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Course Descriptions - MST in Elementary Education

Required courses

MTHT 465 Teaching Algebra for Understanding

Manipulatives and other representations of mathematical concepts, such as function machines and number lines, are used to develop an approach to the teaching of algebra which is particularly suited to middle grade students.

MTHT 550 Concepts and Methods in Elementary and Middle School Mathematics II

Methods of teaching middle school mathematics: concept development; focus on classroom materials to promote learning. Area, volume, rational numbers, decimals, function machines.

MTHT 565 Teaching Geometry: An Activity Approach

Topics in geometry suitable for the elementary school curriculum are covered. These include informal geometry using manipulatives, elementary topology, polygons, polyhedra, metric geometry, motion geometry, geometric constructions, spherical geometry, and an introduction to research on the teaching of geometry. Emphasis is on hands-on activities and the active involvement of students.

MTHT 589 Practicum: Teaching of Elementary School Mathematics

Culminating experience for students of MST, Option for Elementary School Teachers. Students identify a problem in mathematics education in their home school, survey resources, plan for solution, and develop and present a curriculum. Supervised weekly seminars.

CI 484 Curriculum and Instruction in the Middle School

Philosophy, curriculum, and instructional methods for teaching middle grade students (grades five through eight). Content area reading is included.

EPSY 446 Charcteristics of Early Adolescence

Same as Psch 423. Physiological, social, emotional and cognitive development of early adolescence. The relationship between these developmental characteristics and success in the middle grades.


Elective courses

(3 courses from the following list, or other suitable offerings)

MTHT 450 Concepts and Methods in Elementary and Middle School Mathematics I

This course explores the development of concepts in the elementary mathematics curriculum. Key concepts are examined using a problem solving approach. How children learn specific concepts and what can be done to motivate and support this learning are emphasized. Concept development is traced through the grades, providing important insights for teachers. Innovative teaching techniques are introduced. Mathematics manipulatives and other classroom materials are presented as means to help students acquire a solid understanding of mathematics. Topics in the mathematics curriculum and mathematics textbooks are examined.

MTHT 460 Geometric Measurement and the Numerical Methods

Scientific calculators are used to introduce classical problems of length, area, and volume, plus other problems involving number sense, estimation, powers and roots, and finding patterns. The course focuses on the mathematical content of the middle grades.

MTHT 470 Teaching Mathematics with Science: An Activity Approach

An introduction to materials designed to enhance problem solving and analytic abilities through a “hands-on” program of integrated mathematics and physical science. Length, area, volume, mass, and time are studied in experiments using a simplified version of the scientific method. Bar and line graphing, linear functions, prediction, estimation, alertness to the reasonableness of results, and manipulation and analysis of acquired data are emphasized. Issues of implementation and management of hands-on math and science programs are discussed.

MTHT 480 Microcomputers in Elementary School Mathematics

An introduction to microcomputers and their use in elementary schools. Emphasis is on techniques for designing programs for classroom use. Beginning BASIC programming, commercial educational software, pedagogical and curricular issues, and implementation questions are covered. Previous experience with microcomputers is not required.

MTHT 560 Introduction to Analytic Geometry and Calculus

Programmable calculators are used to investigate ideas and applications of differential and integral calculus. Examples relevant to elementary school math and science are stressed.

MTHT 575 Principles of Probability and Statistics in the Elementary School

Basic ideas of probability are introduced. Special emphasis will be placed upon collection and analysis of data. Topics include descriptive statistics, tables, graphs, making predictions via statistics, simple probability, and the place of probability and statistics in the elementary school classroom. Practical classroom activities are stressed.

NOTE: Topics courses, which may be used as electives, on various subjects are frequently offered as MTHT 491 or MTHT 591.