Math 143 Problem-Solving for Teachers

MW

Website: http://www.csudh.edu/math/mjones You will find the syllabus and course assignments on the
website.

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

Office Hours: M

M

W

W

And by appointment

**Text and Materials**: *Thinking Mathematically*, by
John Mason, Revised Edition; **and either**
*Teaching Mathematics through Problem
Solving, Prekindergarten—Grade 6*, by Frank K. Lester, Jr. (Ed.) **or ***Teaching
Mathematics through Problem Solving, Grades 6—12*, by Harold L. Schoen
(Ed.).

**Course Description**: This course is designed to
improve your ability to solve problems.
In particular, you will learn problem-solving by solving problems, but
also by looking at other solutions and at techniques for solving problems.

**Goals**: Students will

- Become better problem-solvers
- Develop strategies for solving new problems

**Expected Outcomes**: Students will demonstrate
improved mathematical thinking on assessments by

- Tackling questions and discussing them
- Reflecting on this experience
- Monitoring and evaluating their own thinking
- Using explicit strategies to solve problems
- Connecting what is learned to personal
experience and prior knowledge

**Assessment**:

Participation
40

Journals 170

Homework 180

Exams 300

__Final 310__

Total 1000 points

*Participation*
is composed of attendance and contributing during class sessions. You receive 1 point for each day that you
attend class. The remaining points can
be earned by participating consistently in class through individual, partner,
team, and whole class work sessions.
Also, see the absence policy below.

*Journals*
will be due each Wednesday. Each journal
will involve responding to assigned reading.
You will also turn in a final reflection as part of your journal. Each journal will be worth 10 points, and the
final reflection will be worth 40 points.
The format for the journal and reflection will be discussed
separately.

*Homework* is
assigned every Wednesday and is due the following Monday. 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 (15 points) is given if all work
is completed and correct. A score of 12-14
points is given to work that is complete but not all correct. A score of 11 points or fewer indicates that
not all the homework was done.

*Exams* will
be given on the following Mondays:
February 27 and April 10.

The *Final* will be given on Monday, May 15, from

**Grading Scale**: A: 92%
or better, A-: 88-91%, B+: 84-87%, B:
81-83%, B-: 77-80%,

C+: 74-76%, C:
71-73%, C-: 68-70%, D: 65-67%, F 64% or below

**Make-up and Absence 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. If you accumulate 4
absences, you will receive an automatic F for the semester. No exceptions.

**Academic integrity** is expected. Cheating, fraud,
plagiarism or other academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will be cause for
disciplinary action.

**Creating Conditions for
Successful Learning:** Research shows success in math
class depends very much on two factors:
the amount of time spent working on the material, and the student’s
beliefs about mathematics and what it means to understand and do mathematics. With this in mind, here are some suggestions:

- 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
- Spend at least 1 hour
every day, not including class time, working on homework assignments and
readings, and studying.
- Realize that
mathematics is not just a set of procedures, and that mathematical
concepts involve a lot of thinking and reasoning. Consequently, being able to execute
procedures accurately is only one part of doing well in this class.
- Realize that success in
mathematics is less about “ability” and more about willingness to think
and to work hard to make sense of things.

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.

**Classroom Norms**: As we will spend a lot of time working in
partnerships, in groups, and in class discussions, here are some rules to help
you navigate what may be an unfamiliar experience in math class.

- Never call out an
answer until the person leading the classroom has given permission. Raise your hand.
- This is a safe
environment. That means that you
should feel free to ask a question or offer an opinion or an answer, and
no one will make fun of you for what you say. We will discuss how to disagree with or
question fellow students when they are sharing their work.
- If you are working with
classmates, work with them. Do not
wait and hope that others will do your work for you, and do not move on to
other assignments while your classmates are struggling to understand the
current one.
- Be considerate of
others. In addition to the ways to
be considerate listed above, do not dominate group or class
discussions. Remember that everyone
needs an opportunity to share his/her ideas.
- Do not expect me to
validate your answers or those of anyone else. You are responsible for making sense of
answers and solution methods, and you should always look for ways to
verify your work.
- Cell phones should be
off or set to “vibrate.” Do not
place a call during class, and do not answer a phone call without first
leaving the room.

These
rules are meant to benefit the entire class, and to ensure that everyone has
the opportunity to contribute and to learn.