Math 107 Math for Elementary School Teachers:  Real Numbers

TR 5:30-6:45pm           SBS D-121

Matt Jones                            email: 

Website: You will find the syllabus and course assignments on the website.        

Office:  NSM A-120             phone:  (310) 243-2410

Office Hours:        Tu.          4-5:20pm

                                Th.          3:30-5:20pm

Th.          8:20-9:10pm

                                And by appointment

Text and Materials:  Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers, Bassarear, Third Edition, Text and Explorations Volumes, and Manipulatives Kit.

Course Description:  This course is designed for you to learn the mathematics of teaching elementary school.  As you will see, it takes more than knowing the algorithms of arithmetic to be an effective elementary school teacher.  We will spend time learning to identify and evaluate the mathematical thinking processes of students as well as learning to understand the standard algorithms of arithmetic.

Goals:  Students will understand

  • how and why the algorithms of the four basic operations work
  • the significance of the decimal/base 10 number system and its relation to other bases
  • fractions and rational numbers
  • properties of numbers.

Expected Outcomes:  Students will be able to

  • use and explain at least two algorithms for each of the four operations
  • explain the base 10 number system and the importance of place value, be able to use base 10 manipulatives
  • order fractions and decimals, be able to convert between decimal, percent, and fractional representations
  • explain properties of numbers such as even and odd, prime and composite, use properties to find factorizations, and be able to construct arguments to establish other properties



You will be assessed in the following categories:

Homework             98            points

Log/Journal           100          points

Quizzes                  240          points

Exams                     320          points

Final                       242          points

Total                       1000        points

Homework is assigned every Tuesday and is due the following Tuesday.  If you cannot be in class, have someone turn your homework in for you or turn it in to my office on the day it is due.  Late homework is not accepted.  Full credit (7 points) is given if all work is completed and correct.  A score of 6 points is given to work that is complete but not all correct.  A score of 5 points or fewer indicates that not all the homework was done.

Log/Journal Prompts:  There are two parts:  your class participation log is a record of how you contributed to your group and to whole class discussions.  For each day that you are in class, you should write approximately 2 paragraphs summarizing your contributions.  Be specific, including any questions that you asked or were able to answer, any solutions you presented at the board, etc.  You earn 1 point for each day’s log, and you cannot earn points for days in which you are absent. (I check attendance records against journal entries.)  In addition, journal prompts will be given regularly in class, and occasionally for homework.  These entries should be approximately 1 page long and will be responses to specific questions or reading.  I will collect journals on the following Tuesdays:  February 1, March 1, April 5, and May 10.  Submitted journals should have entries typed in 12 point font with single line spacing.  If you are absent from class on a day that journals are collected, you are responsible for getting the journal to me on the day it is collected.

Quizzes will be given on the following days:  January 27 (readiness quiz—not counted for your grade), February 8, March 8, March 22, and April 26.  Quizzes are 60 points each and will last approximately 30 minutes and will be given near the end of class.

Exams will be given on the following Tuesdays:  February 22, April 12.

The Final will be given on Thursday, May 19, 5:30-7:30pm, and will be cumulative.


Grading Scale:  A:  92% or better, A-:  88-91%, B+:  85-87%, B:  81-84%, B-:  78-80%,

C+:  75-77%, C:  71-74%, C-:  68-70%, D:  65-67%, F 64% or below


Creating Conditions for Successful Learning:  Research shows that one of the most important factors determining success in math class is the amount of time spent working on the material.  This applies to you in more than one way: 

  • be in class, every class, and be on time,
  • be prepared to participate in group work and discussions every day so that class time is not wasted, and
  • aim to spend 1 hour every day, not including class time, working on homework assignments, readings, journals, and studying.

In addition, you need to have:

  • your assignments with you and ready to turn in on the day they are due
  • the numbers and emails of at least 2 classmates so that you can be informed if you miss a class.


Make-up Policy:  I do not accept late or make-up work.  If you experience a major emergency, special arrangements may be made at my discretion.  Please make every effort to contact me as soon as possible when you know you will miss a class due to an emergency; do not wait until the next class to ask about being excused from an assignment.

Academic integrity is expected.  I enforce university policies on academic integrity.  In particular, cheating, fraud, plagiarism or other academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will be cause for disciplinary action.