Mathematics Education 377

Mathematics Teaching and the Classroom

Fall 2010


Meeting Time:                     MWF 8-9:50                                                      Classroom:                                  TMCB 197

Professor:                                    Dr. Blake Peterson                                   

Office:                                               TMCB 193B                                                      Office Phone:                        422-7784 Office Hours:                         MWF 11:00-11:50                                    email:

      and by appointment


Philosophy of Course: In becoming a teacher, there are three main pieces of knowledge that must be gained: content knowledge (mathematics), pedagogical knowledge (voice, posture, classroom management, cooperative learning, etc.), and pedagogical content knowledge (take the mathematics that you know and design pedagogical tasks that lead students to that same mathematical understanding). You have had courses in pedagogy and mathematics. The purpose of this course is to deepen your pedagogical content knowledge. In particular, learn how to look at the mathematics that is being taught from the perspective of the learner so that tasks are sequenced in a way that is logical to the learner, a challenge to the learner and yet attainable.


Course Description: The majority of the time spent in class will be students watching students present mini-lessons. It is important that every student approach this task as a valuable learning experience. There is a tendency in this situation to think, “I already know the mathematics that they are teaching so what do I have to learn.” However, knowing mathematics for your own use is very different than knowing mathematics to teach it. As a result, each class session should be approached with questions like: “If I were teaching this, what would I do?”, “What is the big mathematical idea here?” and “If I were a student in this class, could I see that big mathematical idea?” etc.


For details about the class schedule go to the class website at and click on the Schedule


Text:        Mathematics Curriculum Packet distributed in class.

                        Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making published by NCTM



                                                            Daily Lesson Plans                                                                                   4 @ 5%                      20%

                                                            Lessons Taught

(Prep, Lesson Plan, Reflection)                     2 @ 8.5%                17%

                                                            Observation write-ups                                                                                                6 @ 3%                      18%

                                                            Research Lessons and

 Individual Reflections                                                2 @ 10%                  20%

                                                            Final Exam                                                                                                                                                           15%

                                                            Misc Other Homework                                                                                                                      10%



NOTE: It is possible that other assignments may be given during the course of the semester. In that case, the above percentages may be adjusted but will remain with the same approximate proportions.



Attendance: Because of the nature of this course, attendance is EXTREMELY important. This course should be viewed as the beginning of your student teaching which, in turn, should be thought of as a full time job. Except for extreme sickness or other family emergencies, it is expected that you will be in attendance every day of the class. If such emergencies arise, please contact Dr. Peterson immediately. If class is missed, 2% will be deducted from your grade for each class session missed. This can be made up by observing an approved (see Dr. Peterson) teacher in the public schools for the same amount of time that you have missed class. You will be required to write a one-page detailed description and analysis of what you observed. All absences must be made up within two weeks of the absence. Everyone will have one free absence that does not need to be made up.