EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY: The annual SUMS Conference will be at JMU on Saturday, Oct 13. You can earn five points extra credit for attending one of the main addresses and two short student talks, then typing up a one-page reflection of your experience. If you cannot attend due to work or some other key conflict, please let me know so we can arrange an alternate extra credit opportunity.

See the Homework Calendar for details on what to do to prepare for Thursday’s Mastery Quiz on Section 1.2.

Thurs Sept 20 – Intuitive Limits

// During class

Hand back 0.7 Mastery Quiz

Take your choice of Retake from any past section

Discuss Section 1.1

Overview of the reading

Projector slides lecture and discussions

// After class

See the Homework Calendar for details on what to do to prepare for Tuesday’s Mastery Quiz on Section 1.1.

Tues Sept 18 – Questions Day

// During class

Hand back 0.6 Mastery Quiz

Take 0.7 Mastery Quiz

Questions/discussion from Sections 0.6 and 0.7

// After class

Decide what Retake you will do on Thursday; then do homework, take notes, and get help as needed to achieve mastery. In class you’ll be able to pick a Retake from any of the previous sections: 0.1, 0.2–0.3, 0.4–0.5, 0.6, or 0.7.

See the Homework Calendar for details on what to do to prepare for Thursday’s Mastery Quiz on Sections 0.7.

Tues Sept 11 – Transformations

// During Class

Hand back 0.4–0.5 Mastery Quiz

Choose a Retake (0.1, 0.2–0.3, or 0.4–0.5)

On the back please let me know how you feel you’re doing in the class so far

If you’re in MATH 199 then also let me know which Gateways you have passed

Questions/discussion from Section 0.6

Walk through reading in the book

Projector slides and discussion/lecture

Work with neighbors on some problems

// After Class

See the Homework Calendar for details on what to do to prepare for Thursday’s Mastery Quiz on Section 0.6.

Thurs Sept 6 – Questions Day

// During class

Hand back 0.2–0.3 Mastery Quiz

Take 0.4–0.5 Mastery Quiz

Questions/discussion from Sections 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5

// Field trip!

About halfway through class we will walk over to the SMLC in the Student Success Center and check it out 🙂

// After class

Last chance to take the Policy Check survey and get 100% mastery; I’ll record scores right before class on Tuesday. These are easy points!

Decide what Retake you will do on Tuesday; then do homework, take notes, and get help as needed to achieve mastery. In class you’ll be able to pick a Retake of any of our three previous quizzes: 0.1, 0.2–0.3, or 0.4–0.5. Please remember that the Retake is on the *homework* for the section(s) in questions, not specifically about the same three questions that happened to appear on the first versions of the quizzes.

Tues Sept 4 – Functions

// Announcements

The date to drop a class without having a W on your record is TODAY, September 4. If you don’t NEED to take MATH 231 for your major and are struggling in this class, you might want to consider changing to another math course.

If you are in a non-science major you may be able to take MATH 205 or MATH 220 instead. For example, Psychology and Kineseology majors generally do not need to take MATH 231. Check with your advisor and/or the JMU course catalog for official requirements.

Biology majors are strongly encouraged to take MATH 233-234 instead; that course sequence covers mathematical modeling in a way that is very relevant to biology.

// During class

Hand back 0.1 Mastery Quiz

Take 0.2–0.3 Mastery Quiz

Discuss Sections 0.4–0.5

Overview of the reading

Projector slides with problems and questions

Questions to look for in the homework

// After class

If you haven’t already, please take the Policy Check survey. If you don’t get 100% correct then please retake the survey until you have achieved 100% mastery.

See the Homework Calendar for details on what to do to prepare for Thursday’s Mastery Quiz on Sections 0.4–0.5.

Thurs Aug 30 – Equations & Inequalities

// During class

Mastery Quiz for Section 0.1

Go over quiz

Questions about logistics, schedule, Slack?

Discussion of Sections 0.2–0.3

Overview of the reading

Projector slides with problems and questions

// After class

Don’t forget to join and use the class Slack group

See the Homework Calendar for details on what to do to prepare for Tuesday’s Mastery Quiz on Sections 0.2–0.3

Fun fact: I’ll be giving the departmental colloquium talk on Monday afternoon.I’ll be talking about 3D printing. Everyone is welcome, and most especially if you’re a math major or minor and interested in trying some of your own mathematical 3D printing.

Tues Aug 28 – Growth and Mastery

Hello and welcome to MATH 231. Each day of class I’ll post a blog entry like this one on the class Timeline to outline what we’ll be doing during class, and what you should remember to do after class. Today’s is a little long, because we have a lot to discuss…

Talk to your neighbor: Find one thing you agree on regarding your thoughts about this class and/or mathematics in general.

// Let’s Do Some Math

Work with one or more other students to sketch the “slope functions” associated to the following two graphs:

// Growth Mindset

Watch this 10-minute video together as a class:

Talk to your neighbor: Did anything in the video have relevance to you personally? Do you think you have historically had a fixed mindset or a growth mindset in mathematics? Is there anything from this video that you think you could use to help you succeed in MATH 231?

// Mastery-Based Grading

To encourage a positive growth mindset in this math class, we’re going to try something new called “Mastery-Based Grading”. Basically, we’re going to move away from the typical calculus-class model in which there are a few high-stakes, do-or-die exams. Instead, there will be a continuous stream of lower-stakes Mastery Quiz evaluations, each of which has opportunities for being retaken and improved upon.

Practice Quiz (hand out)

Talk to your neighbor: Discuss your thoughts about the potential pitfalls, problems, and benefits of Mastery-Based Grading. What are you concerned about? What are you happy about? What do you have questions about?

// What to expect in this class

All sections of MATH 231 use the same textbook, but each instructor implements their own style and philosophy of teaching. Here’s what it will be like day-to-day in my sections of MATH 231 this semester:

During class

9:30-9:45: Distribute and take Mastery Quizzes or Retakes, according to the schedule on the Homework Calendar;

9:45-10:00: Short overview of the reading for the day’s new section in the textbook;

10:00-10:45: Lecture, discussion, problems, and group work to learn and practice the new material.

After class

Read the section and complete as many problems from the current homework assignment as needed to acheive mastery of the material.

Review the homework and reading as needed to prepare for the next day’s Mastery Quiz.

By the end of the semester

You’ll have taken 17 Mastery Quizzes, one for each section of the textbook; see the Mastery Quizzes FAQ.

You’ll have retaken a number of Mastery Quizzes, each time replacing lower grades with higher grades if possible.

You’ll construct your own Final Exam by choosing up to eight Mastery Quizzes to retake during the exam period.

Your grade for the course will be based on your high scores on each of the 17 Mastery Quizzes; see the Grades FAQ.

// The Beginning

Overview of Section 0.1 reading

Discussion of Section 0.1: algebra, rational numbers, set and interval notations

// After Class

Sign up for the class Slack group and leave a post saying hello and introducing yourself.

Make sure you have the textbook. If for some reason you do not, then find someone who is willing to share with you for a while by asking around or posting in the Slack group. If your textbook order is delayed then you can download the first three sections of the book from our Canvas site.

Take the online 231 Policy Check survey, and retake it as necessary until you have acheived 100% mastery on all questions. You may freely look up anything you like on the class website during the survey.

According to the Homework Calendar, your homework after this class is to read Section 0.1 and complete some assigned homework problems from that section. There will be a Mastery Quiz on this section at the start of class on Wednesday. This is an easy section so a good opportunity to start off with a “3” on a Mastery Quiz, if you prepare!

If you are concurrently enrolled in MATH 199: Your success in MATH 231 will be highly dependent on how seriously you take MATH 199, and how fast you complete the Gateway Quizzes in that course. Historical departmental data shows that successful completion of MATH 199 can raise performance in MATH 231 by a full letter grade.