Mathematics 3105

Spring 2007

Instructor: Kelly A. MacArthur

Class Time and Place: 12:55 – 2:50 p.m.
Tuesdays in LCB225

Office Hours: Mondays 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.,
Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.,
Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.,
and Thursdays 7:15 - 8:15 a.m.
or by appointment.

Office Location: JWB226
Office Phone Number: 581-6443
E-mail address:

Purpose of this Course: This is a lab course that will parallel Math3100
(Foundations of Geometry). The purpose of this course is threefold.
(1) It is intended to help you develop an awareness of meaningful ways to
teach the geometry topics you are learning in your foundations course to 7th
through 12th graders, as well as an awareness of some of the materials available
to do that. (2) This course is meant to help you become reflective teachers
who can look critically at textbooks, teaching materials, and assessments in
order to better meet the needs of students.

Effective teaching is based on an understanding of student learning. Research
on learning indicates that students benefit when they have the opportunity to
explore mathematical problems in realistic contexts and develop their own
understanding of the mathematics. (3) Thus, the final purpose of this course
is to examine what it means to teach in ways that allow for this type of


Grading: The grades will be calculated as follows:
Teaching 15%
Weekly Homework/Class Participation 20%
Textbook Lesson Analysis Assignment 20%
Portfolio 15%
Student Interview and Analysis 15%
Teaching MESA group at Bryant Junior High School 15%

Teaching: You will be asked to teach a geometry topic in
class four or five times during the semester. You will be graded
on presentation, organization, presence in front of a class,
professional demeanor, etc.

Weekly Homework: Worksheets and other written class activities
will be turned in as homework. They are assigned during class and due
the following week at the beginning of class. Your participation in class
activities and discussions is important not only for your own learning, but
also for the learning of others. You are expected to attend class, be on
time, and be a collaborative participant in the work of the class.

Textbook Lesson/Analysis Assignment: This will be a bigger
assignment given out in class later. You and a classmate will be given
a geometry topic and you'll compare three or four textbooks as to how it
addresses the topic. You will need to write a 2-3 page analysis of your findings.

Portfolio: The portfolio is intended to be useful for your future
as a teacher. It will contain most of the work done in class. The portfolio
will also contain appropriate geometry activities and information you have found
on the internet and math journals. A more detailed description of the portfolio
assignment will be given out later in class. It will be turned in the last week
of class.

Student Interview and Analysis: We will visit a high school and
you will do a one-on-one interview with a student to examine his/her
mathematical knowledge and explore his/her thinking and understanding of a
geometric topic. You will then turn in a 2-3 page report of your analysis.

Teaching MESA group at Bryant Junior High School: We will visit
Bryant Junior High School (not too far from the U) one afternoon per week
from 3:00 to 3:50 p.m. and teach fun geometry lessons to kids in an after-school
program. You will be teaching in pairs. You will need to prepare the lesson,
teach it, and leave copies of the lessons, materials, manipulatives, etc. for
the teacher there. You will each go only once (or possibly twice) throughout
the semester.

WebCT: I will put your grades online on WebCT.
You can get there easily from the main University of Utah website
(There's also a link from my website.) 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).

Other Policies: Due to experience, I have decided to make some
additional policies regarding my classroom administration and grading.
  1. You need to have a valid email address registered with Campus
    Information System. I will regularly send emails to the class and will
    hold you accountable for receiving that information. If you have
    troubles receiving my weekly emails, you can (1) check to make sure
    your email address at Campus Information System is correct, (2) make
    sure my emails are not going directly to your junk mail folder, or
    (3) contact the webmaster at Campus Information System.

  2. 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.