Math OER welcome page Zoom Room Zoom logo Jamboard Jamboard logo Lectures YouTube playlist Textbook textbook cover       valid HTML 4.01
Welcome Study Skills Library Playgrounds Resources Syllabus
Shapeshifting Topic Mad  Science Topic Justice Topic Health Decisions Topic Personal Finance Topic Business Decisions

 Fall Term 2020 Will Be Awesome 

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

- Albert Einstein

Math 25 Class Information

Math 25 logo

Class times:
Mon/Tues/Fri 2:30pm to 3:00pm

Study Session times:
Mon/Tues/Fri 2:00pm to 2:30pm

Office Hours by appointment

3 credits, 3 lecture hours per week

about 6 hours homework per week

CRN 22365


Instructor Information

LCC home

David Van Slyke


Zoom room:

work email:

work cell phone: (541) 357-7551

office: Building 16 Room 261

(Please communicate with me using the above cell phone or LCC email. Please do not use my LCC office phone or moodle's messages.)

Course Description

Course Summary

syllabus humor

Math 25 includes a review of most Math 20 topics (ratios, proportions, percents, measurement unit conversions, and geometry) and greatly expands their real-life usefulness in health decisions, personal finance decisions, and business decisions.

You will be required to learn and use specific techniques and processes that may be different from what you have used in the past, and develop your ability to communicate mathematically by showing all work in a neat and organized manner.

Students are encouraged to use study groups for all types of homework.

Grading is done by correctly using a philosophy named "standards based grading". Students earn their letter grades by completing achievements.

Official Course Description: MTH 025 is a course in the application of basic mathematics to everyday situations. Topics include applications involving budget and retirement, simple and compound interest, mortgage and charge options, household and garden, health formulas, food preparation, measurement systems, markup and discounts. This course will include skill maintenance and explorations, and may involve group work and projects.

Truth, Wisdom, and Encouragement

Anything new is hard. But the math topics we study are not themselves hard. All of them become okay, if not easy, with enough practice.

Our class is about turning free time into achievements. If you put in the time, you can pass the class. If you put in more time, you can earn a B or A. Some students with jobs and kids are too busy to put in that much time during a single term. There is no shame in needing two terms if you have many real-life responsibilities. It happens all the time.

I have taught Math 20 or 25 for forty terms. Among all those hundreds of students I have only had one who could not pass the class after putting in the required time. (She had her own circumstances.) If you have a weak math background it might take you a bit more time than if you have a strong background. But it is still just an amount of time. Study, practice, do homework, and do practice tests. You can succeed.

One reason our class is simply a matter of time is that brains experience training and growth like muscles. Research shows that people of all ages can form new brain connections, larger brain cells, and deeper brain networking. These changes happen most when doing something new—and they can be permanent improvements! However, just like building muscle, improvement only happens through effort and challenge. (Watching the instructor solve problems does not exercise your own brain.) And just like for building muscle there are proven techniques that are efficient and keep increases happening. (Think of your instructor as a "study skills coach" and the study skills as exercise techniques that prevent you from getting stuck on a low plateau.)

We start each class with homework questions. No questions are silly. You will never be the only student with that question. If you already knew all the answers, you would not be in our class!

Never be ashamed of how many mistakes you make. I assure you that by the time I earned my masters degree in mathematics I had made more math mistakes than you will make during your entire life. In fact, unless you have a family member who also pursues a graduate degree in mathematics, by the age of 21 I surely had made more math mistakes than your entire family will ever make in their entire lives. You will never catch up! Bwahahahahaha.

If you are not doing as well as you would like, I would appreciate you talking to me about it. I can probably help you brainstorm ways to become more efficient with your studying and more successful in the class.

Time and Materials Needed

Our class has a lot of homework. Expect to spend 4 to 8 hours each week doing homework if you have an average math foundation from the previous class.

Please schedule different blocks of time for appetizer and real homework, as explained in the study skills page.


Please bring to class paper, a pencil, a highlighter, and a notebook.

You will need a scientific calculator that can do exponents and has a π key. A model with parenthesis keys and a fraction key is highly recommended. The official class guidelines recommend a Sharp D.A.L. 500 calculator. This model is most popular. Some students instead use a Casio that is also inexpensive and also gets good reviews.

textbook cover An optional resource is Basic College Mathematics by Charles McKeague. This is the Math 20 textbook. It has nice videos for every example problem. It is available as a physical book or an e-book. (If you buy the physical book, you also get the e-book for free.)

Together our class times, study sessions, this class website, the textbook if used, and the videos and OER textbooks linked from the class website provide many different ways of understanding each math topic. Find the resources that work best for you!

One of your key tasks is to condense your class notes, thoughts, homework, and favorite example problems into an improved set of notes that you are ​allowed to use on the quizzes and final exam. Preparing these notes carefully is invaluable!


warning - objects in syllabus are closer than they appear By LCC policy, missing all classes and assignments during the first week causes you to be dropped from the class.

The deadline for a tuition refund is 11:59 pm on the Sunday at the end of the first week of the class.

The last day of Spring term (June 13th) is now the final day for schedule changes, dropping classes, grading option changes, etc. This is much later than usual.

The Spring term holidays are Spring Conference (Friday, May 1st) and Memorial Day (Monday, May 25th).

Our final exam has a scheduled time Monday (for Math 20) or Tuesday (for Math 25) during finals' week, starting at 10am (our normal class start time) and lasting for 110 minutes. This may or many not be useful to us.

If you want to complete any of the end-of-term test taking achievements before the end the term, take a test early. If you score 60% or 66% (or higher) you can check off the appropriate achievement early! Your normally scheduled test remains a chance to improve your score.

You can add this calendar to your own calendar app using this ICAL address.

Please note that LCC policy allows students with three or more finals on the same day to reschedule one of them. Sometimes final exams may be taken early because of medical or other concerns.

Meeting Archives

The jamboards and videos from our class meetings will be archived here. As a temporary example, here are the first few from Spring term.

Week 1, Friday Health Decisions Patterns, start Calories   Zoom video YouTube video
Week 1, Friday Health Decisions start Calories Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 2, Monday finish Calories Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 2, Tuesday mini video - review for RIP LOP Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 2, Tuesday Metabolism Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 2, Friday review Terms and Proportions, begin Food Preparation Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 3, Monday finish Food Preparation Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 3, Tuesday all of Patterns Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 3, Friday Typicality and Bell Curves Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 4, Monday review of percent sentences, start Mortgages Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 4, Tuesday HW from Metabolism and Typicality, finish Mortgages Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 4, Friday HW #8 and #9 from Food Preparation Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 4, Friday HW #10 from Food Preparation Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 4, Friday HW #9 and #10 from Typicality Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 4, Friday Simple Interest Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Monday review of Percent Sentences Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Monday review of Simple Interest Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Monday one more Simple Interest problem Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Monday Six Years of Rent Increases Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Monday another Compound Interest problem Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Monday a homework Compound Interest problem Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Tuesday review of Mortgages Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Tuesday another review of Mortgages Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Tuesday review and comparison of Simple versus Compound Interest Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video
Week 5, Tuesday beginning Sum of Annuity Due Jamboard notes Zoom video YouTube video

Key Resources

LaneCC Student Resources

LaneCC provides dumploads of resources to help students succeed. You can click on the image to the right to see my own compilation of student resources. Also see the tutoring section in the study skills page.

It is often valuable to visit an Early Outreach Specialist who is trained to connect students to whatever resources can help. The one who normally works most closely with Math 20 students is Katherine Kaylegian (e-mail).

Study Sessions

Instead of quiet office hours we have chatty study sessions!

These can serve several different purposes.

You do not need to bring questions to study sessions. It can be nice to simply study quietly while knowing that help is available from the instructor or classmates. That help can look like a few things:


The free tutoring provided by the Math Resource Center happens remotely during Fall term 2020.

First, make a reservation for a 30-minute appointment using the website WC Online. This is quicker if you use the pull-down menu to select the topic in which you want tutoring.

Second, five minutes early before your appointment go to a Zoom meeting room named Study Annex Tutoring, where a front desk person will greet you and assign you to a "breakout room" in Zoom. The front desk person can also help you get Zoom working with text chat, audio, and/or video to best suit your needs and what tools you have available at home.

Third, your tutor joins you in the breakout room. Enjoy your live tutoring!

Math Resource Center online hours are Monday through Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm, and also 5:00pm to 8:00pm on Tuesday through Thursday. The Math Resource Center is considering offering some weekend hours. Please let them know if that would help your schedule.



Lane Community College is dedicated to providing inclusive learning environments. The Center for Accessible Resources coordinates all academic accomodations for students. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers due to a disability, to request assistance or accommodations, contact CAR at 541-463-5150 or


The LCC Student Help Desk (nicknamed the SHeD) provides technology loans and support to students. It can be reached at 541-463-3333.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Procedures for Bad Weather

Sign up for LaneAlert

Distance learning is more immune to weather issues, but we should still know the routines...

Sign up for LaneAlert to receive e-mails or texts about weather closures! Log into mylane. In the Home tab, locate the box labeled Personal Information. Select the Lane Alert Emergency Notification link. Select which notifications you would like to receive. Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

You can also listen to KLCC (FM 89.7) or KUGN (AM 590 or FM 97.9) for campus closure information. You can also check the websites of LCC and FlashAlert.

If class is canceled or you are absent, please read ahead using the class website to familiarize yourself with the upcoming topics and assignments. Then we can more quickly cover the missed material.

LCC's website has more about its weather closure policies.


Student Responsibilities

Note: LCC students are bound by the college's student rights and code of conduct. This page focuses on study skills instead of those legal issues.

(Thanks go to many for helping compile these ideas, especially Deanna Murphy, Mary Stinnett, and Don McNair.)

Ask questions! The instructor does not know what is confusing to you unless you ask questions.

Be aware of the current topic and work towards mastering it. Avoid being "sort of" proficient at important topics. Be aware of how a new topic relates to old topics.

Never be content not understanding a class topic you are expected to understand. Ask questions! Learn it promptly. Visit study sessions, schedule individualized instructor help, or get help from the MRC or friends.

comic from Baby Blues about asking questions at school, by Rick Kirkmann and Jerry Scott, distributed on November 29th 2009 by King Features Syndicate

Do not fall behind. It is expected that students might be very confused about the current topic. After all, if students already understood it we would not need to teach it! But students should not be confused about past topics. If this is your situation do not despair, but prioritize getting the help you need. Use study sessions, the MRC, the textbook, help from friends, or other resources to catch up if you notice yourself falling behind.

Do not rely on extra credit to help your grade. There are no extra credit assignments.

Plan your term wisely, and budget your time carefully. Keep aware of deadlines. Know when you will have quizzes, midterms, and the final exam. If you are in the wrong class, change by the end of the second week. If you wish to change your grading option, do so by the end of the eighth week.

Attend classes. You are paying for an education; if you choose not to show up that's your business, but it's about as smart as ordering a pizza to go and then never picking it up.

Keep in touch when absent. To help build a useful real-life habit please treat the class like a job, and keep in touch with your instructor as you should with a boss.

Be aware of your dominant learning styles. Ask for instruction that fits how you learn. For example, if you are primarily an auditory learner then after the instructor demonstrates something it might help to ask if he or she can explain it out loud a second way. If you are a visual learner, read about the topic thoroughly before we discuss it in class.

Write neatly and organize your written work. For every problem, show at least one step or write an explanatory comment. Developing your ability to communicate mathematically in writing is incredibly important for future success in math classes.

Be polite. Be helpful to classmates who do not "get" something you understand. Talking during class time should be at most a quick and quiet whisper to help a confused neighbor (but it usually would be better if the neighbor asked a question!). Wait to pack up your materials until the class is dismissed. Keep all your papers. No phones or headphones during any kind of test.

Allow the class to challenge you. Achieve your potential. Be pleasantly surprised by the height of your accomplishments.

Academic Integrity

We do the kinds of real math that help with life decisions. This class is an opportunity to learn. It has been made as engaging, genuine, and fun as possible. It will be more than worth your time.

You will leave this class with more skill and job opportunities than most people for issues such as managing money, making informed plans, understanding health issues, teaching your kids, and recognizing when someone is lying with statistics. That is good stuff! It is the sort of "advanced adulting" that helps people manage a household and be secure in retirement.

Please do not treat this class as a to-do list of chores to grudgingly finish, or a series of tricky obstacles to navigate past. Those mindsets will cripple your learning, ruin your fun, and might even prompt you to consider cheating.

You should strive to end this class with positive momentum. Yes, real life issues might unavoidably drag you down. But the class itself—the teaching, assignments, website, textbook, and achievements—has everything carefully structured so you depart with power and a barbaric yawp. The coming Summer will also be interesting times. Be assured you can be extra ready for your next math class, extra qualified for a job with what is in your brain and on a letter of recommendation, and extra happy with understanding yourself more deeply as a successful learner.

I cannot promise that the degrees and credits earned in 2020 will not be somewhat suspect in the eyes of employers. Everyone knows that academic work done online is easier to do half-heartedly or to fake. I can only say that you will leave this class able to demonstrate your own ability: to me at the end of the term, and to other people in the future.

We work together. My work is to make many things possible. Your work is to claim them.

Instructor Responsibilities

I stop and ask for questions. After doing any problem on the board I stop and ask if anyone has questions. I may even call on students, especially if a few students are dominating the discussion while others are not participating at all.

I am aware of student learning styles. I help visual learners by including some of my spoken commentary on the board (or all of it if requested). I help auditory learners by providing videos. I help kinesthetic by providing time for group work in class and also including a few games and hands-on projects each term.

I have organized class times. Each class starts by summarizing what we will be doing that day. During class times I almost always work each problem freshly (instead of display step-by-step answers written in advance). This slows me down to note-taking speed and demonstrates that success in math is about understanding concepts rather than perfection in mental arithmetic.

I do short-term review each class. For the sake of smooth continuity, each class should start with some review of the previous class. In case the questions from students do not cover the "core" of what was covered during the previous class, I will have ready a problem from the material that does this.

I help students network with each other. Students who wish may give me permission to share their name and/or e-mail or phone number with classmates so I can help students form study groups or share notes. I can also post student notes in one of the departmental glass-fronted display cases if you want to share your notes with the world.

I provide practice exams and time in class to partly go over them together. This is the most efficient way I know to do long-term review as a group. Although students are responsible for asking questions, I sometimes help by providing obvious choices of what to ask questions about.

I plan unscheduled hours. The term includes a couple days during which no new material will be presented. These are initially scheduled during the last week of class time as review days. During the term, if it becomes apparent we need to spend extra time on a topic, I will move one of the "extra" days to avoid rushing through material.

I welcome ideas from students. Sometimes it is appropriate to take a tangent from the lecture to pursue a student's "what if?" type of idea. I also welcome comments about how the curriculum or my teaching can be improved.

I have consistent expectations for "good" answers to math problems. My standards are the same for problems I do at the board, homework solutions, and answers on quizzes and tests.

I am prohibited by College policy from sharing grade information by phone or e-mail.

Stories To Ask Me About

I have lots of silly and inspiring stories from my years of teaching. Here are a few to ask me about:


Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

- Jim Horning

Select your code name:

This class uses achievements instead of a gradebook.

The list of achievements looks very long. Well, it is very long! But you will start checking off stars quickly. Your progress is easy to see. Requirements are clear.

Achievements are more than grades. Grades only sort students. Achievements show everything that the math department and the instructor value and celebrate.

The achievements are organized into eleven categories, corresponding to how the welcome page describes Being a Mather and the five steps of How Real Math Works.

shields that mark Math 20 and Math 25 The same achievement list is used for LCC students taking Math 20 and Math 25. You should ignore the achievements whose star is marked with an icon for the other class. You are not responsible for those achievements. The achievements that do have the icon with you class are sets of ten exercises for which a score at least 8 out of 10 "finishes" the assignment.

Unfortunately, every term has students who could have easily earned a higher overall grade by turning in or improving homework assignments that would only take a few hours. That is very sad! Please do not let your grade suffer due to procrastination or over-scheduling.

What should lettter grades mean?

Earning a D should show that you are capable with a handful of skills. You can follow procedures and mimic example problems. With the right support, you can deeply understand math issues. Your math foundation does not yet have breadth that assures success in your next math class or in improving your career potential. So you are not yet prepared to move on, but are learning. Your progress is commendable and should be acknowledged!

Earning a C should show that you can use most of the skills, and can deeply understand math issues. You are prepared to move on. You can expect what you learned to be a little helpful in your next math class or in a career. Earning a C is a quite respectable grade for a student whose is still adjusting to college life and resources, or is too busy with real-life issues for excellent studying.

Earning a B should show that you are proficient in almost all skills, do deeply understand most concepts, and you can discuss other people's math. You are noticeably above average. Future teachers and employers look forward to this type of person.

Earning a A should show that you are proficient in nearly all skills and concepts, and beyond discussing other people's math can also create and present math topics in an original and practical way.

Hopefully these achievements fulfill those expectations for meaningful letter grades. I may reduce the number of achievments required for a letter grade if my start-of-term estimation proves overly ambitious.

I believe Robert Talbert first had the idea to use + and − to measure student engagement. That is more meaningful to future employers and teachers.

Participate in Discussion

Voting Present

ask a question during class

These Go to Eleven

ask eleven questions during classes

Anyone? Anyone?

do a problem on the board during class

Problem Solving Machine

do another problem on the board during class

Happy Hour

participate in an office hour study session

Dynamic Duo

work on a playground with someone else

Math Flicks

watch a math video with a classmate, then talk about it together

Field Photographer

turn in photos of three study groups or study sessions that you attended

Devour Math

Fact Full

summarize the first chapter of Factfulness

Jack of All Trades

do the business reaction book report

Five Minutes of Fame

do an extra business reaction book report

There's an App for That

share what you learned about an app or podcast from the classroom library

Explore Mathematics

Backyard Retreat

share what you did with one playground

Play Structures

share what you did with another playground

Kept Going

share what you did with a third playground

Cocktail Party

share personal learning about some geometry, algebra, number theory, topology, or business math

Analyze Real-Life Issues

A Math Problem Appears

And That's The Way It Is

find an example of our math topics in online news

More Details Just Arrived

find an example of our math topics in a magazine or journal

Really Useful Engine

work with a classmate who asks for help with a homework problem

Road Not Taken

work with a stranger on a math problem

Translating Real Life to Paper

Re Mi Do Do So

finish the ten exercises for Patterns

Nom Nom Nom

finish the ten exercises for Calories

The Doctor is In

finish the ten exercises for Metabolism

Culinary Completionist

finish the ten exercises for Food Preparation

You Are All Individuals

finish the ten exercises for Typicality

Why Be Normal?

finish the ten exercises for Bell Curves

Hit The Book Value

finish the ten exercises for Mortgages

Got My Mind On My Money

finish the ten exercises for Saving for Retirement

Peddle to the Medal

finish the ten exercises for Margin & Markup and Pricing

Step 4: Profit

Free achievement!
Pricing HW already done!

Going To Need A Bigger Bag

finish the ten exercises for Charge Options

Dice of Many Faces

finish the ten exercises for Likelihood

Move Numbers on Paper

Handwriting Analysis

for one set of ten exercises show all 16 characteristics of well-written problems

Side by Side

for another set of ten exercises show all 16 characteristics of well-written problems

Well Lit

for a third set of ten exercises show all 16 characteristics of well-written problems

The Write Stuff

for a fourth set of ten exercises show all 16 characteristics of well-written problems

Evaluate the Answer

Round Enough?

finish the ten exercises for Shapeshifting Rounding

No Trouble for Me

finish the ten exercises for Shapeshifting Fraction Format


finish the ten exercises for Shapeshifting Percent Format

Bushel and a Peck

finish the ten exercises for Shapeshifting Measurement Units


finish the ten exercises for Mad Science Fractions

This Much of That Much

finish the ten exercises for Mad Science Percentages

Order of Magnitude

finish the ten exercises for Mad Science Measurement


finish the ten exercises for Justice Fractions

Small Yet Mighty

finish the ten exercises for Justice Percentages

Slugs per Barn-Yard

finish the ten exercises for Justice Measurement

Communicate with Others

Brazil Thinks You're Cute

teach a friend about one of our math topics


teach a friend about non-class math topics

To Battle!

for one set of ten exercises explain one problem during class

Second Down

for another set of ten exercises explain one problem during class

Three Shall be the Number

for a third of ten exercises explain one problem during class

Connect Four

for a fourth set of ten exercises explain one problem during class

Law of Fives

for a fifth set of ten exercises explain one problem during class

Six Pack

for a sixth set of ten exercises explain one problem during class


for an seventh set of ten exercises explain one problem during class

Corner Pocket

for an eighth set of ten exercises explain one problem during class

Use Resources


find a new online video explaining our math topics

Onward and Upward

work with a tutor (perhaps at the MRC)

Someone's Got My Back

work with CAR or TRiO

Habit Builder

work with an Early Outreach Specialist to develop a success strategy plan

Swiss Army Knife

for two math topics turn in a page of notes with all 8 characteristics of well-written notes


report on becoming more capable at getting help when it is needed

Got Your Hens in a Row

teach another student some study skills

Friend Indeed

teach another student some hidden curriculum

Taking a Test

Ludicrous Speed

finish the multiplication speed quiz in time


finish the representational fluency quiz quickly

Travel My Way

earn 66% or more on the no calculator quiz

I am so smart! S-M-R-T!

earn 70% or more on any test

Now I Am the Master

earn 70% or more on any overview for your class

Safety Dance

earn 70% or more on all three overviews for your class

Perfect Ten

earn a perfect score on any test

I Can't Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I Am

earn a perfect score on any overview

Time Management

Not in Kansas Any More

turn in the start of term reflection


share something you learned from the Dr. Chew study skills videos

The Danger Zone

turn in five homework assignments on time

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

after a practice test turn in a study schedule and plan


schedule when you will take five practice tests

Actively Healthy

attend 14 or more classes

Letter Grade Requirements

Making Connections

earn half the stars for each achievement category

earn a letter grade of D

Middle Value

earn 10 more stars beyond half for each achievement category, and 65% on our overview

earn a letter grade of C

This Isn't Even My Final Form

earn 19 more stars beyond half for each achievement category, and 75% on our overview

earn a letter grade of B

An Awfully Big Adventure

earn 25 more stars beyond half for each achievement category, and 85% on our overview

earn a letter grade of A

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

earn every star in three achievement categories

your letter grade gets +

Better Late Than Never

turn in four late homeworks
(and don't earn a +)

your letter grade gets −