Primarily Math | Course Materials for Instructors

Course Materials For Instructors: Elementary

This website provides access to materials for several courses developed as part of NebraskaMATH: Primarily Math 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 Primarily Math is developing intellectual leaders among early elementary mathematics teachers (of grades K-3), improving student achievement in math, and reducing the achievement gaps in the mathematical performance of diverse student populations in Nebraska. Thus the Primarily Math curriculum is designed to build strong mathematics content knowledge as well as knowledge of child development and effective mathematics pedagogy.

Anyone wishing to offer quality courses to mathematics educators (early elementary teachers) for college credit or professional development may use and duplicate any of the materials (referencing NebraskaMATH: Primarily Math 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 Primarily Math courses.

MATH 800P: Number and Operation for K-3 Math Specialists

This course strengthens teachers’ conceptual knowledge of number and operation in the K-3 mathematics curriculum and connects the intuitive mathematical understandings that children bring to school with an understanding of place value in the K-3 curriculum. The significance of base 10 in our place value system, along with its role in arithmetic operations and their properties, is a major emphasis of the course. This is typically the first course in the Primairly Math sequence.

MATH 801P: Geometry, Measurement and Algebraic Thinking for K-3 Math Specialists

This course promotes a deep understanding of geometry, measurement and algebraic thinking and its role in the K-3 mathematics curriculum. Emphasis is placed on mathematical argument related to geometric relationships, measurement, spatial reasoning, patterns, relations and functions. This is typically the second course in the Primairly Math sequence.

MATH 802P: Number, Geometry and Algebraic Thinking II for K-3 Math Specialists

This course builds on the mathematics studied in MATH 800P and 801P and extends teachers’ mathematical knowledge by considering how concepts studied in the K-3 curriculum lay a foundation for abstract thinking in grades 4 and beyond. The first week focuses on a study of fractions, and the second week emphasizes geometry topics. This is typically the fifth course in the Primairly Math sequence.

Math 803P: Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary Classroom

Discussion will revolve around student understanding of Algebraic properties of mathematics as participants examine case studies, video segments and student work samples. Participants will explore instructional strategies for fostering Algebraic thinking that are appropriate for both the primary (K-2) and intermediate (3-5) elementary classrooms.

Math 804P: Problem Solving and Critical Thinking for Elementary Teachers

The course seeks to build a strong foundation for the teaching and communication of mathematical concepts by the hands-on development of critical-thinking skills via problem-solving experiences. It provides a guided opportunity for the implementation of problem-solving instruction that is aligned with the new Nebraska mathematics standards in both the primary (K-2) and intermediate (3-5) elementary classroom.

TEAC 808A: Teaching Math K-3: Planning Lessons for Diverse Classrooms

This course increases practicing teachers’ understanding of and their ability to apply current research in mathematics education to the teaching and learning of K-3 mathematics. The course focuses on understanding the learning trajectories of children’s mathematical ideas in the K-3 mathematics curriculum. This is typically the third course in the Primairly Math sequence.

TEAC 808J: Helping Young Children Become Mathematical Thinkers

This course focuses on the continued design and implementation of math lessons aimed at helping children become mathematical thinkers. The course emphasizes meeting the needs of diverse learners, including the intentional selection and use of particular teaching strategies coupled with systematic reflection on learning outcomes. This is typically the fourth course in the Primairly Math sequence.

TEAC 907: Communities of Practice and Mathematics

This course is designed to help teachers become increasingly more intentional, planful, observant, and reflective as teachers of elementary mathematics. Teachers situate their individual lesson planning within the mathematical ideas of the elementary curriculum, giving particular attention to creating coherence and connections to the learning trajectories of children. This is typically the sixth course in the Primairly Math sequence.

TEAC 836B: Leadership and Mathematics Instruction, Professional Development in Education

This course is driven by the goal of preparing teachers for new or existing leadership roles that involve leading peers in using effective strategies for teaching and learning mathematics. The course offers strategies and tools for the practical, day-to-day work of leading others in planning, implementing and assessing current mathematical instructional practices.

TEAC 890: Responsive Instruction in the Mathematics Classroom

The new Nebraska state and Common Core standards for mathematics are based largely on learning progressions. Thus, the aim of this course is to familiarize elementary teachers with mathematical learning progressions by utilizing a set of frameworks developed to provide teachers with a way to analyze student thinking and respond with instruction that guides students through the "next steps" needed to advance and deepen understanding.