Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School
Fall 1998



Gloria W. Allen, M.Ed.


Gwen Johnson, M.Ed., Program Director Ruth Patrick Science Education Center


Ruth Patrick Science Education Building

Office Hours:

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday by appointment

Open Door Policy:

Anytime that I am in the office and not in a class, a scheduled inservice, meeting, etc., I am available.

Office Phone:

(803) 641 - 3592 (or leave a message with the office secretary, Angela Taylor, at 648 - 6851. Ext. 3313)


Course Credit:

3 Semester Hours

Meeting Times:

Mondays and Fridays 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.


Business and Education Building, Rm 131

Required Texts:

Mathematics Methods for Elementary and Middle School Teachers, Third Edition. (1997) Allyn and Bacon Publishing Company, Needham Heights, MA.


America Online: Keyword: College Online

Required Materials:

Manipulatives Kit, Two-inch Three Ring Binder

Course Description:

This course demonstrates and explores elementary school mathematics with emphasis on materials, strategies, and programs for effective mathematics instruction in the elementary and middle schools.



Grade of C or better in Math 221, Math 222 and acceptance into the professional program.


Completion of requirements of a practicum experience arranged through USCA School of Education Office of Field Placement (AEDC 310).


Suggested Readings:

  1. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. (1989). Reston, VA. NCTM.
  2. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics. (1992). Reston, VA. NCTM.
  3. The South Carolina Mathematics Framework, South Carolina Department of Education, 1993.
  4. South Carolina Mathematics Academic Achievement Standards, South Carolina Department of Education, 1995.
  5. South Carolina Mathematics Curriculum Standards, South Carolina Department of Education, 1998.
  6. Selected articles from professional journals, including Educational Leadership, Kappan, The Mathematics Teacher, Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School, and Teaching Children Mathematics.
  7. Baratta-Lorton. (1976). Mathematics Their Way. Reading Mass: Addison - Wesley.
  8. Burk, Snyder, and Symonds. (1988). Box It or Bag It Mathematics. Salem, Oregon: The Mathematics Learning Center.
  9. Burns, Marilyn. (1992). About Teaching Mathematics. NY: Cuisenaire.
    Richardson, Kathy. (1984). Developing Number Concepts Using Unifix Cubes. Reading, Mass: Addison - Wesley Publishing Company.
  10. Selected portions of other important literature concerning reform in mathematics education.


If you have a learning or physical disability which might affect your performance in this class, please inform your instructor as soon as possible or the Associate Dean of Students for Admissions and Special Services in order to verify your status and to provide you with appropriate assistance.


Course Goal:

Students will develop an understanding of teaching mathematics in grades one through eight with a variety of methods and materials that support and enrich the skills, abilities, and attitudes for learning mathematics in the elementary and middle school grades. The course is designed to model good teaching practices and to develop knowledge of and ability to implement teaching strategies as described in the NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics.

Purposes of Course:


Objectives: Students in the course will:

Course Requirements


Special Supplies:

There will be many handouts given in this course. You will need to keep these organized. I strongly recommend that you keep these handouts in a three-ring binder reserved for that purpose. There is a three-hole punch in the Math Lab which you may use to prepare handouts for inclusion in a binder. This is aside from the portfolio binder.


Expected student competencies to be acquired:

In order to complete this course satisfactorily, the student must demonstrate the ability to produce well-written correct solutions for problems like those assigned for homework in this course. In many instances, this includes the ability to write problem solutions using clear and coherent arguments with correct standard English and correct mathematical notation and terminology. Many of the problems we consider will require extended chains of reasoning, longer than you may have encountered before. You will be graded on how your solutions are written as well as on the correctness of your final answers. You will, of course, be provided with detailed examples to follow as models for your own solutions. Your instructor values good writing in this course. Please remember that the written work that you produce in this class can be included in your rising junior writing portfolio. For further information on the portfolio requirement please consult your USCA Undergraduate and Graduate Studies Bulletin or visit Dr. Lynne Rhodes, Director of Writing Assessment, or Karl Fornes, Director of the Writing Room.


Study time:

You should plan your weekly schedule to include at least two to three hours study time outside of class for each hour in class (refer to Student Handbook, page 78); this amounts to 6 to 9 hours of weekly studying of the textbook, going over class notes and handouts, and writing solutions for assigned exercises and take-home work in this course. This is of course a great deal of time, but this study time is critical for success in the course. If you are not willing and able to make this commitment, you should wait to take ADEL 431 another semester when you are willing and able to do so.



Students are expected to attend all classes. Less than 85 percent, (five absences of any type, excused or unexcused), will preclude credit for the course. All absences will be considered unexcused without promptly supplied documentation to the contrary. Please note that if you are not present, then you are absent; thus if you add the course late, you start with absences. The standard for what is excused will be that which is applied in the world of work; so for example, if your car is unreliable, you are expected to make another reliable arrangement. Each instance of lateness counts as one-half of one absence. Come to class on time and do not leave early. Anything else is rude and disruptive.



Class Attendance and Participation

15 %

Instructional Resources*

20 %

Journals, Abstracts, & Portfolio*

20 %

Instructional Unit/Cooperative Group Project

10 %

Midterm Exam

15 %

Final Exam

20 %

*These categories cover several assignments including a classroom observation at the RPSEC, children's literature text set, software assessments, technology assignment (web page) library requirements, and lessons with manipulatives.


Grading Scale

90 - 100%


88 - 89%


80 - 87%


78 - 79%


70 - 77%


68 - 69%


60 - 67%


Below 60%


Assignments and responsibilities are due on dates and times specified. The instructor must be notified at least 2 days in advance if a student will not meet an obligation on time. The grade for assignments may be dropped by one letter grade for each late day.

All major assignments must be typed, including library assignments and/or technology assignments. Computers are available on campus to support your needs.



Writing about mathematics and its teaching leads to better understanding of concepts. After each class session, a specific question may be posed to which each student should respond in a paragraph (of no more than one page) to be included in a journal. If a question is not posed as a journal prompt, each student should reflect on the main topics/concepts covered during the class session. The journal entries should be summarized in the form of an abstract as outlined below. Sample journal entries should be submitted with each abstract. Journals may be randomly collected and reviewed during the semester.



After each eight sessions of classwork, each student will submit an abstract summarizing the previous weeks' work in the course. Incorporating the journal reflections, the abstract should include a synopsis of the main concepts covered, their significance in mathematics and effective teaching strategies, any real world applications, and a reflection of their group experiences and how those experiences tie to teaching elementary mathematics. A final paragraph should include any unanswered questions raised by a group member or any questions that are not clearly understood by any group member. In addition, questions that the student has thought about as possible extensions of the material discussed should be included. The abstracts will be graded only on completeness in fulling the description of this paragraph; they will not be graded on accuracy of mathematics. The abstracts serve as a mechanism for the instructor to correct possible misunderstandings before a final assessment and should be viewed as a channel for increasing understanding.


Instructional Unit / Cooperative Group Project

Each student will develop and write up a week long instructional unit composed of several lesson plans and/or modules. Lesson plans/modules will include activities that are aligned with the current SC Curriculum Standards, incorporate hands-on student involvement and an identified method of assessment. (Hands-on activities provide experiences such as collecting data; generating examples; manipulating materials; completion of writing exercises in which students summarize their findings and draw conclusions; and appropriate assessments.)

Another part of the course requirements includes the completion of a special group project. Cooperative groups will develop elementary or middle school classroom activities based on their instructional unit lesson plans and parallel to activities done in class. This requirement will be completed collaboratively and will culminate with an oral presentation to the class that includes both content and teaching methods.

Student Portfolio Guide

As part of the assessment process, each student will compile a portfolio of work completed in this course. The portfolio is to be submitted periodically after each eight weeks of class sessions with the final submission one week before the final exam. Several items included in the portfolio are classwork and homework assignments as well as other student-selected items. When the portfolio is submitted one week before final exams, all items listed below are to be included along with the date of inclusion:
  1. Student biographical page;
  2. An table of contents
  3. Copies of completed individual assignments
  4. Three sample journal entries and one abstract entry (after each eight weeks of class sessions);
  5. Copy of one completed group assignment;
  6. Copy of a web page designed by the student, a model lesson obtained from the internet and a copy of an assessment of an elementary mathematics software program;
  7. Copy of the midterm exam;
  8. A sample of the unit designed by the student integrating at least one of the concepts developed in this course into the content of a class that might be taught by the participant. This entry should include the instructional objective for the activity and an assessment instrument that will determine how well the activity succeeds in meeting the objective. A sample method of obtaining student responses regarding what was learned from the activity should also be included;
  9. A critical self-evaluation analyzing your mathematical growth and its impact on your professional advancement, both from the perspective of your participation in class activities and previous mathematics courses. Moreover, an assessment of your gains in understanding of content and its application to elementary school mathematics, and gains in knowledge of and ability to implement teaching strategies; and
  10. Any other relevant material.

Abstracts, portfolios, classroom observation, software assessments, children's literature, and newspaper assignments will be graded on your ability to follow directions and the completeness of the assignment as well as the quality of the content.