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Math in the Middle Institute Partnership

Empowering Middle-Level Mathematics Teachers

Graduate Program

Math in the Middle Institute Course Descriptions

Math 800T:Mathematics as a Second Language (3 cr)

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.


Math 802T:Functions, Algebra and Geometry for Middle-Level Teachers (3 cr)

This course builds on Mathematics as a Second-Language. A careful study of fractions, ratios and rational numbers will lay the foundation for a study of algebra. Participants will gain a deep understanding of the concept of function and gain a deeper understanding of the algebra and geometry taught in the middle grades. As part of the study of functions, algebra and geometry, participants will study measurement with an emphasis on length, area and volume. The course will also explore ways to increase students’ visual literacy as a component of learning, understanding, and communicating ideas in mathematics.


TEAC 800:Inquiry into Teaching and Learning (3 cr)

This is a pedagogical seminar taught in partnership with a math course and will focus on inquiry into mathematics teaching and learning. Participants will be introduced to the field of educational inquiry through a study of various designs and methods of doing educational research. Participants will also develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions of educational inquiry through a study of artifacts of mathematics teaching and learning. In addition, this course will help participants consider current issues in mathematics education in relationship to their own teaching and learning of mathematics and what it means to transfer the mathematics learned in other M2 courses into one’s practice as a math teacher. The course also lays the foundation for ongoing work in the area of teacher leadership.


STAT 892:Statistics For Middle-Level Teachers (3 cr)

This course offers an introduction to statistics and probability with an emphasis on teaching statistics and probability to middle level students. The course provides the foundation for later study of how data is used in education and for school-based research.


Math 804T:Experimentation, Conjecture and Reasoning (3 cr)

(Problem Solving for the Middle Level Mathematics Teacher)

This academic year course is taught using distance learning approaches together with one 2-day, on-site classroom experience. Focus will be placed on problem solving, reasoning and proof and communicating mathematics. With the support of the American Mathematics Competitions, which is housed in Lincoln , NE, this course will utilize the extensive resources of the AMC to help middle level mathematics teachers develop problem solving skills.


Math 805T:Discrete Mathematics for Middle-Level Teachers (3 cr)

Discrete mathematics topics introduced in this class will include social decision making, vertex-edge graph theory, counting techniques, matrix models, and the mathematics of iteration. The unifying themes for these topics will be mathematical modeling, the use of technology, algorithmic thinking, recursive thinking, decision making, and mathematical induction as a way of knowing.


TEAC 801:Curriculum Inquiry (3 cr)

This pedagogical seminar is taught in partnership with a math course and will focus on gaining a deeper understanding of mathematics curriculum development, including historical and contemporary issues that influence curriculum planning and educational change. Participants will 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.


Math 806T:Number Theory and Cryptology for Middle-Level Teachers (3 cr)

The inspiration for the course is the very successful honors seminar “The Joy of Numbers: The Search for Big Primes.” A Socratic approach will guide the teachers in a development of key ideas in number theory that have many applications to the middle level classroom.


TEAC 888:Teacher as Scholarly Practitioner (3 cr)

This academic year course is taught using distance learning approaches together with one 2-day, on-site classroom experience. The course introduces participants to the theory and practice of teacher-led inquiry into effective practice. The course prepares teachers to engage in a school-based action research project that will be conducted during the following spring semester.


Math 807T:Using Mathematics to Understand our World (3 cr)

This academic year course is taught using distance learning approaches together with one 2-day, on-site classroom experience. It will explore what kind of processes in students’ daily lives can be modeled by simple equations or distributions. The course will also address measurement of various natural phenomena, from weather to soil and water makeup to structure of living organisms.  The first goal of this course is to provide teacher leaders with the capacity not only for utilizing a broad range of resources for teaching mathematics, but also for adjusting their techniques and strategies to match their clientele.  The second goal is to provide these teacher leaders with the techniques for helping other teachers develop their own capacities for resource utilization, adjustments of techniques, and adapting to a changing clientele.


Math 808T:Concepts of Calculus for Middle-Level Teachers (3 cr)

The design of this 1-week course is similar the corresponding courses in the first and second summer. The course will begin with a development of trigonometry from the perspective of the middle school classroom and then shift to an introduction to the “concepts of calculus.” Emphasis will be on understanding the concepts of limit, derivative, and the definite integral (and how the mathematics in the middle school curriculum can lay a foundation for the study of continuous mathematics). Participants will also be introduced to series, vectors and multivariable functions.


Capstone Course:Integrating the Learning and Teaching of Mathematics (3 cr)

Depending on the degree sought, teachers will register for TEAC 889 or Math 809T (proposed)

This course is the capstone experience of the M2 Institute. Considerable time will be devoted to discussing how the mathematics learned in M2 courses can enrich the middle level classroom. This course will be a fully integrated mathematics and pedagogy course whose goal is to enable the teacher to be a better teacher of mathematics because of the mathematics and pedagogy that they have learned. Concurrently with this course, teachers will be working on satisfying the masters exam requirements for their Masters Degree.

Degree Options

MA Degree (.pdf)
MAT Degree (.pdf)