pre-algebra learning outcomes

Math 1090 Overview

Pre-algebra (Math 1090) enhances students’ basic math skills through the study of key skill strands that are explored across different types of numbers, including whole numbers, fractions, signed numbers, mixed numbers, and decimals. The skill strands covered in this course include estimation, numeric operations, properties of numbers, comparing numbers, converting numbers, proportional reasoning, evaluating expressions, solving equations, and creating verbal and symbolic rules to model for real world problems.

Learning outcomes:

After completing this course, students will be able to …

  • Use the Polya problem-solving process to analyze and solve real-world problems
  • Justify conjectures and/or answers with written explanations and diagrams or computations as appropriate
  • Analyze work containing mathematical misconceptions and develop an argument, usually containing a counter example, to convince a peer that the solution is flawed
  • Consider the real-world context to determine the practical meaning of answers
  • Calculate efficiently by using the properties of numbers and operations and simplify answers as appropriate
  • Use estimation and/or the context of a problem to determine if final answers are reasonable
  • Use valid strategies in terms of number and variable properties to evaluate expressions and solve equations

Learning goals:

To heighten their learning experience during class, students should explorer, conjecture and play …

  • Enrich mathematical skills and competencies fundamental to success in academic and professional contexts by developing and applying critical thinking skills
  • Establishing patterns of behavior that lead to academic and personal success
    • Observe how group problem solving enhances the learning of mathematics
    • Explore ways to organize class materials in a way that enhances learning
    • Discover how pre-reading and post class notes free up class time for deeper thoughts and discussions
    • Examine different ways to organize one’s time to be able to budget time
  • Discover how properties of numbers motivate common “rules” in mathematics. For example, understand how collecting like terms is the result of the distributive property of multiplication over addition
  • Observe how common misconceptions are made when using the properties of numbers and develop ways of deconstructing these misconceptions, like testing values
  • Discover how some algebraic misconceptions are due to a misuse or generalization of mathematical terms.  For example, truncating the distributive property of multiplication over addition down to just the distributive property might lead peers to think all operators distribute over all other operators.
  • Re-examine questions to make sure final answers address the given question and address the questions completely (Polya step 4)