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Math 103B: General Course Outline

Catalog Description

103A-103C. Observation and Participation: Mathematics Instruction.(Formerly Math 330.) Seminar, one hour; fieldwork (classroom observation and participation), two hours. Requisites: courses 31A, 31B, 32A, 33A, 33B. Course 103A is enforced requisite to 103B, which is enforced requisite to 103C. Observation, participation, or tutoring in mathematics classes at middle school and secondary levels. May be repeated for credit. P/NP (undergraduates) or S/U (graduates) grading.

General Information: The goal of this course is to expose prospective mathematics teachers to the field of secondary mathematics education. Among other things, students will observe classroom teachers, read mathematics education literature, do middle and high school level mathematics from an adult perspective, discuss mathematics education issues, and explore effective teaching strategies. Reflection and critical analysis, through written assignments and discussions, are key components of the course. Seminars for 103A and 103C meet seven times per quarter. Seminars for 103B meet six times per quarter and students attend the annual Curtis Center Conference. Active participation is expected.

 
Math 103B: General Course Outline
Assignments and Grading
  • Observations and Reflections: Observe at least 2 class periods between each meeting (a total of 10 class periods). During this quarter, select two middle school or high school students per class and follow them the whole quarter for a total of 4 students.  Following each observation, complete your assignment on the Online Information System (OIS), WeTeach website. (See Observation Protocol and Observation Reflection Guidelines).
  • Readings: Read the assigned articles for each session and write a reflection and critical analysis on each piece. (See Reading Reflection Guidelines.)
  • Problems of the Week (POW): Complete the POW assigned for each session. (See POW Guidelines.)
  • Attendance/Participation: Attend all scheduled classes and participate in discussions and critical analyses on observations, readings, mathematics problems, and other relevant education issues. Each student will facilitate one of the following discussions: observation reflection, reading reflection, or POW.
  • Mini-Portfolio: Compile a portfolio of personal highlights and reflections of the course. (See Mini-Portfolio Guidelines.)
  • Assignments will only be counted when turned in during class after discussions have taken place. Exception: all observation reflections are to be entered on the OIS WeTeach website the day before class. They will be graded on a scale of 1-3 (1—needs revision; 2—acceptable, meets requirement; 3—excellent, exceeds requirement). Work receiving a one (1) must be revised to receive credit. Math 103B is a two-unit pass/no pass course.
  • Grading: In order to pass the course, students must complete 80% of all assignments with a grade of at least 75%.
Summary of Course Requirements
Weekly Topics (Emphasis on the Teacher in the Classroom)

Session 1: General Overview

  • Mathematics Problems

    Erickson, T. (1995) United We Solve. eeps media: Oakland, CA.
  • Introductions and Overview to Math 103B
  • Assignments
  • Lumsden, Linda (1994). “Student motivation to learn.” ERIC Digest, June 1994.

    https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/dspace/bitstream/1794/3313/1/digest092.pdf
  • Problem of the Week: The Month of January
  • Observation Questions: The focus of the first set of observations is student motivation. Think of these questions as you observe your two students in each class
  • Describe the students’ actions in the classroom.
  • Does the student appear motivated? Is the motivation intrinsic or extrinsic? What evidence supports your statements?
  • If the student is not motivated, what might you have done differently to motivate the student?
  • Suppose you were a student in this class. What could the teacher have done to increase your motivation?

Session 2: Student Motivation

  • Mathematics Problem

    Complete the Pre-Case Discussion Worksheet of What is Pi, Anyway?
  • POW
  • Observation Reflections
  • Reading Reflections
  • Assignments
    • Harvard Mathematics Case Development Project, 1994-97, Katherine K. Merseth, Project Investigator and Joan B. Karp, Project Manager. What is Pi, Anyway?
    • Problem of the Week
    • Observation Questions: The focus of the second set of observations is student understanding of mathematics. Think of these questions as you observe your two students in each class
    • Describe the students’ actions in the classroom.
    • Does the student understand the mathematics that is being taught?  What evidence gives you the indication that the student understands the mathematics?
    • What might you do differently to increase student understanding? It is not necessarily the case that “telling” the student will result in student understanding.

Session 3: Student Understanding

  • Mathematics Problem:
  • POW
  • Observation Reflections
  • Reading Reflections
  • Assignments
    • Thompson, D. R. and Rubenstein, R. N. “Learning mathematics vocabulary: Potential pitfalls and instructional strategies.” Mathematics Teacher (93) (October 2000): 568-574.
    • Problem of the Week
    • Observation Questions: The focus of the third set of observations is students’ mathematical literacy. Think of these questions as you observe your two students in each class
    • Describe the students’ actions in the classroom.
    • Does the student use the academic language of mathematics? Give evidence of mathematical language being used.
    • Is there opportunity for students to develop mathematical literacy?
    • How does the teacher assist students in developing mathematical literacy?
    • What might you do differently to increase mathematical literacy?

Session 4: Students? Mathematical Literacy

  • Mathematics Problem: Handshake problem
  • POW
  • Observation Reflections
  • Reading Reflections
  • Assignments
    • Lumsden, Linda (1997). “Expectations for students.” ERIC Digest, July 1997. https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/dspace/handle/1794/3338
    • Problem of the Week: Alternate Handshake Problem
    • Observation Questions: The focus of the fourth set of observations is student engagement and student expectations. Think of these questions as you observe your two students in each class
    • Describe the students’ actions in the classroom.
    • Are the students engaged in the mathematics? What evidence do you observe that indicates the students are engaged?
    • Is the student expected to achieve in this class?  Why or why not?
    • What might you do different to engage the students?
    • What strategies would you use to set high expectations of students? Going to students and informing them that you expect them to achieve doesn’t always work.

Session 5: Student Engagement/Student Expectations

  • Mathematics Problem
  • POW
  • Observation Reflections
  • Reading Reflections
  • Assignments
    • Problem of the Week: Hiker Problem
    • No reading assignment
    • Mini-portfolio due next week
    • Observation Questions: The focus of the fifth set of observations is student/student and student/teacher interaction. Think of these questions as you observe your two students in each class
    • Describe the students’ actions in the classroom.
    • Are the students interacting with the teacher? In what way?
    • Are the students interacting with other students? Is it about mathematics or something other than mathematics? What type of interaction is occurring among your two students and the other students?
    • What might you do different to ensure more interaction between teacher and student and among students?
    • What type of discourse and interaction do you expect in your future classroom?

Session 6: Student/Student and Student/Teacher Interaction and Final Reflection

  • Mathematics Problem
  • POW
  • Observation Reflections
  • Mini-Portfolio Due: discussion/reflection of portfolio 

Joint Math/Ed Breakfast and Mathematics for Teaching Conference: Winter Quarter


Observation Protocol
  • Observe at least 2 classroom periods between each UCLA class session for a minimum total of 10 sessions for the quarter.
  • No more than two UCLA students are to observe a specific classroom at the same time.
  • Consider carpooling to the school sites.
  • Check in at the main office each time you visit a school site and receive a visitor’s pass.
  • As representatives of UCLA and as prospective teachers, and under the guidance of the UCLA instructor, you must be professional at all times when dealing with school staff and secondary students. This includes being polite and courteous, being non-judgmental, and dressing appropriately.
  • All observation reflections are to be entered into the OIS.
  • Ask the teacher you observe to sign the Observation Record form.
  • You will be provided focus questions for each of the observations.  The reflections are to address these questions as part of the observation. 
Observation Reflection Guidelines
  • Must be entered in the WeTeach website: https://tepd.ucop.edu/weteach.
  • Must use proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Must address the focus question as part of the observation and be reflective.
  • Must include your description and your reflection/analysis.  
Reading Reflection and Critical Analysis Expectations
  • Reflections and critically analyses are to be type written, approximately one to two pages in length, using 12-point type, single-spaced. The document can be sent electronically (Word Document) to the instructor prior to seminar.
  • Reflections are to reflect professional writing and academic language, including use of proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Reflections and critical analyses are to 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 (e.g., do you agree or disagree with the author? Why or why not?)
Problem of the Week Write-Up
  • Solve the problem using multiple methods.
  • Write a brief narrative on how you approached the problem and how you solved it describing your processes. Include any challenges that you faced and how you addressed them.
Mini-Portfolio Guidelines
  • Write a short paragraph on what you believe are the three most important characteristics of an effective mathematics teacher, building upon the assignment from last quarter but revising it based upon your experiences.
  • Write a one-page letter of recommendation of yourself in the third person.
  • Select one piece of writing from each of the following: Problem of the Day, Problem of the Week, Observation Reflection, and Reading Reflection/Critical Analysis to be included in the mini-portfolio.
  • Include your Observation Record Form.
  • Write a final reflection of the course. Include why you selected the pieces of work, what you learned and gained from the course and what questions you have remaining about teaching.

Comments

Outline update: 10/11

For more information, please contact
Student Services, ugrad@math.ucla.edu.