Syllabus for Math 320
Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers
Meeting Time: MWF† 8:30-9:20
Room: Cardwell Hall 130
Instructor: Jason Rosenhouse
Office: Cardwell Hall 46A (in the basement)
Office Hours: M: 3:00-4:00, W: 3:00-4:00, Th: 3:00-4:00, or by appointment.
Office E-Mail: email@example.com
Textbook:† Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers: A Contemporary Approach, Fifth Edition, by Gary L. Musser, William F. Burger and Blake Peterson
Course Objectives:† Possessing elementary school certification in mathematics in the state of Kansas means that you can be called upon to teach any level of mathematics from first through eighth grade.† This is a large amount of mathematical material, covering everything from basic arithmetic to algebra and basic geometry.† The primary purpose of this course is to give you the mathematical understanding you will need to teach this material.† The specific course topics have been chosen to enable you to meet the state guidelines as described in the Kansas Teacher Licensure Standards.
But learning specific mathematical skills is only one small part of this course.† Far more important is learning how a mathematician approaches a problem.† The bulk of the course will emphasize logic and reasoning rather than the rote memorization of algorithms.† This aspect is, all too often, lost in traditional classroom presentations of mathematics.† The result is the popular misconception that mathematics is largely separate from the world at large.† After all, the amount of numerical computation you are called upon to do in your day-to-day life is rather small.† But the reasoning skills you learn in the process of doing mathematics will serve you well in all aspects of life.
Course Requirements:† Your grade in this course will be based on several factors.† Homework will be assigned every other class period and will be collected two class periods after it is assigned.† Thus, if an assignment is given on a Monday, it will be collected on Friday.† If it is assigned on Wednesday, it will be collected the following Monday.† There will also be two in-class exams during the term, plus a final exam.† It is likely that there will be some quizzes along the way, but I will never give a pop quiz.† There will also be several writing assignments.† In addition, classroom participation will be taken into account as well.
Studying Groups:† Most students find it helpful to study with other class members, and I strongly encourage you to do this.† You are free to work together on homework assignments, but in the end everyone must hand in his own paper.†
Attendance:† This class moves very quickly, so missing even one day will entail having to catch up on a substantial amount of material.† Take this into consideration if you are considering cutting a particular class period.† Generally, I donít take attendance in a formal way.† But I will certainly be aware if you miss a substantial number of class periods and, since class participation is an important feature of the class, it will adversely affect your grade.
Textbook Reading:† At the end of each class period I will tell you the portions of the textbook we will be covering in the next class.† It is expected that you will read the text before coming to class.† Even if you find the reading difficult you will be in a much better position to understand the material in class if you have already seen it once before.† Keep in mind that reading mathematics is different from reading normal literature.† Thus, even if the reading assignment is only a few pages long, you might find that it takes you a substantial amount of time to get through it.† Keep that in mind when you are budgeting your time.
Final Thoughts:† If you have any special needs, and medical conditions, etc. that will in any way affect your performance in my class, let me know as soon as possible.† Also, if for some reason you will have to be absent for an extended period of time, again, let me know as soon as possible.† Donít be bashful about coming to office hours during the term, or talking to me after class.† Ultimately, everything I do at the front of the room is done for your benefit, so it is important to me that I have your feedback along the way.