Math 130, Lecture 003, Spring 2013

(Please view the assignments on Learn@UW)

 

Instructor’s Information

Instructor: Meng-Che “Turbo” Ho

Office: Van Vleck 422

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Wednesday 2:20 pm – 3:20 pm, or by appointment

E-mail: mho3 (at) wisc.edu

 

Course Information

Lecture Room: Van Vleck B211

Prerequisites: Math 101 or an equivalent course, or exemption based on placement test score.

Goals: Math 130 is the first of a 13x course sequence focusing on the mathematics needed for teaching in elementary and middle school. Math 130 focuses on numbers and operations. This is a mathematics course, not course in methods of teaching. The main goal of this course is to deepen your understanding of the mathematics taught in contemporary elementary/middle schools. By this we mean that you should know not just how to calculate with whole numbers and fractions, use geometric formulas, and solve standard word problems; you should also learn why the computational algorithms work, when to use each operation or formula, and whether alternative solution methods might also be correct. In this course you will also study (i) how to represent concepts and procedures in ways that help children make sense of mathematics, (ii) what concepts and procedures elementary/middle school students might find difficult and what errors they are likely to make, (iii) how topics in the mathematics curriculum are related to each other, and (iv) how to begin to create appropriate word problems for different mathematical concepts.

Text:

Elementary Mathematics for Teachers, by Thomas H. Parker and Scott Baldridge

Primary Mathematics Textbooks (U.S. Edition of Materials from Singapore) - Primary Mathematics 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and Workbook 5A

Activity Manual for Mathematics for Elementary Teachers (3rd edition), by Sybilla Beckmann

It is hoped that all these materials will also be useful after you begin your teaching career. We will study all of Parker/Baldridge textbook.

 

Grading Policy

35% - Homework

30% - 2 Midterm Exams (15% each)

35% - Final Exam (cumulative)

The grading scale will be set up based on the difficulties of exams and homework. All grades are based on how well each student learns the material, not upon comparisons with other students, so grades are not competitive.

 

Exams

Midterm Exams: 2/26(T) and 4/9(T) (in-class)

Final Exam: 5/15 7:25 pm – 9:25 pm, location TBA

No Calculator is allowed in the exams.

In most cases, absence from an exam will result in a grade of 0 points, and no make-up options are available. However, if a student is ill (and has a written note from the attending nurse or physician) or on official university business (e.g. participating in a sanctioned club or sport), alternate arrangements may be possible. In these cases, please consult the instructor at least two weeks before exams.

 

Homework

Homework and grades will be posted on Learn@UW shortly after each discussion. You can also find the Homework assignments at this page.

Much of mathematics is learned through solving problems, and confidence is gained through mastery of the material. Most assignments will consist of reading one or more sections in the Parker/Baldridge book and doing most or all of the problems at the end of the assigned section. In this course, we will have a total of 12 graded homework. Homework will be due on each Tuesday, at the beginning of class, and for the Tuesday after two midterm exams, there will be no homework due. No late homework will be accepted.

You are highly encouraged to work with your instructor and other students to understand the course material. However, we expect that after conferring with others, you will write up your own responses individually and independently of others. DO NOT copy answers to homework problems from others.

You should plan on spending about 2 hours of homework for each class meeting. As in most mathematics classes, the materials progressively builds upon itself. If you do not understand a particular topic, ask questions in class or in office hours.

 

Other Expectations:

Classes will be a mix of lecture, problem solving done individually and in small groups, and whole class discussion. You should bring the Parker/Baldridge book to class everytime. You are expected to take notes, to participate in class activities, and to ask questions about what you do not understand.

Calculators will not be allowed on any exams. A successful elementary/middle school teacher should be confident and comfortable solving numerical problems mentally and on paper. One of the goals of this course is to improve your confidence and ability to do so.

Occasionally class time is wasted due to the behavior of people who are not respectful of others. Please refrain from the following disruptive actions: Coming late to class or leaving class early; Reading newspapers or other material not related to the course in class; Using objects, e.g. watches, cell phones, that beep or ring in class; Having private conversations or text messaging during class time.

 

Policy on Academic Honesty:

The principles of truth and honesty are fundamental to the educational process and the academic integrity; therefore, no student shall:

l   Claim or submit the academic work of another as one's own.

l   Procure, provide, accept or use any materials containing questions or answers to any examination or assignment without proper authorization.

l   Complete or attempt to complete any assignment or examination for another individual without proper authorization.

l   Allow any examination or assignment to be completed for oneself, in part or in total, by another without proper authorization.

l   Alter, tamper with, appropriate, destroy or otherwise interfere with the research, resources, or other academic work of another person.

l   Fabricate or falsify data or results.

If any instance of academic dishonesty is discovered by an instructor, it is his or her responsibility to take appropriate action. Depending on his or her judgment of the particular case, he or she may give a failing grade to the student on the assignment or for the course.

 

Some advises about how to do well in this class

l   Study hard!

l   Take notes during the classes, and review them after classes.

l   Ask questions immediately if something is unclear for you during the class.

l   Read the textbook and do the homework as well as other problems in the textbook which is not assigned as homework.

l   Practice past exams as you go on.

l   Come to office hours if you have any questions.