SYLLABUS

Depaul-Math 699 – Algebra II for Middle School Teachers

Winter Quarter 2009

Instructor:  John Baldwin

Contact Information:     jbaldwin@uic.edu, 312-226-1897

Webpage  Assignments will made on the webpage : http://www2.math.uic.edu/~jbaldwin/alginit/index

Meeting Times:  Mondays, 5:00-8:15, January 5 to March 16 (with several special weeks:  Thursday Jan 22, Tuesday, February 17, Wednesday, March 4. No class meeting on Monday those weeks.)

Office Hours:  To be determined

Course Description:   The course, which is part of the CPS Algebra Initiative, is the second of a 3-quarter sequence to prepare elementary and middle grade teachers to teach an algebra class to qualified 8th grade students in their schools.  The course is based on a vision of mathematics instruction throughout the grades that continuously builds students' algebraic skills and thinking, and prepares them to study and successfully complete a full year algebra class in the 8th grade.

While standard topics from the algebra curriculum are included--structure of algebra, systems of linear equations and inequalities, graphing quadratic functions, solving quadratic equations, and using algebra to model problems--the course has a thematic structure.  Themes include algebraic processes and skills, algebraic thinking and reasoning, and various representations of algebraic concepts.  Special emphasis will be placed on understanding what it means to solve algebraic equations and inequalities, and on understanding equations and graphs from multiple perspectives.   Solution of `naked’ mathematics and concrete problems will be integrated throughout.

Instructional strategies for incorporating algebra themes and content at all grade levels are integral to the course.

Here is a tentative schedule for the course:

 Jan. 5 Introductions; course logistics; Systems of linear equations. What is a solution? Some techniques Jan. 12 Graphing Calculators and solutions of systems; exact solutions Jan. 19 Functions: graphs, tables, formulas Inequalities Jan. 26 Linear inequalities in the plane: 2 and 3 equations; role of calculators; Feb. 2 Absolute values: Equations and inequalities Feb. 9 Midterm:   Introduction to Quadratics Feb.  17 Discussion about midterm:  polynomials, quadratic functions and their graphs Feb.  23 Quadratic equations: what is factoring?  Completing the square Mar 4 Quadratic functions: Quadratic formula: imaginary numbers Mar 9 More on graphing quadratic functions Mar 16 Final Exam

Text:

There is one required book for the sequence of courses:

Fostering Algebraic Thinking:  A Guide for Teachers Grades 6-10. Mark Driscoll,             Heinnemann, Portsmouth, NH, 1999.

In addition, participants will receive a copy of CME Algebra I, one of the recommended textbooks for use in the Algebra Initiative.

Finally, additional resources will be distributed from time to time and/or recommended.  Here is one additional recommended book:

Algebraic Thinking, Grades K-12:  Readings from NCTM’s School-Based Journals and      other Publications.  Edited by Barbara Moses, NCTM, Reston, VA, 1999.

Attendance and class materials:  Attendance is required.  You should inform the instructor in advance if it is necessary to miss a class.

Homework:  Homework will be assigned regularly, and is due the following week, unless specified otherwise.

Exams:  There will be a mid-term test on Feb. 9, and a final exam to be given on Mar. 16.  You will be permitted to bring one page of notes that you have prepared to each exam.

Grading:  Grading will be based on homework, class participation, the mid-term, and the final.