Skip to main content Skip to footer content

Introductory Mathematics and Elementary Algebra

Kingsborough Community College
The City University of New York


MAT 01: Introductory Mathematics and Elementary Algebra - 0 credits, 4 hours

Course Coordinator: Professor Ron Forman

Catalog Description: This course is designed to help high school students develop the skills necessary to perform well on the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam and on the CUNY Compass Exam.Topics include number concepts, algebraic reasoning, introductory geometry, the coordinate plane and probability.

College Now Description: This course is designed to help students increase competence and confidence in basic algebra and arithmetic. It will present mathematical concepts, such as factoring, graphing, operations with decimals, signed numbers and proportions, in an interactive, hands-on way. It is recommended for students who have not passed the New York State Integrated Algebra Regents and for students who have been identified as needing assistance in preparing for the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam.

Course Explanation and Objectives: The College Now program is designed to help students make a smooth transition from high school to college. A major component of a successful transition is a level of academic performance that enables students to satisfy the requirements needed for high school graduation in a timely manner and be prepared to begin college-level work without the need for remediation. This course focuses attention on the mathematics standards needed to exit from high school and enter college and will assist in meeting these standards by preparing students for the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam and the CUNY Mathematics Assessment Test, Parts I and II.

Topical Course Outline: (Based on 56, 50-minute class sessions) All lessons will include elements of mathematics skill development (i.e., solving specific kinds of problems and using specific formulas) and mathematical thinking (exploring, developing and understanding mathematical ideas or inventing new ways to solve problems).

  1. Number Concepts: (8 sessions) Order of operations, evaluating algebraic operations, signed numbers, exponents and scientific notation, radicals, ratios and proportion, fractions, decimals, percents, number properties, problem-solving strategies and calculator practice.
  2. Algebraic Reasoning:(12 sessions) Polynomials, first-degree equations, factoring and quadratic equations, inequalities, systems of equations, verbal problems, quadratic-linear pairs, algebraic fractions and equations.
  3. Geometry: (8 sessions) Angles, triangles, parallel lines, Pythagorean Theorem, circles, polygons, quadrilaterals, perimeter, circumference, area volume and surface area.
  4. Coordinate Plane: (10 sessions) Graphing linear equations, slope, intercepts, horizontal and vertical lines, systems of linear equations and inequalities, quadratic equations and parabolas, quadratic-linear pairs, area, transformations and distance and midpoint formulas.
  5. Probability and Statistics: (9 sessions) Definitions of terms, finding probability of simple and compound events with and without replacement, counting principle, permutations and combinations. Mean, median, mode, histograms, line of best fit, frequency tables, leaf and stem diagrams.
  6. Trigonometry: (3 sessions) Sine, cosine and tangent functions. Angle of elevation and depression. Verbal problems involving trigonometric concepts.
  7. Supplementary Topics, Testing and Review: (6 sessions). As time permits, other topics might include logic and exponential functions.. At least two days at the end of the semester should be reserved for an intensive review for the Math A Regents Exam. There should also be a review of sample CUNY Placement Exams. There should be a written assignment involving mathematics in every day life.
  8. Writing in Mathematics: (All Sessions) Discussion and practice of critical thinking and writing skills in mathematics needed to pass the Mathematics Regents examinations.


  1. In schools offering Integrated Algebra,, students in the last term of the sequence, identified by the high school as being in need of extra assistance to pass the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam at the conclusion of the course.
  2. Students who have taken and failed the Integrated Algebra Regents for the first time with a grade of 50-64.

Text Book: Bittinger, Ellenbogen & Johnson, Elementary and Intermediate Algebra Concepts and Applications, 3rd Edition 2001, (ISBN 0201719665).

Methods of Teaching: Lectures with student participation supplemented by computer software. Mathematical concepts and procedures will be developed through examples, demonstrations and discussions, with an emphasis on explaining why and how a procedure works. Teachers will also encourage students to engage in creative mathematical work by asking them to develop procedures themselves based on what they have learned in previous lessons. Each week a cumulative review will be presented as a take-home or in-class assignment, and at least one fifteen-minute quiz will be administered to assess progress and problems. Test-taking tips and strategies will be a part of each lesson. Actual Integrated Algebra Regents questions will be used each day in class. Practice CUNY Placement Exams will also be used.

Assignments: Students will be given paper and pencil and/or computer-based homework assignments each day. A large portion of each assignment will include questions similar to those on the Math A Regents Exam and the CUNY Math Assessment Test.

Methods of Evaluation: Students will be evaluated in terms of their development toward being prepared for the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam and CUNY Compass Math Assessment Test. Progress will be evaluated throughout the semester through homework assignments, weekly exams and the final examination. Students will take the regularly scheduled Integrated Algebra Regents Exam administered by the high school at the end of the semester. However, the grade on the Regents Exam will not be considered in the student's final grade. There will be weekly pre and post exams to measure student progress.

Supplementary Resources:

  1. Stigler, James W and Hiebert, James. "Understanding and Improving Classroom Mathematics Instruction," Phi Delta Kappan, 1997
  2. Zuckerman, Martin M. Passing the City University of New York Mathematics Skills Assessment Test, New York: Ardsley House Publishers, Inc., 1983.
  3. Student Resource Materials from the Kingsborough Community College Mathematics Skills Laboratory.
  4. Previous Math A Regents Exams.
  5. Stand and Deliver - VHS
  6. A Beautiful Mind - DVD