Math 589: Teaching and Presentation of Mathematics 

INSTRUCTOR: Professor Brooke Shipley, SEO 312 or 508, 

CLASS MEETINGS: Mondays and Wednesdays 3pm - 3:50pm, in AH 306 


OFFICE HOURS: After class 4pm to 4:30pm Monday and Wednesday; or by appointment (right before or after class is also a good time for questions) 

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The goal of this two credit hour course is to aid MSCS teaching assistants in developing teaching skills and methods. The course also addresses problems that may arise in the classroom and offers insights and mentoring for a successful graduate career. 

GRADING POLICY: Attendance 20%, Participation 40%, Assignments and Presentations 40%. You are expected to attend all of the class meetings and actively participate; permission for a non-emergency class absence must be requested in advance. 

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Each student is allowed two absences and four late arrivals for personal reasons. After that each unexcused absence results in losing 4% of your total grade and each late arrival results in losing 2% of your total grade. Excused absences must be arranged ahead of time, except in case of emergencies.  

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS: Students with disabilities who require accommodations for full access and participation in UIC Programs must be registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). Please contact DRC at (312) 413-2183 (voice) or (312) 413- 0123 (TDD). 

COURSE BOOK: "Teaching Mathematics in Colleges and Universities: Case Studies for Today's Classroom," by Solomon Friedberg et al. available at the AMS Bookstore among other places. 

COURSE TOPICS:  Teaching Skills and Methods: Active learning, group work, listening to students, pacing your presentation, giving and receiving constructive criticism  Course Mechanics: Using TeX to write a quiz or worksheet, evaluation and grading, dealing with cheating, course evaluations, meeting with supervisors  Graduate Career: Preparing a CV, web page, teaching portfolio, and seminar talk; applying for fellowships, master's exam, choosing an advisor, professional society memberships, employment opportunities, thesis research, balancing roles as student and TA 

OTHER COURSE ACTIVITIES: Teaching presentations by each class member; discussions of classroom case studies from Teaching Mathematics in Colleges and Universities: Case Studies for Today's Classroom, by Solomon Friedberg et al; observations of other teachers

TA RESOURCES: MSCS Graduate Studies and TA Handbook 

Surviving the First Day

Grading example Create a rubric for problem 1, bring to class September 11.

Mindset Quiz (p1) Take this quiz and record your answers. (This is only for your own reference, but have a written record of your answers that you can refer to in class on Monday, 9/11.)
(Since I'm getting requests to use this quiz by others: this isn't my own quiz. It is adapted from an author that I've been told isn't responding to requests. Unfortunately it is not my material to grant permission to use. The complete quiz info and reference info is available at: Mindset Quiz)
Growth Mindset Reading for after you take the quiz, due Monday, September 11. Focus on the two middle sections on fixed mindsets and growth mindsets in classroom practices.

TAC Observation Form for your reference.

Assignment for peer visits and presentations.

Reading for September 20: Case study about cheating
Picture of whiteboard from class (about cheating)

Reading for September 25: Short excerpt on concept image and concept definition. The full article is here.
Consider the following questions for class discussion:
1) What do the authors mean by "concept definition" and "concept image"? Why is this distinction important for learning and teaching?
2) What are some of the specific examples in your article that helped you understand what they meant by these terms?
3) Think back to when you have helped students before. Have you seen students with concept images that have been different from the concept definition? Does this distinction help you make sense of prior interactions with students?

Power point slides (converted to PDF) for October 2 presentation: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

In all emails sent to Professor Shipley about this class, please include "589" in the subject line.

Assignments due November 15 in class:
Three assignments for your graduate career. I recommend completing one per week (and you have a couple weeks to spare.)
Some useful guidance about creating a website and a CV is available here, starting at page 7.
1) Write a CV in TeX. Send your TeX file to me by email. Either send a PDF file of your CV also by email, or hand this in on paper.
Many examples of TeX files which can be modified to write your CV are available here.
(If you are not a MSCS grad student, the TeX requirement is waived here and you just need to hand in a cv on paper or a PDF by email.)
2) Write either a quiz or a worksheet for your class (at least 3 problems, possibly using TeX, possibly not, for a student to turn in - so put a space for a name and leave space for the student to work the problems.) Hand this in on paper, or send a PDF by email.
Many examples of TeX files which can be modified to create a quiz are available here.
3) Create your own website. Once it is done, send me a link to your website in an email.
A tutorial for how to create a website is available here. Bring your questions about this on TBA. (On a date to be announced we'll have time in class to work on websites, so bring a laptop if you can.)

This AMS article gives a process for writing a teaching statement. We will work through some of the suggested exercises in class.

Make-up assignment: This assignment is only required if you would like to make up for being gone for an extra unexcused absence. The first two are free. This can also be used to make up for points on other assignments. Complete exercises 1 through 5 in the first 3 pages of the AMS article whose link is above. Hand in the various lists (from exercises 1 through 4) and the one page summary (exercise 5). These exercises are the beginning of writing a teaching statement and a way to think carefully about your own teaching. I expect this make-up assignment to take two to four hours to complete. It is due by December 11 for full credit.

November 20:Class will be held.

November 27: Class will be held.

AMS Data from 2016 and before: Some data from the AMS employment surveys is gathered here.

Extra reading and references:

For future reference a good resource for applying for jobs: here.

Classroom activities for active learning 4 pages long.

Student engagement strategies 1 page.

For class sometime soon. 4 pages long.

Mindset quiz (link will be fixed soon)