Agnes, Teacher (Scribe in the House of Life)

First Assignment & Letter to My Students
    © January 2019, A. Azzolino

Dear Student,

    Hi. This letter serves 3 purposes:
1. It introduces me to you.
2. It states the policies of my classes.
3. It is part of your first homework assignment, to digitally write a letter introducing you to me.

    Before I introduce myself, here are two policies that take effect immediately.

  • Bathroom Policy: USE THE RESTROOM BEFORE CLASS. If you must leave class to use the restroom, DO NOT COME BACK TO CLASS THAT DAY.
  • Electronics Policy: No cell phones, laptops, ..., are to be VISIBLE or IN USE on tests, during class, in the classroom unless you are directed to use it at that time. If I see it, you will be asked to leave class for the rest of the period. If your phone rings, LET IT RING. DO NOT TOUCH IT. DO NOT ANSWER IT.
  • If you buy/rent an e-book, you will be able to use your e-book during class/tests/quizzes/assignments AS DIRECTED BY THE INSTRUCTOR. YOU WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO USE AN ELECTRONIC DEVISE WHEN YOU ARE TOLD TO DO SO BY THE PROF.
  • DO NOT!!!! unwrap your book or disk unless you attend class and hear what the prof has to say.

    This means, put your cell phone away and do not use it or permit it to be visible.

    If you need to use the restroom, use it now. You will not be permitted to do so later unless you leave the class for the rest of the day.

A Bit About Me

    I am the mother of a 39-year-old tug boat captain and company president, a landlord who lives on the bay in Keyport, and the webmaster of, and I go by "asquared," "agnes," or "Professor Azzolino." I have been a teacher, tutor, day-care center "math lady," stage manager, grip, waitress, deck hand, captain, author and company president.

    I am the recipient of an AMATYC 1997 Award for Teaching Excellence and a MATYCNJ 1999 Outstanding Service Award, and the AMTNJ 2017 Max Sobel Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership in Mathematics Education, was twice president of MATYCNJ and once president of AMTNJ. A full time two-year college teacher, I created the Graphing with Manipulatives line of products. My publications include: Math Games for the Young Child, How to Use Writing to Teach Mathematics, Math Spoken Here!, Exploring Functions through the Use of Manipulatives, Term Tiles and NCTM's classic Mathematics and Humor. I am a Life Member of NCTM and AMATYC and an Honorary Life Member of AMTNJ. I really enjoy being webmaster of,, and my college website named I enjoy stringing beads. Most of all I love being the mother of tugboat captain and company president Michael Vinik and the grandmother of his son Nicholas Charles Vinik.

    I welcome you to ask questions in class and REQUIRE you to quietly discuss a math problem with other students once you complete the problem in class. If you wish to discuss how you feel in class, phone or email me, or stop by my office. I also welcome you to come to my office, even if you just want company doing homework.

math home

    Contact me by office phone at 732-548-6000 x 3952 or home phone at 732-739-3951. See me in my office in Main Hall room 183. Email me at or at home by using the message box at or the link at the button at the left.

    The pace of the course is determined by the math department's course outline. It is your responsibility to learn the material. It is my responsibility to make the learning process as productive as possible. Ask questions. If you wish me to slow down, restate what I've just said, write it in symbols, write it in words, explain it in a different way, STOP ME and ask if I would do what you wish! I do have some flexibility in how the material is presented.

    I enjoy teaching and try to make learning fun. Each semester, I try to make the course and my teaching better. In addition to the usual quizzes and tests, I write the web pages, connect-the-dots, yes, connect-the-dots, and games and tools we use. I wrote this page and the form on which you submit your letter. Yes, it asks a lot of questions, but, the old letter didn't give me all the information I felt I needed, so, I wrote a new one and included everything I could think of which might help me do a better job of teaching. I'm also not happy with the current MAT090, and the letter's info will help me improve that weekly hour. Please be as complete with the letter as possible.

Required Stuff:

    The prof will be using the book listed below.
    Go to the MCC bookstore to get a special deal on the e-book.
    Text: Algebra and Trigonometry: Real Mathematics, Real People , 7th Edition
    Author: Larson Publisher: Cengage Learning
    Required Supplies: TI 84; TI 83Plus, or TI Inspire
    More Classroom Policies
  • Be in the classroom before class begins and remain the entire class period. If you must leave, do not come back.
  • Be in the classroom on time because quizzes usually start at the beginning of class. If you are late, there is no make-up quiz.
  • If it is necessary that you leave during class, pick up your stuff and walk out the door as quietly as possible, but, do not return.
  • Do not speak even quietly while I am speaking. Speak, discuss the math while I am not speaking.
  • If you miss a class, check the course outline to determine what work you must do, read the material in the text, do the homework.
  • Spend 1.5-2 hours in class for lecture and completing problems. For EACH hour of class, spend TWO hours doing homework. Homework is not collected unless you are told it will be collected in an earlier class.
  • Read the day's textbook sections. Complete the ODD exercises. Review class notes posted through your class web page linked through so that you are prepared for a quiz when the next class begins.
  • Do not place a backpace or purse on desk.
  • Keep tract of your grades. Raw test and monthly quiz grades are posted on Canvas as soon as they are available. This prof will not discuss them unless in an office hour.
    Testing Issues:
  • Tests are like job interviews made months in advance: Treat them as such. Don't miss a test. I DON'T GIVE MAKE UP TESTS. If you miss the final exam, you can not pass the course.
  • There are no make-up tests or assignments -- not for a court appearance, not for a doctor's appointment, not for an accident, ...
  • During a test or quiz. keep hands and arms on or above desk, NOT in your lap or below desk.
  • Do not share a calculator with another student, not even when one student has completed the test and another student wishes to borrow the calculator. It is considered cheating.
  • Hands are to remain on the desk during a test or quiz. Do not put your hand or hands on your lap or in your pocket.
  • Neatly PRINT your first name, last name, and class color on each page of all tests/quizzes as soon as you get the paper.
  • Do not put work on the back of a test unless you put a note on the front of the test, by that specific problem, telling the prof where to look on the back of the test.
  • At the time class begin on the day of each test, a graded cheat/review sheet must be turned in, and is NOT used on the test. Writing it will help you study and will improve your quiz grade. The cheat sheet is a summary of the material covered on the test organized in a section-by-section format.
        Your cheat sheets may be needed for the final exam. They will not be used for tests except for a 20-point quiz grade. The cheat sheet is to be organized by sections as listed in the course outline.
  • All assignments are to be handed in at the start of class.
  • There is no such thing as a late assignment. If late (not turned in the instant class begins), the assignment will not be graded.
  • For EACH hour of class, spend TWO hours doing homework. The daily homework assignment is to read and review the assisgned section in the book stated on the course outline, to complete the odd numbered problems, and to prepare as needed so that when you enter the next class you are prepared to ace a quiz on the material from the last class and the homework.
  • DO NOT work with another student on a test or assignment unless you are told to do so. If two students hand in the same work, they are assumed to be cheating and graded according to the Grading Policy.
    Project Connections:
  • If you are a student with a learning disability and wish an accommodations or adaptive testing, please contact Project Connections, 732-906-2507, located in Johnson Learning Center, and provide me with the appropriate paperwork.
    School Closing & Security
  • If you have any questions or safety concerns, call the MCC Police Department at extension 2500 or call 911.
  • To find out if school is closed use the weather phone number: 732-906-2555 or go to the college website.
  • Class Cancellation:     If you miss class or the class is cancelled, review the material on your own.
    Enrollment in this Course:
  • Only students enrolled in this section and listed on the "Tenth Day Roster" are permitted to attend class and to complete graded assignments. Re-admission to this section requires official registration.
  • If you decide not to continue in the course, OFFICIALLY drop the course so you do not earn an F by not completing the course.
Through this page, write a short letter to introduce yourself to me.
    You have a week. The letter must be submitted before the start of class a week from the first day of class.
1. What's your class color:   blue   green   yellow
2.&3. What's your first name?     last name?        
4. What name or nickname do you wish used in class?    
5. What's an email address that you check often?    
6. State the month and year you last attended high school.
   (Leave it blank if you never attended high school.) 
7. State the month and year you last attended college.
   (Leave it blank if you never attended college.) 
8.&9. What was the name of your last math course?    What grade did you get? 
10. On a scale from 0 (low) to 10 (high), how good are you at math?    
11.&12. How many courses are you taking now?       How many credits?    
13. How many hours a week do you work?    
14. How many hours a week do you work at home or with family?    
15. What is your college major?    
16. What are your career plans?
17. Please tell me something about you that is not discussed here.
18. Please check all that apply.     TO LEARN SOMETHING:
I read the book before I go to class.
I read the book and then do problems from the book.
I hear it once and know it.
I watch a video on the internet.
I listen to the teacher go over a problem, then practice at home.
I listen to the teacher go over a problem, then practice with my tutor
I pay attention in class although I usually don't get it until I try my homework and go for extra help. -- Debbie Gibilisco
I store it until I understand it. Memorize it if I still don't understand it. -- Gashta
I do it over and over again. I usually have to look back at my notes and then find other problems in the book to do. -- Danielle Wood
I work on particular problems I have trouble with. -- Tanya Roland.
I ask questions in class. -- Tanya Roland.
I retake quizzes and study. -- Josephine Baez
I go over an new topic several times. -- Leon Zielinski
I take my time, learn it slowly step by step. -- Michael Kohut
I consistenly do my homework. -- Margaret Furio
I go to an office hours for extra help. -- Margaret Furio
I work in the group. -- Edmarie Carrero
I practice and do my homework. -- Erica Ruchlin
I review everything I learned in class at home every night. -- Marta Felix
I do it over and over again after class. -- Chi-Chi
I go over it with other people. It still takes me time to understand something new. -- Melissa Morales
I learn one thing at a time. ... at a slow, repetative, individual problem rate. -- Joe Ronzo
By repetition. -- Renee Donlon
By actually having the instructions in front of me. -- Erin Baliya
By either being shown it or memorize it or by teaching myself. -- Michael Watlans
By seeing a picture of the problem before doing work on it.
19. What would you like to see or do in the MAT090 course each week?
20. What is important for me to know about you to make your semester more successful? What did I forget to ask? How can I help the most?

    Have a good semester.   [MC,i. Home] © 1/2019, Agnes Azzolino