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Math 71SL: General Course Outline

Catalog Description

Math 71SL: Classroom Practices in
Elementary School Mathematics

Tuesdays, 4:00 – 5:30pm; MS 6229

Instructor:                                                               Academic Coordinator:

Shannon Magana: shannon@math.ucla.edu                   Kelly Worden: kelly.worden@ucla.edu

Office Hours:  By appointment                                      Phone: (310) 267-5537

Phone:  (310) 569-8392          


                                    California Teach Resource Center

                                    Office Hours: Daily 1-3pm; 1039 Young Hall


Course Description and Objectives: This course is designed to introduce you to the field of elementary education and the teaching and learning of math in elementary school classrooms. 

You will be partnered with another student and placed in a local elementary school classroom to observe, participate, and assist a Mentor Teacher in instruction.  In concert with this field experience, you will participate in the weekly seminar and discuss learning in an elementary school culture, cognitive development of students at this level, and the best means to teach appropriate math concepts at this level.  You will be expected to work a minimum of 30 hours (3hrs/week) in the elementary school classroom during the quarter. 

Prerequisite: Normal progress towards a degree in math, science, or engineering.

Course Requirements:

  1. Fieldwork and Reflections: You will work in an elementary school classroom a minimum of 30 hours during the quarter.  For every field visit, you will log your hours, descriptions and reflections on the Science and Math Initiative Online Information System portal

(details provided).

  1. Weekly Assignments: Assignments will be given on a weekly basis and include readings, Problems of the week, detailed “Observation Assignments” to be completed during your fieldwork component, as well as topics for discussion with your Mentor Teacher.  You will be expected to complete all assignments.
  2. Attendance and Participation: You are expected to attend all scheduled classes and participate in discussions pertinent to your classroom experiences, assignments, and other education issues.
  3. Hands-on Lesson Plan: Working in pairs, you will develop one hands-on lesson plan to be critiqued by your instructor and Mentor Teacher and presented to your peers.  At the discretion of your Mentor Teacher, you will present the lesson to your elementary school classes and assess its effectiveness by measuring student learning.

Reading Reflection Expectations:

*Reflections are to be typed, approximately one to two pages in length, using 12-point font, single spaced. The document can be electronically sent (Word document) to the instructor prior to class.

*Reflections should reflect professional writing and academic language, including use of proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

*Reflections should address the following:

            *At least two ideas you gained from the reading.

            *At least one question that arose for you while reading this        piece.

            *A general reflection and critical analysis on the reading as a

            whole. (Agree or disagree with the author? Why or why not? Overall thoughts about it)

Problem of the Week Write-up:

*Solve the problem using various methods.

*Write a brief summary on approach and solution of problem. Did you face any challenges? How did you address them?

Grading: This is a Pass/No Pass course only.

*Assignments will only be counted when turned in during class (or online before class). They will be graded on a 1-3 scale (1-needs revision; 2-acceptable, meets requirement; 3-excellent, exceeds requirement).

 To pass the course, you must satisfactorily complete all of the course requirements.

Suggestion:  Please keep a folder/binder or spiral notebook for observations/reflections/teaching tips.  This will be helpful in making entries in the OIS, or as a source for discussion in class.

Placements:  The Academic Coordinator will handle all scheduling and placements.  Local elementary schools with excellent Mentor Teachers have been selected for your placement.  All schools are within walking distance or one short bus ride from UCLA.  Once you have been paired with another student and placed with a Mentor Teacher, you will be provided with the location information.  Contact information for your Mentor Teacher, the elementary school principal, and other students working at your school will also be provided.

Preparation:  Before you engage in your work at the elementary school, there will be an introductory meeting where you will meet your Mentor Teacher and other faculty members from your placement school.  This meeting will allow you to begin to become acquainted with your Mentor Teacher and the community in which you will be working.  In addition, we will discuss in detail the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of everyone involved in this partnership between UCLA and the elementary schools. 

Meaningful Work:  While the type of work you engage in at the elementary school will vary, you are expected to observe and assist your Mentor Teacher in math, science, and other subjects.  Possible activities include helping your Mentor Teacher prepare for instruction or class activities, observing, assisting individual students or small groups, and teaching individuals, small groups, or the whole class.  You are a guest in the assigned school and as a guest, agree to support school policies and personnel, follow all rules and regulations, and conduct yourself as a professional educator in your manner, dress and communication.  You should follow the “Classroom Assistant Guidelines” (provided) at all times. 

This is a “Service Learning” course and as such, requires that you have a working knowledge of service learning.  Service Learning:

  1. Is a method whereby students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities;
  2. Is coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, or community-based organization;
  3. Helps foster civic responsibility;
  4. Is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students, or the education components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled;
  5. Provides structured time for students or participants to reflect on the service experience.

Spring Quarter 2007

Session 1: April 3, 2007

Good Teaching begins with being professional.

*Problem of the week

*Introductions and overview of quarter-Logistics

*Problem Solving- Get It Together, EQUALS, Lawrence Hall Of Science


Session 2: April 10, 2007(Don’t forget April 12, meet with mentor teachers, 4:30-6:00 p.m.)

Good teaching begins with student involvement.

*Problem of the week

*OIS introduction


Session 3: April 17, 2007

Good teaching begins with making connections.

*Developing Understanding in Mathematics

*Problem of the week

*Classroom Discussion

Session 4: April 24, 2007

Teaching to the California Mathematics Framework, Standards and Big Ideas

*Problem of the week

*Exploring what it means to do mathematics

*Discussion of article and classroom

*Talk to mentor teachers about topic ideas for lessons

Session 5: May 1, 2007

Good teaching uses hands-on strategies.

*Problem of the week

*Discussion of classroom issues

*Teaching through Problem Solving

Session 6: May 8, 2007

Students learn best when they construct their own meaning.

*Problem of the week

*Classroom Issues

*Developing a hands-on lesson

*Topic for lesson due

Session 7: May 15, 2007

Teaching ALL children mathematics

*Problem of the week

*Classroom Issues

*English Language Development

Session 8: May 22, 2007

Good planning leads to good teaching

*Problem of the week

*Time to work on lesson

*Classroom Issues/Article Review

Session 9: May 29, 2007

Planning in the problem-based classroom

*Problem of the week

*Classroom Issues

*Presentations of lessons

Session 10: June 5, 2007

*Finish Presentations on Classroom Lessons

*Reflection on the lessons

*Last session