Beckmann’s section of EMAT 9700

Observing Mathematics Content Courses for

Prospective Elementary or Middle Grades Teachers

At the University of Georgia

Instructor: Sybilla Beckmann, Department of Mathematics, University of Georgia. Email:

Course goals : The goal of this course is to help prepare you for the eventual teaching of a course similar to the one you are observing and to help you think about the mathematical preparation of teachers in general.

Who should take this course : This course is intended for mathematics and mathematics education graduate students who would like to become prepared to teach mathematics content courses for prospective elementary and middle grades teachers and for other graduate students who are interested in mathematics teacher education. Math graduate students in the MEFT (Mathematicians Educating Future Teachers) program take this course in their first semester of MEFT. Math graduate students may use this course towards obtaining the Certificate in Mathematics Education through the Department of Mathematics and Science Education.

Course description for Fall 2015:

1) Attend all the class meetings of one of the following courses:

  • MATH 5020, Arithmetic for middle grades teachers (grades 4 – 8), TR 9:30 – 10:15 am, room 111 Aderhold Hall
  • MATH 5030, Geometry for middle grades teachers (grades 4 – 8), TR 2 – 3:15 pm, room 119 Aderhold Hall

You may skip hour-test days; see below for the assignment during test days. There are no additional meetings for this section of EMAT 9700.

If you can borrow or buy a copy of the text used in these courses, this will help you follow the course, but the textbook is not required.

Let me know if you would like to be enrolled on eLC as an auditor for that course; if so please give your UGA myID (this is the name that goes before, not your 810 number!) so that I can enroll you. Then take an occasional look at the eLC page and the webpage for the course you are observing to see the course assignments and to find other relevant links.

2) Keep a course notebook (electronic or paper) describing what was covered in the course and including any details and comments that might be useful if you teach the course you are observing (or a similar course) at some point in the future.

3) On E-Learning Commons, post weekly a discussion item for all students in EMAT 9700 who are observing the same course to read and respond to if they wish. To post these weekly discussion items, look in e-Learning Commons for the folder for the course you are observing or look for “Discussions” and then look for the threaded discussion for that course (“Discussions about MATH 2001” or “Discussions about MATH 2003”).

What should you write about in your weekly postings? Comment on anything that captures your interest or that stands out to you or anything that you’d like to hear your classmate’s views on. I encourage you to write freely, informally, and off the cuff -- your thoughts don't have to be fully formed; use writing as a way to help you (and others) think. Observe the course with an eye toward teaching such a course in the future. Consider a variety of aspects of the course such as the nature of discussions and interactions in class and the mathematical learning opportunities that the class activities and homework problems provide. Think about the course content – was the way it was treated familiar to you or not? How is it related to the mathematics the prospective teachers will eventually teach? Take a look at state and national mathematics standards for school children (see the website of the course you are observing for links). Consider other ways the material, activities, or classroom discussions could be handled.

4) On E-Learning Commons, respond to at least one discussion item posting per week.

5) On test/quiz days read something from the reading list, or some other relevant reading, and post a summary or comments on what you read in the discussions.

6) Please chat with me from time to time or make an appointment once or twice during the semester for a brief meeting. Be sure to let me know if you would like to teach a similar course in the future.