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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some Personal Teaching News

This semester, in addition to my existing, full time job as a 7th and 8th grade math teacher in an independent school, I will be teaching two courses at our local university.
Crazy as it may seem, I feel that the university jobs give me a little equilibrium that I struggle to find when overly focussed on adolescents in a private school setting
The first university course is called: Concepts in Geometry, measurement and probability. It is geared towards teachers getting their supplementary credential, but lots of students take it to satisfy their final math requirement for a liberal studies major. I have taught this course many times over 9 years and rather enjoy it. I have been following a syllabus and course work given to me many years ago by my university mentors, but I am not so beholden to all the materials anymore. This course is offered through the Math department, though, which is a more conservative, traditional environment than the education department (where these courses were developed).
The second university course I will be teaching is a basic elementary math course for the teacher credentialing program. I am very excited by this course. First, I get to fully develop it, following certain loose guidelines. I substituted for this class last semester and found it very fulfilling to bring my years of experience and ideas to a whole new group of teachers (or soon to be teachers). I am also excited to be affiliated with the education department, where I feel my real vocation to be. I would love to see how I could parlay this connection into some sort of teaching position and student teacher supervision. 

But I digress. The course starts in two weeks. It meets once a week for three hours. This is the structure I am planning to use:

Math Warm Up
Problem Solving
Main Activity
Math Game

The guiding question for the semester will be:

How do we act and behave like mathematicians?

Class #1 January 25: History of Math and Math Education

Picture representing our feelings about math class
History of Math
Story of ONE
one anecdote from video you want to remember
Class #2  February 3:  What is mathematics and why do we study them?
Class #3  February 10:  Place value
Class #4  February 17: Addition
Class #5  February 24:  Subtraction
Class #6  March 3:  Multiplication
Class #7  March 10:  Multiplication/Memorization:
Class #8  March 17:  Division
Class #9  March 24: Fractions
Class #10  April 14:  Decimals and percents
Class #11  April 21: Basic Geometry: area, perimeter, angles, polygons
Class #12  April 28:  Statistics and Probability
Class # 13  May 5:  Measurement 
-units of measurement
-linear, area
-perimeter vs area

May 12 Final Exam

What do you think? What should I change?

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