**BeckmannÕs 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. Email Sybilla Beckmann

**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 Spring 2011**:

1) Attend all
the class meetings of one of the following two courses:** **

- MATH
2002 MWF 1:25 – 2:15 pm in room 303 Boyd Graduate Studies, a
course on numbers, algebra, and statistics for elementary teachers, who
will be certified to teach grades PreK – 5
(this course is one of a 3-part sequence for elementary teachers, MATH 2001,
2002, 2003).

- MATH
5030 MWF 12:20 - 1:10 pm in room 304 of Boyd Graduate Studies. This is
a geometry course for middle grades teachers who will be certified to
teach grades 4 -- 8.

You may skip
hour-test days; see below for the assignment during test days. If you can
borrow or buy a copy of the text used in these courses, 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 IÕm hoping to have some informal
get-togethers! Also, take an occasional look at the webpage for the course you
are observing to see the course assignments and to find other relevant links.

2) On
E-Learning Commons, post a weekly summary of what you observed in class. To
post your weekly entry, look for ÒDiscussionsÓ in e-Learning Commons and then
look for the journal entry location for that week. Write these summaries as a
resource to use if you eventually teach this course or a similar course. Write
notes that will remind you what was done in the course. 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 youÕll be able to decipher them in the
future!).

3) On
E-Learning Commons, 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
these weekly discussion items, look for ÒDiscussionsÓ in e-Learning commons and
then look for the threaded discussion for the course you are observing
(ÒDiscussions about MATH 2002Ó or ÒDiscussions about MATH 5030Ó).

What should you
write about in your weekly postings? Comment on anything that captures your interest
or that stands out to you or anything that youÕd like to hear your classmateÕs
views 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 – was the way it was treated familiar to you or
not? How is it related to the mathematics the prospective teachers will
eventually teach? Take a look at state and national mathematics standards for school
children (see the website of the course you are observing for links). Consider
other ways the material, activities, or classroom discussions could be handled.

4) On
E-Learning Commons, respond to at least one discussion item posting per week.

5) On test/quiz
days read something from the reading list
and post a summary or comments on what you read in the discussions.

6) 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) OR view
several videos of children working on math (I have some available) 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!