Algebraic Thinking develops problem solving and critical thinking skills by using algebra to solve context-based problems. Problems are approached algebraically, graphically, numerically and verbally. Topics include linear, quadratic, and exponential functions, right-triangle trigonometry and data analysis. Collaborative learning is emphasized.

June 10: 11:30  I will drop off your final exams to the EWS lobby area, SEM II B second floor,  tomorow.  Come and pick them up if you like.  Your evaluations have been submitted.  Email me if you have feedback about the course.  Have a great summer!

June 2, 8:30:  I posted the answers and test for the week 9 tools quiz you took last Thursday.  It is under the Answers tab on the website.  Thanks to Tammi for requesting it.   I have just printed off the 2 finals.  Both are 3 pages long, front and back.  The tools quiz is 46 problems that should take you no more than a minute apiece.  You will have an hour for this part.  The Problem solving part is 6 questions that should take you about 15 minutes or less each.  You will have 2 hours for this part.  This test will include a 3×3, and linear solution,  a compounded interest problem,  a log problem, a trig problem, and a quadratic problem.   I will be gone Thursday morning, so contact me tonight if you are still sketchy on a problem.  You do have lots of examples worked out on the website, and don’t forget to look at your book for other examples if you need more.  Make sure you are there by 6 tomorrow, so you have the full time allotment.

June 1, 10am.   I have summed up your scores to date, and anyone below 50 percent after throwing out the lowest score has been contacted, so if you do not have an emai from me, you are OK at present.  Score at or above 50% on the final and you will get full credit.  The final will be 100 points for the Tools, and 60 points for the Problem Solving.  The tools will have on side of a page on the following topics:   1.  Functions    2.  Solving equations   3.  Simplifications  4. Logs   5.  Trig     6.  Quadratic equations      The Problem solving will include 1 3×3 problem, one using linear equations,  a growth/decay problem,  a log problems or 2, a trig problem or 2, and a quadratic/radical problem.  You have several of these problems to review on the practice quiz, in class quiz, and Practice problems.  Check the answers, especially the ones worked out for you.

May 31, 10:30.  I have posted the answers to the ToDo practice problems under the Answer tab above.  Again, the test on Thursday will be in 2 parts.  The Tools quiz will have 3 pages and 6 sides of problems you should be able to answer in a minute or so.  Review from practice tests, old quizzes and Practice problems.   Once you finish that one, there will be a 5 or 6 question quiz on problem solving, again similar to the problems we have done throughout the year.  It will include one problem on quadratics and one on logarithms.  You should plan to spend about 15-20 minutes on these problems, but you will have more time if you need it.

May 26, 9:30pm.  I posted the answers to the Practice Quiz for week 9.  You can print the practice test out and the answers.  Quiz yourself and check.  Make similar problems and check yourself by changing numbers or angles.

May 26, 10:  The practice test for week 9 is posted.  Remember, the quiz this week will just be over trig and logs.  Review carefully the log practice problems for week 8 and the log practice problems and answers for the week 8 tools practice test.  Review carefully the trig problems and answers for week 9 Practice Part 1.  I will post the answers to the Practice test later today.

May 24, 9:50:  I have posted the group work for this week under the ToDo link.  Note the answers for the problems are in  (  ), but do not work backwards.  Try to get an answer before checking you work.   I only recieved a couple of the take home problem solving exams back on time.  Due to this, I will not count this exam as a required exam, but it will count if you do not get a similar problem solving question on your final next week.   Next week you will have seveal hours to complete the problem solving questions.  You have had and will have additional problems before then to practice.

May 23, 9:30:  The Week 8 Tools quiz is uploaded under the Resource/Week 8 page on the website.   We will have just 1 quiz this week, and it will only be over Logs and Trig.  No other review problems.  We will have one side of the page of Log problems and the other side,  new trig questions.  Prepare by looking at the questions and answers for Week 8 and 9 Practice problems,  Group problems, and Practice tests.  If you are unclear what type of questions are going to be asked, or cannot find the problems worked out, please email me right away.

May 21, 11pm:  I just posted the answers to the Practice questions for Part 1 for week 9.  They are found on a link under the Answer tab above.  Check your work against these answers.  As always, see if you can figure it out on your own from notes and the textbook.  If you are still stumped, make a question for your group discussion.  Again, be specific when you recap how you did on these questions in our email summary to be sent before your group meeting.

May 19, 10am:   I just posted the answers to the Week 7 Tools test, which you can download from Resources/Week 7.    I will be handing these tests back tomorrow, and we will go over a few of them.  I have also posted the answers to the Practice Test for week 8.  Make sure you spend time on this test.  They are easy if you spend some time on them.  Note below we will have 2 quizzes tomorrow.  Make sure you have the Problem Solving test you took home ready to turn in at the beginning of class.

May 18, 9am:  This week’s quizzes will be a short quiz at 6, about 16 questions, half over old questions and half on logs and bases, similar to what were on the Practice questions for Part 1 of Week 8.  We will then go over a number of logarithm story problems, similar to the ones you worked on in group.  We will then review some Geometry and geometric story problems before hitting the highlights of Trig, with a focus on the basic tools and story problems the tools can solve.   Finally, we will have a one question quiz at the end of class on logs.   Do not forget that the Problem Solving quiz you took home is due at the beginning of class.  Work on these questions on your own, but use your textbook and especially the class website for help.  Next week we will start out last topic:  solving quadratic, radical, and polynomial equations.

May 17, 10:  The activities for your group are posted on the ToDo tab above.  Make sure you do not get stuck on one problem.  There are time limits for each part.  Observe them.  If you are not sure about an answer, discuss it and make your best effort, especially on the ‘in your own works’ problems.  On the 2 story problems, try several options if you do not get the correct answer.   Number 6, the last problem, should be between 12 and 13 years.   Problems 5 answer is about 52 years.

May 16, 10:30:   Make sure you do the Practice problems before you meet for your group this week.  Email me with which problems you could do, which you struggled with, and which you could not figure out.  Come with questions to your group.  Make sure if you are finishing your problem solving exam, you work on your own.  You can use the text, or the solutions to the practice test posted online.  It must be turned in at the start of class this Thursday.

May 13, 9:00;    I have just put the Tools and Problem Solving quiz under Resources/Week 7.  Download them.  I do not have the answers for these yet.  Similar ones can be found under the Week 7 Practice Test, along with answers.

May 13, 9:30:  Again, the Practice Test for week 7, found on the Practice Test link, will be a good template for the quiz tonight.  The actual quiz will have 30 question, and you will have 40 minutes to complete it.   I will be outside the classroom at 5 tonight if you run into problems you cannot do, but make sure they are a few.   I do not want to have a cram session, but I do want to clarify the few problems you are struggling with.   We will not have a review session in class.  We will go over bases and Logs tonight.  At the end of class we will have a 4 question problem solving quiz.  Each question will be worth 15 points.  If you finish the exam in class, and you have an hour to finish, you can earn a bonus of 5 points.  If you cannot finish in class, you may take the exam home and still earn 10 points per question, using your web and book resources to help.  You should not use help from other people, however.

May 10, 3:00;  I just posted the answers for the Tools Practice quiz for Week 7.  I tried to work the problems out in detail.  I tried to check my work, but it is possible that I have a typo or error in the solution.  Please email me right away if you find one, so I can fix it for everyone.  The priority for now is the Tools first, and then the Problem Solving practice quiz.  I will keep the exam close to the practice,  but certainly the values will change, and I may include some more similar to other old quizzes. 

May 10, 11:00am:   I have posted a practice test for Problem Solving under the Practice Test tab above.  This Thursday will be our ‘midterm’ evaluation, so make sure you are prepared.  We will have a 30 question Tools quiz that you will have about 1 minute per question for at the start of class.  It will be 4 pages, and you have a good example under the Practice test tab.  I would suggest you time yourself to see what problems are taking too long.   I am not interested in having you write fast, and that should not be a problem.  Let me know if it is.  I want to see, however, which problems you have to struggle to remember, since those are the ones that will be gone by next year.  We will have a 4 question Problem Solving quiz at the end of class, and you again should practice this so you are not doing too many false starts.  In between the quizzes we will explore bases and logarithms.  This is also an important subject an we will be working quickly, so grab an extra cup of coffee before class.  I will be in early on Thursday for help if you need it, so email me if you plan to be there.  I will be online tonight, but probably not on Tuesday or Wednesday evening.  I will not be online during the day on Tuesday or Wednesday, but will be online today, so IM or email me with questions.

May 7,  10:00:  Remember we will have a longer review quiz this next week.  It will be 2 pages instead of 1, but only 1 side on Chapter 3, Cluster 1 on exponential problems.  3 sides will be review of practice tests and actual quizzes.  You have the answers for these on the Answers tab.  I would suggest you print out the quizzes and pencil in the answers somewhere on the sheet, and review a few problems periodically throughout the week.  Remember, the goal is to remember, not next week but next year.  Exercise your connections, and you do that best by recalling after you have been away from the problem for awhile, not by cramming  just before the exam.   I will put the Practice exam up early this week.  I will try to make it roughly the size of the quiz, so you can see how long it will take you.  I will try to pick problems that you can do in under a minute.   You will have about a minute for each problem, so test yourself to see if you have the ideas down and can implement them directly.  Being able to write fast should not be needed, but you will not be able to rely on comtemplation or divine intervention and still finish.  I will update these notes when the practice quiz has been posted, and it may be the focus of your group this week.  I have posted the last quiz (Week 6 Tools) under Resources, and the answers are under a link from the Answers tab above.

May 4, 9:30:  I have just posted the Practice Test for Week 6, along with the answers.  Remember you can practice with your own problems using  Simplify exponents, fractional exponents, and negative exponents.  You should have a reply email from me if you submitted your summary for your Practice problems for Part 1.  I am online tonight and will be online tomorrow night using Messenger IM if you need help.  We will have one 50 point quiz on Thursday.

May 2, 10:30:  Make sure you email me by noon Monday with the summary of your work on the Week 6 Part 1 work you did.  Check the ToDo page and Practice.  I have posted work for your group to work in this week.

April 30, 10pm:  The answers for the Week 5 quizzes are posted, found under the Answer tab above.  Make sure you go over last weeks quiz and the answers carefully.  Most are not just answered, but explained.  Look at them carefully.  Again, the test themselves are Word documents found under the Resource link, Week 5.  Don’t forget the Practice problems for Week 6, Part 1 found under the Practice tab above.  The ToDo tab has the summary of this, as always.
April 30, 9am:  I have just posted the Week 5 Tools quiz under the Resources link to the right.  Look under Week 5.  I will post the answers to this quiz and the Problems Solving quiz later.

April 27,  1:30:  I posted the practice test for Week 5.  You can get many of the answers from, but I will post most of the answers worked out in steps later this week.  Work on this outside of group, but use your group, quasr, and my IM, email, etc to get help.  Remember we will only have about 10 minutes for questions before the quiz on Thursday, so get most of your help before then.

April 27,  10:45am:  I sent out a group email with some info on the last email assignment.  If you did not get this group email, please let me know right away.  I will post the Practice Quiz for week 5 tonight, along with the answers (or; make sure you can use this).  Our quiz this week will be worth 50 points (Tools) and we will have one problem solving problem(10 points) at the end, a 3×3 problem.

April 25, 10pm:  I have posted the group work for Week 5, Part 2 under the ToDo link.  You will be looking at example problems in the exercises for sections 2.1, 2.3 and 2.4.   Use to check the answers for problems without text answers.  Make sure you email me by noon, Monday with your summary of the Practice problems, Week 5 Part 1,  to get your 10 points.

April 24, 10am:  I have posted the answers to your Part 1 Practice problems for Week 5.  Make sure you are looking at the ToDo list, and email me with your summary of your work by noon Monday.  Your quizzes are graded, and most folks did better on the Problem Solving than the tools.  Since the tools are really much easier problems, please spend a little extra time reviewing  these problems before class.  Look at the last quizzes (Resource link) and answers (Answer tab above).

April 23, noon:  I have just posted the answers to the Week 4 quizzes, both Tools and Problem Solving.  The tests themselves are also posted under Resources, Week 4.  Check them out.  I will post the answers to the Practice problems for Part 1 of Week 5 later this weekend.  Make sure you email me your summary of your work on these problems by noon, this Monday to get your 10 points.  You should checking these notes and the ToDo list frequently. I will post your group activities also by Monday morning.  Please let me know right away if you see a typo or error on this site so I can fix it.

April 21, noon:   I have posted the answers for the Week 4 practice test.  Go over it carefully.  We will have 2 quizzes tomorrow, worth 40 and 20 points.  Make sure you are there and prepared.  I have decided to throw out the lowest quiz score for all students before figuring the 70% needed for credit.  At the same time, however, that low score will be a missed test if you have one.  Please do not have more than 1 miss.  Make-up tests will not be given without advanced planning.

April 20, 12pm:  Make sure your emailer for your group sends me an emailer with the date,time, and place of your group meeting as well as the participants.  This is how you get your 10 points, but if they forget to email by Thursday, we have a problem.  The email needs to include what you covered as well as how the group functioned.  Include problems or questions in the email.  I have posted a practice quiz for week 4 under the Practice Test tab above.  Do this AFTER your group on your own to prepare.  I will post the answers Wednesday.  I have been online via IM frequently throughout the week, so if you need help you have a good chance to catch me in Messenger.  If not, email me with some good times for you and I will get back to you.

April 19, 10am:  I have posted the Group activity under the ToDo tab above.  It will be impossible to get through these questions unless you set a limit on time for each part and have some focus and intensity.  If your group gets stuck, move on and have the emailer make a note of what you were stuck on.  Some of you will remember how to do these problems.  Please cement you knowledge by trying to help others figure it out.  All the new problems are similar to the ones you should have completed prior to your group  (from the Practice tab above, week 4)

April 18, 7:50pm:  Make sure you email me the answers to the Practice problems for Week 4.  If you like, just give me the summary of the work you did for the problem, as you already have the answers.. ie:  1.15 #2c:  got this problem right….. 1.15 #1a:  got this one wrong and could not figure it out.  I will get help from my group..     You should not work much more than a focused hour or so on these problems.    Your group is very important.  If your group is not able to meet, please write a group email (reply to my group email) to request to join another group for the week.  Follow the To Do list for Part 2 for week 4.   Make sure your emailer includes you in the group meeting summary so you get your points, but also make sure you both learn yourself and help others learn the assigned problems and tools.  We will have a 40 point quiz on the tools and another 20 point (2 problem) problem solving quiz on Thursday.  The Practice quiz (#1 and #2) will have examples and answers.  Email me right away if you are not sure of what you need to know or what you need to do.  I will be online most of Sunday evening and Monday morning using Messenger.  Chat with me if you need help.

April 17, 10:40am:  Make sure you email me your answers for the Week 4 Practice problems (see Practice tab above) before Monday morning.  If you get stuck, review the examples in the book and if that does not help, go on.  Make a question to get help with from your group, me, QUASR, etc..  We now have 80 points in the class.  The quiz this Thursday will be 40 points.  We will also have a 20 point problem quiz, over a couple of problem solving questions.  If you just do not show up, you will receive a 0 for the test and dig yourself a big hole.  If an emergency forces you to miss class, let me know ahead of time.  Do not miss more than 1 quiz without making arrangements with me for makeup work.  Do not forget to go to your group meeting this week and have your emailer email me with what you covered and how the group went.  That will be 10 points for each group member.  I will post your activities on Sunday for Part 2, or group work.  Let me know right away if you are having problems or concerns.  I have posted the answers to Quiz 1 under the Answers tab.  The test itself is under Resources/Week 3.

April 16: 8am:  False alarm… Thanks for all your concern last night.  I have just posted the quiz we took last night as a word file under Resources.  I will post the answers later today under the Answers tab above.  IMPORTANT:  email me BEFORE Monday morning with the answers for the Practice problems for Week 4 Part 1, found on the Practice tab above.  Do not spend more than2 hours on these problems.  I will post the answers soon.  If you cannot figure out how to get the right answer, just say this in your email for the problem and move on.  Make a few good questions about what you do not understand to discuss during your group.  There were a couple of groups that did not email me with your summary.  Do not dig a point hole.  Stay up with the class.  I will work out the Sam’s Cafe problem entirely with the numbers from my edition and post a link to it under the Practice tab also. Lets hope for a smoother class in terms of technology and interruptions next Thursday.  We will have more quick group work and discussion.

April 15, 9:20pm:  I just posted the answers for week 3 practice test 2.  You should be ready to answer similar questions quickly for the quiz tomorrow, so come ready to go.  I will be online (MS Messenger) for most of tomorrow, so that will be a good time to catch me.  We can Skype if you like, but make the arrangement first through Messenger.  I will give you a more detailed list of expectations in class tomorrow.  We should have a fairly well set procedure after tomorrow, after taking into account the initial issues and your backgrounds and expectations.

April 15, 9:00am:  I will be adding another practice test in a few minutes.  I will be under the Practice Test tab on the top, and the link will be Wk3Pt2.  The answers for this test will also be posted under the Answer tab on this page.  You should have reviewed the first practice test in your group.  Make sure you have one person from your group email me with your group summary (see below).  The quiz will be broken up into 2 sections.  The “Tools” section is one you should be able to complete very quickly.  The “Problems” section you will have more time, but you should still be fairly quick.  I have only a handful of folks who have added me to their contact list on MS Messenger.  Please do this right away.  I will have posted help times using this program.

April 13, 9:30:  Remember to have your group ‘emailer’ email me with what your group did during your session, who was there, and when/where you met.  This email will be all your group needs to submit for this week.   The important thing is to come prepared to do well on the first quiz which we will have Thursday.  You have the answers to the questions in your book or on the website, so if you are fuzzy about some of the problems, make sure you get help via one of the resources on the HELP link above.  I am still waiting for folks to add me to MS Messenger by adding my email ( to your contacts.  I will use this to work with you individually.  I will post times that I will be online.

April 12, 9:30:  I have emailed everyone who has emailed me with a group email list.  If you have not recieved this email, check your Junk folder.  Use this email, and reply all, if you have a message you want to send to the whole group.  This will be important if you need to add someone to your group or change the makeup of your group due to math backgrounds.   Make sure you complete Part 1 for Week 3 before your group.  I will post what your group needs to do on the To Do tab,  and it will be labled  Week 3 Part 2.   Remember to elect an ‘emailer’ for your group.  This person will email me with a fairly detailed summary of what your group did during your session (ie problems worked out, practice problems done..) and an informal evaluation of how productive you were.  Also make sure you include the members present, the day, time and place you met, and any other info you think I should know.  I should have this email from your group sometime on Wednesday.  You should plan to meet around 2 hours.  If you are taking longer, try to skip a problem that is holding you up and ask about it in class.  Remember, most of the questions you should be able to answer in a few seconds.  Don’t stew on a problem.  Move on and ask about it later.

April 11,  8:40:   Make sure you complete the Week 3 Part 1 problems on the To Do list BEFORE your group meeting this week.  The answers are found on the Answer tab on the top of this page.  Check your answers before your group meeting and discuss difficulties you have with these problems in your group.   I will publish the Week 3, Part 2 task for your group on the To Do tab tomorrow morning.  I will be online tomorrow morning as well.  Make sure you install MS Messenger and add me to your contacts (   I will publish a practice test for our first quiz on the Practice tab tomorrow as well.  After you have done the activities for your group, discuss this practice test in your group.  Then spend time reviewing again before next Thursday.   The quiz will be worth 40 points.   Check the HELP tab above if you need to know how to get help.

April 9, 8:15:  Is is Sunday yet??  If no, congrats.. you are on time checking this page.  Otherwise….  Remember, we have 4 points of work in this class:  Thursday night,  Part 1 on the To Do list (Week 3 for now..) to be completed BEFORE you meet in your group, your 2 or so hour group meeting, and your own practice and review preparing foryour inclass quiz which will be 40 points this week.  Make sure you read the HELP tab above and use these resources.  Remember to elect an official ‘emailer’ for your group to send me an email for your group after you meet with the names, times and place you met, what your group did, and how productive was it.  The ‘emailer’ gets a one time 10 point bonus.  Let me know if you have questions or concerns right away.  Make sure you downloan MS Messenger and add my email to the contact list.

April 8,  10:30:  We will not be having a quiz this week, as we will need the time to go over a few changes in the course and to present more topics that you will be tested on the following weeks.  We will have informal evaluations over last weeks topics and the new topics throughout the day on Thursday, however.  Make sure you can do the probelms on the Practice link that were assigned for tomorrow.

April 7, 2:30:  Please look at the websites under the Resources Link or the Help link on this page.  There are 2 directory sites that give lots of online help, but 4 fairly good individual sites that can help you during this course. I will be looking for others as we proceed throught the course.

April 6, 8pm:  I am still short a number of emails.  Make sure you email me using before Thursday if you want points for the assignment.  Let me know if you are having problems with your groups, downloading or running software, finding a textbook or other problems  For now using this email.   Again, we will be making some changes in our class structure, so come Thursday ready to pick up the pace.

April 5, 11:00:  Make sure you check ALL the notes listed below.  Your group assignment is on the ToDo link.  Make sure you put the names of all the participants on the paper you turn in on Thursday.  We will be changing a few things on Thursday, so come early and drink some coffee before you come.  We will be turning up the energy level.  You have a 10 point assignment, the email to me, that you need to have in before Thursday.  Let me know if you are having problems with your groups.  I am trying to organize help sessions for you in the Quasr center, but I need a bit more info first, which I will find out on Thursday.  If you want me to email you or call you for help individually or in your group, email me with the times and date that would work for you and I will get back to you.  Make sure you check these notes every day for the time being.  Let me know if you are having trouble downloading and running the GRE test or the Graphing tool.  You may need to turn Java on in your browser.  Someone you know might be able to help you with that.

April 3, 5:00:  Please make sure you download Messenger IM and Skype if your computer is able.  Add to IM and atsp10abve to Skype.  Let me know if there are other communication tools you want to use.

April 3, 9:30:  I have received only 1 email so far.  I need you to send me an email soon (  using the email you want to use for the class.  This is one of the items on the ToDo list for this week.  I will plan to share the email list with other students, so make a new email for the class via hotmail, gmail, etc if you want to keep your email address private.  In your email, please tell me who is in your group, when and where you are meeting, and a summary of how you feel your group is working.  Check other notes below:

April 2 10:30am:  It looks like you now have access to the resources on the website, so you can run the powerpoint, GRE test, etc.  It is only available for registered students, so if you are just adding, it may take a few hours before you are able to check in.  Check all notes below.

April 2, 10am:  Congrats!  You are looking at the right spot.  Check here often to see what is new or changed in the class.  For now, since we are solving a host of startup problems, I would suggest you check here several times a day.  I will point you to changes or updates.  I should have the resource link activated sometime today.  I will be changing the To Do list for April 1.  In general, you will turn in on Tuesday the writeup for Activity 1.1 and the assigned parts of 1.2 and 1.3 that will be posted Monday, all from your group.  We will not have an individual writeup of an activity until most all of us have textbooks.  On Monday I will also post practice test questions.  Go over these in your groups, and we will have our first quiz on April 8.  Don’t forget to rush order your 2nd edition text, unless you want to use the 3rd edition you can still buy from the bookstore or share a text with another student.  I will have several update posts here over the weekend. Check them.  Have a great weekend!
April 1:  Welcome to class!  I will post class comments on this page, with the most recent on top.  Please check here every other day or so to see what the news is for the class.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone Thursday evening.