Instructor: Kelly A. MacArthur
Class Time and Place: 4:35 - 6:30 p.m.
Mondays and Wednesdays
Office Location: JWB226
Office Phone Number: 581-8341
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Text: A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics for
Elementary School Teachers
by Billstein, Libeskind, Lott, 11th edition, ISBN 978-0-321-75666-4
Prerequisite: At least a C grade in Math4010 within the last year.
Tutoring Lab: T. Benny Rushing Mathematics Student Center (adjacent
to JWB and LCB), Room 155
M - Th 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
F 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
(closed Saturdays, Sundays and holidays)
They are also offering group tutoring sessions. If you're interested,
Note: There is special tutoring set up for Math4010/4020 students
offered in room #152 in the Math Center throughout
Private Tutoring: University Tutoring Services, 330 SSB
(they offer inexpensive tutoring). There is also a list of tutors at
the Math Department office in JWB233.
Math Education Website: The math department has a web page
for math teachers in K-12 schools.
Computer Lab: also in the T. Benny Rushing Mathematics Student
Center, Room 155C.
M – Th 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
F 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Link to computer lab is http://www.math.utah.edu/ugrad/lab.html
Grading: The grades will be calculated as follows:
Weekly Homework 15%
Final Exam 25%
Calculators: Calculators will not be used much in this
class. For exams, you may be allowed to use a calculator, but
not a cell phone calculator. This will be discussed more in class.
Teaching Philosophy: I believe strongly that mathematics, at its
core, is the art/experience/science of problem solving and pattern recognition.
It is inherently a creative process, one to be struggled with,
enjoyed. The process requires imagination, persistence, courage, processing
time, and ultimately produces experiential, mathematical skill. It is from
this perspective that I teach. I'm not as concerned with the destination, i.e.
the answer, as I am about the journey of problem-solving and mathematical
exploration since it is exactly the entirety of the journey that creates
the answer. And, self-confidence and mastery are then natural by-products
of the mathematical journey.
You are responsible for knowing these policies. Please take it
seriously because the flexibility listed here is literally all there is.
- I will collect homework during the first class of each week.
All of the homework assigned the previous week is due
at that time.
- The homework is to be turned in according to the following
- The homework set MUST be stapled together with the
corresponding cover sheet as the first page. (I will
provide the cover sheets in class.) A homework set turned
in without being stapled together or without a cover sheet
will not be counted!! Please do not come to class hoping
that I or someone else will have a stapler. Be prepared
when you arrive.
- I will accept 3 late homework sets, up
to two weeks late, throughout the semester for full
Note: Each weekly homework set is comprised of
several homework sections. The sections will be
graded individually and then added to get to the total
score for that homework set. The homework sets will
be clearly stated on my class web page.
I will not accept homework more than two weeks late. I
accept these late homework sets to allow for illness,
oversleeping, hectic schedules, etc. Do not ask for special
favors with regard to the homework policy, unless the
circumstances are extraordinarily severe, because my response
will not be in your favor. Also, it is not necessary nor
recommended that you tell me why your homework is late.
This policy is meant to be flexible enough to cover all reasons
and so I don't get calls and emails every week.
- I only collect homework during the first class of the
week!! If you need to turn in homework late, you will have
to do so on the first class of the week (one or two weeks after
its due date). This is the only time and location that I
will accept homework. If you slide homework underneath my office
door, I will throw it away without looking at it.
How the Homework is Graded--
- Each section of homework will be worth ten points
for completion. For example,
if you have three sections of homework assigned for one week, then
that homework set is worth a total of 30 completion points.
- You will get the full credit of completion points if you DO every problem. I will
NOT be grading for correctness for these points, so it is your responsibility to
make sure you understand the problems and their solutions. This
is basically motivation for you to do the homework because that is
the only way to survive a math class. (Please notice that there
is no way to get an A in this course if you choose not to do any of
the homework. On the other hand, turning in all of the homework
can help your grade substantially.)
- On each section of homework, I will choose two to four
problems to grade for correctness. I will grade the same problems
on each student's homework, but I will not tell you ahead of time
which problems I am grading for correctness.
- Each section of homework will have an additional 10 points given
for correctness of those chosen two to four problems. Basically,
just doing all the homework will yield you 50% of the homework
grade. The other half of your homework grade will come from having
the correct answers.
- You are welcome and encouraged to ask about homework questions in
class. You are also welcome and encouraged to work together on your
homework. However, the homework you turn in MUST be in your own
words and not copied from another student. (Copying is a form of
Practicum: Each student will spend three hours in an
elementary school classroom observing children in the
classroom. This classroom experience will be discussed in our
class as an assignment. Please be sure to complete your observations by October 7th and
turn in your permission slip by then (I will not read
and/or grade your practicum report unless this is turned in).
After your observations are complete, you will spend another
three hours working with a small group of children (at least
two and the children must be non-family members) teaching a
math lesson. The practicum report is a typewritten analysis
of your mathematical work with the children. Be sure to keep
careful notes from this work in order to have the information
available when you write your practicum report. The report
is due November 25th and will be discussed in more detail
during class. For every day, or portion thereof, that your
Practicum report is late, you will be deducted 20 percentage
points! Remember that writing the practicum report is required to pass this course.
Portfolio: The portfolio assignment will be handed
out in the first week of class, so you can be working on it
throughout the semester. You can choose to put your portfolio
in a notebook or in an accordian file, whichever you prefer.
This is meant to be a long-term reference for you with regard
to all the math we cover in this course. You will use your
portfolio in your Math Methods course to expand on some of the
ideas therein. These will be due during the last week of
class. (I will set up individual appointments with you to
bring your portfolio to me for grading.) I do not accept
late Portfolios. The portfolio assignment will also be discussed more in class.
Online Grades: I will put your grades online on Canvas.
You can get there easily from the main University of Utah
website www.utah.edu. To log in, you use the same student id
and password that you use for Campus Information System. I do
my best to update the grades on a regular basis and keep
everything accurate. However, I would advise you to check
your grades often to make sure there were no data entry
mistakes. I'm always happy to correct any mistakes I've made. You just need to let me know about them.
Grading Scale: Although I'm not philosophically opposed to curving
grades, I find it's rarely necessary. The grade scale will be the usual:
A (93-100), A- (90-92), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79),
C (73-76), C- (70-72), D+ (67-69), D (63-66), D- (60-62), E (0-59).
If I do need to curve the grades, I will simply shift everything down
by a few points (whatever is necessary).
ADA Statement: The American with Disabilities Act requires that
reasonable accommodations be provided for students with physical,
sensory, cognitive, systemic, learning and psychiatric disabilities.
Any student with a certified disability who needs to arrange
reasonable accommodations must contact the Center for Disabled
Students (CDS) and me at the beginning of the semester to discuss any
such accommodations for the course.
Other Policies: Due to experience, I have decided to make some
additional policies regarding my classroom administration and grading.
- I do NOT allow the use of laptop computers in my classroom. At this
point, I don't believe you are taking notes for the class if your
computer is open. Thus, it is unnecessary in class.
- There will be no retakes of exams…ever. Your score is
what you get.
- You may take an alternate exam if you talk to me about it first
and explain the extenuating circumstances that make it necessary.
Needing to work, babysitting your siblings, oversleeping, or needing
more time to study do not pass as acceptable reasons to inconvenience
me. Getting in a car crash or your mother’s death, on the other
hand, is sufficient reason to request to take an alternate exam. But,
it is 100% your responsibility to communicate with me as soon as is
possible, before the exam occurs (or as soon as possible).
Talking to me after the problem will be sufficient reason
for me to allow you to get a zero on that test. I reserve the right
to make alternate exams more difficult than the scheduled
- I will demand respectful behavior in my classroom. Examples of
disrespect include reading a newspaper or magazine in class, social
chatting with your friend in class, text-messaging your buddies during
class or cuddling with your girl/boyfriend in class. If you choose to
be disrespectful during my class, I can guarantee I will take action
to terminate your disruptive behavior.
- There will be no cursing nor negative ranting (for example,
“math sucks”) on any written work turned in. The penalty
for such things on your written work will be a zero score on that
assignment or test!
- You need to have a valid email address registered with Campus
Information System. I will regularly send emails to the class and expect
you to be responsible for receiving that information.
- If you have crisis-level extenuating circumstances which require
flexibility, it is completely your responsibility to communicate with me
as soon as possible. The longer you wait to communicate with me, the
less I can and am willing to do to help.
- If you have questions about any exam grade, or you want
to appeal the grading of the exam, you must bring it to me within one
week of the exam. After that, you will have to live with whatever
grade you got.
- Please make sure you do your best throughout the semester and come
talk to me if you need further study strategies. I will NOT offer
any extra credit at the end of the semester or any other way for you
to improve your grade at that time. If you ask me toward the end of
the semester if I'll make special arrangements for you to improve
your grade by some means, I will automatically deduct one percentage
point from your overall grade, just for asking the
- If you cheat on any homework, project, quiz or exam,
I will automatically give you a zero for that
grade. Depending on the severity of the cheating, I may
decide to fail you from the class. In all cases of
cheating, I will also report the incident to the Dean of
Students. Additionally, if an international student
cheats, I will also report the incident to the
International Students Office.
- I reserve the right to change my policies stated in
this syllabus at some point in the semester. If I do make
a change to a policy, I will announce it in class and send
the change in email.