MA 353 Course Description



Prerequisite: Admission to the methods phase of teacher education, MA150 and MA151 (passing both classes with a C or better)

Offered: Fall, Winter

Course Description:
A course designed to acquaint prospective elementary teachers with contemporary methods and materials employed in the teaching of mathematics in the elementary school. Field experiences are required.

MA353 is required of all education majors. It focuses on the methods and materials employed in the teaching of mathematics in the elementary school, grades K-8. A 10- to 12-hour field experience for each student is arranged with the local elementary schools.

The goal of MA353 is to prepare elementary education majors to be successful teachers of elementary school mathematics. The course is meant to help students see how the mathematical concepts and theory they learned in the prerequisite courses provide a foundation for the content taught in elementary school; and how the mathematics, together with teaching objectives and learning theories, suggest different instructional methodologies. Students who successfully complete MA353 will have an overview of the elementary mathematics curriculum and will be familiar with a variety of teaching methods. Moreover, they will learn enough about research in mathematics education, about the role of technology in teaching, and about controversial issues in teaching of mathematics to be knowledgeable and contributing members of the teacher profession.

Through the various readings, discussions, activities, and interactions with elementary school children, the students will begin to build a philosophical foundation for the teaching of elementary school mathematic.

Objectives of the Course:
The students will

  1. examine the changing emphasis of the curriculum as described in current and relevant publications such as the "Agenda for Action", and NCTM's "Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics" and "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics".
  2. learn to use manipulatives and models to help children develop mathematical concepts.
  3. understand the importance of problem solving as a focal point in the elementary school mathematics curriculum.
  4. learn to use an active, hands-on approach in the teaching of geometry and measurement.
  5. utilize mental computation and estimation.
  6. identify the role of calculators and computers in the teaching of elementary school mathematics and use them in their own learning.
  7. become aware of the need to involve children in the higher order thinking skills.
  8. examine and participate in the different modes of instruction.
  9. realize the characteristics of a spiraled curriculum.
  10. identify teaching techniques that are appropriate for elementary school mathematics and justify these choices using learning theory and research.
  11. develop a repertoire of examples, models, activities, and games for teaching elementary school mathematics.
  12. learn a strategy approach to teaching basic facts.
  13. become aware of the need for professional involvement beyond the classroom.
  14. implement many of the above objectives through field experiences.

Course Content Outline:

  1. Number Readiness
  2. Elementary Number Concepts
  3. Addition and Subtraction
  4. Multiplication and Division
  5. Grouping and Place Value
  6. Algorithms
  7. Number Theory
  8. Fractions and Ratios
  9. Decimals and Percents
  10. Geometry
  11. Measurement
  12. Statistics and Probability
  13. Problem Solving