Text:   A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers  Seventh Edition,

           by Billstein, Libeskind, and Lott, Addison Wesley, 2001

Outline:  Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  will be covered with certain sections omitted



Learning Outcomes: Students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of the standard vocabulary and notation of elementary mathematics;
  2. an understanding of the development of the number systems from the whole numbers to integers, then rational and reals;
  3. an understanding of operations, properties, algorithms, place value, and elementary number theory;
  4. an ability to apply concepts of fractions, decimals, percents, ratio, and proportion in problem-solving situations;
  5. an appreciation for mathematics from an historical prospective; and
  6. a better understanding of the uses of a variety of manipulatives and other material for the 4 - 8 level.



 There will be 3 major categories that will determine your grade for this course: (1) Paper, (2) Problem solving problems,  (3) Tests, and  (4) Final Exam.  The percentage that each of these categories will contribute to your overall grade are as follows:

Problem solving problems:  17%

Tests:   63%  (21% each) 

Final Exam:        20%


Problem Solving Problems:  You will receive math problems periodically throughout the semester.  you will normally be given two weeks to solve each problem, type up your solution that provides a thorough explanation of your problem solving process, and hand it in.  (It is the student's responsibility to obtain a copy of the problem if he/she is absent the day it is handed out.)  Each problem will be worth 20 points.  The grading will become increasingly more rigorous throughout the semester.  I will be expecting you to improve on your explanations each time a new problem is turned in.


HERE IS HOW THE PROBLEMS WORKS You are to find the solution to the problem given to you.  Your solution should consist of a THOROUGH         explanation of your problem solving process and it must be typed.  Include in this explanation the following four areas: (1) what information or facts do you know about the problem or was given to you in the problem; (2) what are you solving for or trying to find and what information is needed to be able to solve the problem; (3) how did you find the information needed and/or the solution to the problem, in other words, what was your plan of action for solving the problem (include in this area your math work and remember to EXPLAIN what your doing); and (4) what did you find (i.e., what was the solution you found).

        **REMEMBER** --  Your solution must be a THOROUGH explanation of the problem solving process and it must be typed so that it is easy to follow and understand.  Furthermore, since this is an explanation it must be in paragraph form!!


Tests:   There will be 3tests given during the semester.  You will be given advance notice of these tests.

Make-up Tests:  Make-up tests will consist of 5 discussion problems (20 points each) covering the same material as the missed test.  If you know in advance that your going to be absent for a scheduled test it is your responsibility to notify me in advance of the test.  Advance notice and official documentation for your absence will be the only way you will be granted permission to take a make-up test.  It is the students’ responsibility to contact me about scheduling a make-up test.  (Most make-up tests will be scheduled for Monday afternoons.)   

Suggested Problems:  Problems will be suggested at the end of each section.  It is strongly recommended that the student stay current with the suggested problems, for they will facilitate the understanding of the lessons being presented in the text.  If you have questions concerning the suggested problems then you should see me during my office hours or go to the math lab.  Class time is not a problem solving session.  Office hours and math lab have a purpose…..MAKE USE OF THEM!!!!  


Grade Scale:    100   --  90       î 

                           89      --  80        î  B

    79      --  70        î  C

    69      --  60        î  D

    59 and below    î  F



Attendance:  You are expected to attend class every class period.  Class time is the only time I will teach  the concepts contained in the course.  Students are responsible for all assignments and material covered during class regardless of attendance. If a student is absent, then he/she is also responsible for learning the concepts missed during their absence on their own.

Method of Instruction:  The primary method of classroom instruction will be by lecture during class time.  Class time will include, but is not limited to, discussing new material, working example problems on the board, student participation in problem solving, and assessment.  In addition, a student is responsible for his/her own understanding of the lessons being presented.  Since class time is limited, only a limited number of examples can be given in class. However, reading the book can be of great benefit to you.  It is NOT A NOVEL, reading a textbook of this type must be slow going and careful.

Additional Help:  If a student is in need of some extra help to understand concepts contained in this course, there are a couple of places to get such help:  (1)  ME!!!  I have office hours….again THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE FOR!!  (2)  Mathlab – located in the Boyd Building Room 302, open Monday through Thursday afternoons. 

Individual Accommodations:  Students requiring individual educational accommodations should discuss  their needs with the instructor within the first week of class. 

Conduct and Academic Integrity: It is expected that the students be familiar with the Student Conduct Code, Disciplinary Procedures, and Disciplinary Sanctions contained in Appendix A of the Student Handbook.  ****The college assumes that entering students are adults who have developed mature behavior patterns, positive attitudes, and conduct above reproach.  Students are treated in accordance with this belief.  Cheating and/or any conduct that disturbs or disrupts the classroom, the instructor, or other students WILL NOT be tolerated!!  Any evidence that may show otherwise will be reported, appropriate actions will be taken, and consequences will result.  Disruptive students will be asked to leave the classroom by the instructor and are expected to do so when asked.

CHEATING:  Cheating IS NOT tolerated in this class.  If you are caught or even suspected of cheating on anything that is to be turned in for a grade in this        class, ACTIONS WILL BE TAKEN!!!  If you are caught cheating on the class project, tests or the final exam you will receive a F for the Course.

 Pagers and Cell Phones:  Students are not allowed to carry pagers and cell phones in the classroom unless they are set to an inaudible setting.  I give you my undivided attention for the entire class period, please give me the same respect.  However, if you can't seem to give me the same respect I give you by turning your cell phones off, then here are the consequences for this lack of respect.  If your cell phone rings in my classroom, I will make a mental note of whose cell phone it is and lower that persons overall course grade one letter grade every time it happens.  Also, if you answer your cell phone INSIDE my classroom you will receive an F for the semester.   *** HINT:  TURN YOUR CELL PHONES OFF!!!!!!!!!!!