PreCollege Contemporary Mathematics: A
PreCollege Algebra
Spring 2019  Victor Castorini (castoriniv@nclack.k12.or.us)
Course Description
To be a mathematician is to be a logical problem solver.
You will have problems. Some will be mathematical. You will need to do your budget, file taxes, scale a recipe, etc. All of this is basic algebra. However, the truly meaningful problems in life require a brain that is disciplined and logical. More than anything what we’ll be doing in here is developing those habits of mathematical thinking and interaction, or as I will often call it, your mathematical brain.
It is my belief that all students can learn to think logically through math. It is my belief that these habits of interaction help students build critical thinking and reasoning that are useful in a far greater capacity that math itself.
The academic goal of this course is to prepare students for postsecondary level mathematics courses like Math 95 and 105 as offered a Clackamas Community College. We will be making sense of the math by justifying why things work and generalizing math operations with conjectures.
To do this we must:
This work is challenging and we cannot do it alone. We will need to work together to collaborative discover the truth about mathematics to make sense of it. We will interact with each other by practicing the following habits:
Logic and math exist, awaiting to be discovered. We can only see it when we train our brains to recognize these beautiful patterns and relationships that exist whether or not we see them. I greatly look forward in guiding you on this journey towards unlocking your logical, mathematical brain.
Course Objectives
PreCollege Contemporary Mathematics (PCCM) is a two term course for 1 math credit. I have designed it to build on Algebra 1 and Geometry principles to prepare students for the concepts taught in Math 95 and 105.
Material is pieced together from the Math Vision Project, a Common Core aligned curriculum available for free online at mathematicsvisionproject.org. We will use parts of the “Secondary Mathematics Three” course with some supplemental material drawn from “Secondary Mathematics Two” and “Illustrative Mathematics.”
In section A we will cover the following topics:
Along with Illustrative Math topics on topics such as: “Exponential Parameters”, “Rising Gas Prices – Compounding and Inflation”, “A Saturating Exponential”, “Pizza Place Promotion”, “Powers of 11”, “Uranium 238”, “Profit of a Company”.
Plagiarism
To “plagiarize” means:
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.
All of the following are considered plagiarism:
Accommodations
If you need any accommodations through an IEP or 504 I will be working with your learning specialists to help make sure you get those accommodations. Please talk to me about what works and what doesn’t in whatever manner is most comfortable (in person, email, through your Learning Specialist) so that your needs are met.
If you need to miss school due to illness, a trip, or an unplanned emergency please let me know as soon as possible so that I can get you the material you need. All course material is available on mathvisionproject.org if you need to print/view anything at home or on the road.
4Point Rubric
For all assignments I will be using an adapted 4point grading scale.
Rubric Score 
Rubric Description 
Letter Grade Equivalent 
4 
More Complex/Perfect Completion 
A+ 
3.5 
A 

3 
Target Learning Goal/Building Blocks 
B 
2.5 
B 

2 
Simpler Content/Some Errors (or >2 but late) 
C 
1.5 
D 

1 
With help, partial success at 2.0 and 3.0 content 
D 
In an ongoing process of preparing you for the rigors of college, late work will still be graded but cannot score higher than a 2 and will inform Pathways to College eligibility.
Formative Assessments (33%)
Homework Check:
I will not scour over every single homework assignment but I will check to see that you are completing these as we go. Perfect practice makes perfect. Due when a quiz or test is given but I may check midweek to ensure you’re keeping up on the daily routine.
Quizzes:
Every week we will have a quiz to assess your understanding of the material thus far. These questions will be taken directly from your homework and classwork. This will occur on the last day we meet every week (usually Friday).
Illustrative Math:
Summative Assessments (67%)
Tests:
There will be Tests following every Module (unit tests) and a final. These will be weighted evenly.
The Blog
I will often post videos of lessons and other supplemental material to the class blog. It is important to follow the blog. Be sure to subscribe (PARENTS TOO!)
Gradebook
All of your CMC College Prep classes will have grades posted to Synergy. You can access Synergy through the school’s website. Check your grades often and hold on to assignments that are passed back. Errors happen and it’s easier to change a grade if you have your assignment than if you do not. 
Course Materials
We will be using the Math Vision Project’s Secondary Mathematics Three curriculum with some supplemental material drawn from other courses and resources to meet the preparation standards of Math 95 and 105.
All course material will be available online either through the Math Vision Project’s website (mathematicsvisionproject.org) or on my blog (clackamasmiddlecollege.org). I require every student to subscribe the the blog and get updates.
Additionally I will produce some video content so that student have another resource for gaining information. It is expected that you watch the corresponding YouTube Homework Helper every night. These range from 5 to 15 minutes.
Because there is no textbook, your notes are of extreme importance. We will be using organized notebooks and it is expected that you have a separate notebook for this class.
Why don’t you just tell us how to do the problems?
In your previous mathematic classrooms you may have experienced teacher who show you a method for a problem and then give you many similar problems to prove that you understand. However, this is a very shallow, Level 1 form of understanding. Memorization should not be the goal. Problems we face in our life are never just like the ones we see on a quiz or test so I’m more interested in helping you develop the connections that will help you make sense of new problems so that you can actually do mathematics!
PreCollege Contemporary Mathematics
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