row. If you miss three classes during the semester and it appears to impair the quality of your work, I may report this fact to your Dean. If there are special circumstances that affect your attendance, please discuss them with me in my office.

**Cel phones must remain off during class, unless there is some special emergency situation. In this case, please check with me first!

Disability Accommodations: If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, please let me know as soon as possible. You should also contact Ann Smith, director of Disabilities Support Services (at 121 East Annex—telephone number 581-2319) to appropriately document your needs at UM.


Your overall grade for the semester will be determined as follows:

Exams 4 @ 100 points 50%
Exam Corrections 4 @ 10 pts. 5%
***(+20 possible bonus points)
Quizzes 10 points each 10%
Graded Classwork 5 pts. each 10%
Homework Textbook 5%
MML 5% 10%
Final Exam 15%
Total 100%


Plus and minus grades will be used:
A = 93 – 100 B- = 80 – 82 D+ = 67 – 69
A- = 90 – 92 C+ = 77 – 79 D = 63 – 66
B+ = 87 – 89 C = 73 -76 D- = 60 – 62
B = 83 – 86 C- = 70 – 72 E = below 60

Academic Integrity: Academic dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism and all forms of misrepresentation in academic work, and is unacceptable at The University of Maine. As stated in The University of Maine’s “Student Handbook,” plagiarism (the submission of another’s work without appropriate attribution) and cheating are violations of The University of Maine Student conduct Code. An instructor who has probable cause or reason to believe a student has cheated may act upon such evidence, and should report the case to the supervising faculty member or the Department Chair for appropriate action.

Non-Onward Students: Credit in this course counts toward financial aid, and all UMaine add/drop/withdrawal policies apply. Check with your Dean for other questions such as “Do I have to take this course?” or “Does the grade for this course count in my GPA?” The Dean of your college makes these decisions.

Homework Grading Criteria (Textbook)

Homework assigned in the text will count for 5% of your overall grade. It is due on the day of the Exam which covers those new sections for the first time*. Homework should be neat and organized (in the order in which it was assigned), showing section and page numbers and problem numbers. The following criteria will be used to determine grades:

√+ Homework is complete, correct, and clearly presented. Work is shown, where appropriate. 100%

√ Homework is mostly complete, correct, and clearly presented. Work is mostly shown, where appropriate. 85%

√– Homework is not complete, but what is handed in is correct, and clearly presented, with work mostly shown, where appropriate; or homework has several sections where work is not shown or incorrect. 70%

√– – A significant amount of the homework is not submitted, but what is handed in is correct, and clearly presented, with work mostly shown, where appropriate; or homework has a significant number of sections where work is not shown or incorrect 60%

0 No homework is submitted; or hardly any problems are done; or problems show the answers only, with little or no work. 0%

*Late Homework: Homework received after the day of the test, will be reduced one grade.

Getting Started with MyMathLab (MML)…

For ONM011, MyMathLab(MML) is required. You can purchase it at the UMaine Bookstore (new or used) or from the publisher’s website.

Here’s what you need to do to register for My Math Lab:

  • Go to Under STUDENTS, choose “Register”
  • To register you will need:
    • An email address (First Class)
    • The course ID which is specific to each class. For ONM011 SP08 it is: rottmann28536
    • A student access code, which came with your MyMathLab purchase
  • Follow the directions on the screen to register. You will need to know the zip code for the UMaine: 04469
  • Be sure to remember your login name & password. You can record them here if you would like.

Login: ______________________

Password: ___________________

Working from Home?

Remember, you must work on a PC and you must run Internet Explorer or Netscape as your browser. The software is not compatible with a Mac or Firefox browsers.

If you are not comfortable using these from home, all computers in the East Annex lab have My Math Lab installed and ready for access. Look for “Welcome to Course Compass”

  • Once you register and sign on, click the 011 SP08 course.
  • Choose Installation Wizard bottom button on left menu)
  • Follow the directions to install all the needed plug-ins onto your computer. If you do not install the plug-ins, you will not be able to do homework, take practice tests, watch videos, etc.

Getting Started: Start with taking the tour: “How to Answer Questions Using MathXL Player” –shows a lot of the features of MML at the same time


Back to Mathematics