**Beckmann’s
section of EMAT 9700 **

**Observing
Mathematics Content Courses for **

**Prospective
Elementary or Middle Grades Teachers**

**At
the University of Georgia **

**Instructor**: Sybilla Beckmann, Department of Mathematics,
University of Georgia, e-mail: sybilla at
math dot uga dot edu

**Course goals **: The goal of this course is to help prepare you for
the eventual teaching of a course similar to the one you are observing and to
help you think about the mathematical preparation of teachers in general.

**Who should take this course **: This course is intended for mathematics and
mathematics education graduate students who would like to become prepared to
teach mathematics content courses for prospective elementary and middle grades
teachers. Math graduate students in the VIGRE MEFT (Mathematicians
Educating Future Teachers) program take this course in their first semester of
MEFT. Math graduate students may use this course towards obtaining the Certificate
in Mathematics Education through the Department of Mathematics and Science
Education.

**Course description and
requirements for Fall 2009**:

1) Attend all the class meetings of MATH
5030, a geometry course for prospective middle grades teachers (who will be
certified to teach grades 4 – 8), MWF 12:20 – 1:10 pm, room 221 Boyd Graduate
Studies Building. (You may skip hour-test days; see below for the assignment
during test days). Take an occasional look at the MATH 5030 course webpage
at to see the course assignments.
If you can borrow or buy a copy of the MATH 5030 text, this will help you
follow the course, but the textbook is not required. There are no additional
meetings for this section of EMAT 9700, however I’m planning to have some
informal get-togethers!

2) On WebCT, post a weekly summary of what
you observed in class. Write these summaries as a resource to use if you
eventually teach this course or a similar course. One good idea that Kelly
Edenfield came up with last semester was to embed comments and thoughts within
a factual summary of what she observed. She used a different font to
distinguish the narrative of what was done in class from her own questions or
thoughts. Feel free to experiment and come up with a format and writing style
that you find useful. Your writing does not have to be formal. For example,
bullet points with sentence fragments are perfectly acceptable (as long as
you’ll be able to decipher them in the future!).

3) On WebCT, post weekly a discussion item
for all students in EMAT 9700 who are observing the same course to read and
respond to if they wish. To post a discussion item, click on
"Communication Tools" and then "Discussions."

What should you write about in your postings?
Comment on anything that captures your interest or that stands out to you or
anything that you’d like to hear your classmate’s opinions on. I encourage you
to write freely, informally, and off the cuff -- your thoughts don't have to be
fully formed; use writing as a way to help you (and others) think. Observe the
course with an eye toward teaching such a course in the future. Consider a
variety of aspects of the course such as the nature of discussions and
interactions in class and the mathematical learning opportunities that the
class activities and homework problems provide. Think about the course content
and how it is related to the mathematics the prospective teachers will eventually
teach. Take a look at state and national mathematics standards for school
children (see the course website for links). Do be critical -- I'm not
expecting you to think that everything done in class is great. Consider other
ways the material, activities, or classroom discussions could be handled.

4) On WebCT, respond to at least one
discussion item posting per week.

5) On test/quiz days read something that is
relevant to teacher education. Here are some suggested Readings, but you are welcome to find
other resources as well. Post a summary or comments on what you read in either
your weekly summary or in a discussion item (or both).

6) This semester, the following is optional
for EMAT 9700 but required for MEFT participants: At least once during the
semester EITHER visit a math class at an elementary or middle school (Barrow
Elementary School and Clarke Middle School are nearby; information on visiting
to be provided soon) OR view several videos of children working on math (I hope
to post some of these on WebCT if possible) OR work on math with an elementary
or middle school child. Feel free to do more than one of these options if you'd
like to and have the time!