Skip Navigation

Math in the Middle Institute Partnership

Empowering Middle-Level Mathematics Teachers

Course Materials For Instructors

This website provides access to materials for several courses developed as part of the Math in the Middle Institute Partnership (M2) at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. The materials include a description and a complete set of documents needed to offer the course.

The focus of M2 is developing intellectual leaders among middle-level mathematics teachers (of grades 5-8), improving student achievement in math, and reducing the achievement gaps in the mathematical performance of diverse student populations in Nebraska. Thus the M2 curriculum is designed to build strong mathematics content knowledge and to study and practice the art of pedagogy.

Anyone wishing to offer quality courses to mathematics educators (from upper elementary through high school teachers) for college credit or professional development may use and duplicate any of the materials (referencing the Math in the Middle Institute when appropriate). In return, we ask that you let us know you have used the materials and provide us with feedback so that we might continually improve this and all Math in the Middle courses.

Course Title

Click name to jump to course description

Course Description
Course Materials
MATH 800T: Math as a Second Language View on external website Send e-mail inquiry: M2
MATH 802T: Functions, Algebra, and Geometry for Middle Level Teachers Jump to… Send e-mail inquiry: M2
TEAC 801: Curriculum Inquiry Jump to… Jump to…
MATH 804T: Experimentation, Conjecture, and Reasoning Jump to… Jump to…
TEAC 800: Inquiry into Teaching and Learning Jump to… Jump to…
MATH 805T: Discrete Mathematics for Middle Level Teachers Jump to… Send e-mail inquiry: M2
MATH 806T: Number Theory and Cryptology Jump to… Jump to…
STAT 892: Statistics for Middle Level Teachers Jump to… Jump to…
TEAC 888: Teacher as Scholarly Practitioner Jump to… Jump to…
MATH 807T: Using Math to Understand Our World Jump to… Jump to…
MATH 808T: Concepts of Calculus Jump to… Jump to…
TEAC 889 or MATH 896: Integrating the Teaching and Learning of Math (Capstone Course) Jump to… Send e-mail inquiry: M2


Course Descriptions


MATH 800T: Math as a Second LanguageView Full Course Description

This course lays the foundation for developing the "habits of mind of a mathematical thinker", a theme that is further developed in subsequent M2 courses. The approach is to understand arithmetic (number) and (introductory) algebra as a means of communicating mathematical ideas (i.e. as a language). The course will stress a deep understanding of the basic operations of arithmetic, as well as the interconnected nature of arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Attention is given to connections with other areas of mathematics and emphasizes the development of an appreciation for the importance of careful reasoning, problem solving and communicating mathematics both orally and in writing.

One distinctive characteristic of the text (and therefore the course) is its use of what is referred to as the "adjective-noun theme". The authors of the text argue that "numbers are adjectives that modify nouns (or other adjectives); and that an adjective in isolation (without reference to a noun) leaves an incomplete picture. A second distinctive characteristic of the text is its premise that arithmetic, algebra and geometry are interconnected and that the study of mathematic should reflect their interconnected nature.


MATH 802T: Functions, Algebra, and Geometry for Middle Level TeachersView Full Course Description

This course builds upon Mathematics as a Second Language. Participants will obtain a deep understanding of the concepts of variable and function, utilize functions in problem solving, the theory of measurement (especially length, area, volume), and develop geometric modeling in algebra. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which these concepts develop across the middle level curriculum.

The course includes a number of classroom connections and classroom discussions (activities which teachers might someday use in their middle school classrooms). Both are designed to deepen the connections between the algebra and geometry being studied to the algebra and geometry in the middle school curricula. Excerpts from Standards-based middle school mathematics curricula are included in the texts to also deepen this connection.


TEAC 801: Curriculum InquiryView Full Course Description

This pedagogy course focused on helping students gain a deeper understanding of mathematics curriculum development, including historical and contemporary issues that influence curriculum planning and educational change. Participants consider current curricular issues in relationship to their own mathematics teaching and learning and how the mathematics learned in other M2 courses transfers into the planned and enacted curriculum of one's own teaching practice.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



MATH 804T: Experimentation, Conjecture, and ReasoningView Full Course Description

This course focuses on problem solving, reasoning and proof and communicating mathematics. It utilizes the extensive resources of the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) to help middle level mathematics teachers develop problem solving skills.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



TEAC 800: Inquiry into Teaching and LearningView Full Course Description

This is a pedagogy course which is focused on inquiry into mathematics teaching and learning. The course has two principle goals: (1) the investigation and articulation of the basic principles of educational research and inquiry; and (2) the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of key concepts of classroom pedagogy based on research and instructional theories.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



MATH 805T: Discrete Mathematics for Middle Level TeachersView Full Course Description

This course extends the breadth of knowledge of discrete mathematics in directions beyond, but related to, topics covered in middle-grades curricula. It increases the depth of mathematical experiences through problems rich in opportunities for exploration and communication.


MATH 806T: Number Theory and CryptologyView Full Course Description

This course focuses on basic number theory results which are needed to understand the number theoretic RSA cryptography algorithm (an encryption algorithm which is in use today to secure information sent via the internet). As the number theory results are developed, connections to middle level curricula are emphasized and proofs are carefully selected so that those which are included in the course are particularly relevant and accessible to middle level teachers. This portion of the course promotes a deep understanding of the integers and their properties in connection with the operations of multiplication and division. Elementary ciphers (methods for encoding and decoding) are included to introduce the nature of cryptology in preparation for understanding the RSA method. The cryptology related activities are readily adaptable as enrichment activities for middle level students. The connection of number theory to the RSA encryption algorithm allows the participants to see and understand a very relevant, real-world application of mathematics.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



STAT 892: Statistics for Middle Level TeachersView Full Course Description

This course offers an introduction to probability and statistics. It follows an inquiry/discovery design dedicating much of class time to activities, discussion and group work. The course emphasizes both topics in probability and statistics that are part of the middle school curriculum and also statistics that are used in education and school-based research.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



TEAC 888: Teacher as Scholarly PractitionerView Full Course Description

This course introduces participants to the theory and practice of teacher-led inquiry. The course prepares teachers to engage in a school-based action research project that will be conducted during the following spring semester.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



MATH 807T: Using Math to Understand Our WorldView Full Course Description

This course is designed around a series of projects in which students examine the mathematics underlying several socially-relevant questions which arise in a variety of academic disciplines (i.e. real-world problems). Students learn to extract the mathematics out of the problem in order to construct models to describe them. The models are then analyzed using skills developed in this or previous mathematics courses.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



MATH 808T: Concepts of CalculusView Full Course Description

Students in this course will develop conceptual knowledge of the processes of differentiation and integration, along with their applications. The course is designed around a series of explorations (worksheets) through which students are led to "discover" the main ideas of calculus. Instructors' roles are primarily to answer individuals' questions that arise in completing the worksheets, facilitate class discussions as the explorations are completed, and summarize the main ideas developed in the course as the class progresses through the material.

Click the icon to the left of folder's name to open that folder.
Click a file to open it, click to save it to your computer.
All files are Microsoft Word documents, except where indicated.



TEAC 889 or MATH 896: Integrating the Teaching and Learning of Math (Capstone Course)View Full Course Description

This is a pedagogy course which is focused on inquiry into mathematics teaching and learning. The course has two principle goals: (1) the investigation and articulation of the basic principles of educational research and inquiry; and (2) the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of key concepts of classroom pedagogy based on research and instructional theories.