Math in the Middle 2020

MATH IN THE MIDDLE

LPS Math in the Middle

Remote Math in the Middle

Designed for teachers who teach math in grades 4-8, Math in the Middle supports a cohort of teachers who work together as they participate in a 36-hour graduate program leading to a Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s (UNL) Department of Mathematics. Since Math in the Middle began in 2004 with support from the National Science Foundation, over 300 teachers have earned a master’s degree from UNL as part of Math in the Middle. We are now accepting applications from teachers who want to be of this community of highly qualified teachers of mathematics in the middle grades. Acceptance will be done on a rolling basis.

To begin, teachers selected for Math in the Middle will take two classes in Summer 2021, with an option to take additional courses for those who want a fast start to their graduate program. Because all UNL courses in Summer 2021 will be offered via web conferencing and do not require any travel to campus, this is a particularly good time to start work on your master’s degree.

The 2020 and 2021 remote cohorts of Math in the Middle are designed with flexibility in mind. For example, while applicants should take at least eight courses with their Math in the Middle peers, substitute courses will be considered when appropriate and teachers with prior graduate credit will work with their advisor to determine which courses can count toward their master’s degree, thus shortening the time to degree. Also, since at least six, and possibly more, courses will be taken online, teachers whose home is at a distance from Lincoln may find this the best time to participate in a program like Math in the Middle.

Application Information

In order to take graduate classes at UNL, you need to either be admitted to a master’s degree program or admitted as a post-baccalaureate student. Graduate Studies at UNL uses CollegeNet for its application process. Please note that there is a $50 application fee.

Summer courses begin May 17 and the recommended courses (Math 804T and Math 802T) begin June 7. If you don't believe you can gather all of the application materials for the Master of Arts degree program in time, you should apply as a post-baccalaureate student. You can apply later to the MAT later for Fall 2021 admission. Once you create an account in CollegeNet and reach the Program Selection step, type "post" and select the "Post-Baccalaureate (Non-Degree)" program as your degree objective. For term, select “Summer 2021”. Transcripts that you upload on your own are considered “unofficial” but sufficient for the application review. To register for courses, UNL will need official transcripts (sent directly from the institution to graduate@unl.edu).

Applications for the Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) degree program should be completed before you finish six courses at UNL. You can certainly apply in Fall 2021 for the MAT or for the Master of Arts in Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education (TLTE). Again, you will apply in CollegeNet. When you reach the Program Selection step, for the MAT type "math" and select the "Mathematics (MAT)" program as your degree objective. Many middle-level teachers will also want to choose the "Mathematics (MAT) - Teaching Middle Level Mathematics" specialization. The MAT application will ask you to provide:

  • Official transcripts from your bachelor's degree, as well as any graduate coursework. Note: If your undergraduate degree is from UNL/UNO/UNK, it is not necessary to request a transcript.
  • A letter of intent, stating your goals for your master's degree
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Your teaching license (if you are not a Nebraska teacher)
  • Your resume

Separate from the Graduate Studies application, you need to let us know you are interested in being part of the 2021 Math in the Middle cohort. You will have an opportunity to do this as part of an application for fellowship support.

Summer 2021 Costs and Financial Support

In Summer 2021, the Math in the Middle program will be offered as part of the Nebraska Math and Science Summer Institutes (NMSSI).

Each semester that you register for classes, there is a one-time, $20 registration fee. Graduate tuition for the 2021 Summer Session is $341/credit hour for Nebraska residents and $652/credit hour for non-residents. In addition, there is an $11/cr. hr. technology fee and a $6.25/cr. hr. library fee. Asynchronous online courses have a $105 Online Course Fee.

In recognition of the importance of K-12 mathematics education to the State, Nebraska teachers are eligible for two special financial benefits as part of the NMSSI:

  • a 20% tuition discount; and
  • The NMSSI Fellowship Program which offers partial fellowship support to further reduce the cost of graduate education.

You can apply now for an NMSSI Fellowship. On the Fellowship application you will indicate your interest in joining the 2021 Math in the Middle cohort and indicate the courses you wish to take this summer. Teachers in Math in the Middle will have top priority for fellowships.

Summer 2021 Courses

To join the Math in the Middle program in 2021, the program will begin with Math 804T: Experimentation, Conjecture and Reasoning and Math 802T: Functions, Algebra & Geometry. Participants who already have credit for Math 804T or Math 802T will work with an adviser to discuss alternate courses for Summer 2021.

The recommended sections for Math in the Middle participants are:

  • Math 800T, Sec. 596: To build a sense of community, this course will be offered synchronously June 7-11 and June 14-18, with live whole-group Zoom meetings in the afternoons.
  • Math 802T, Sec. 596: To follow-up and continue with this format of learning, this course will be offered synchronously June 21-25 and June 28-July 2, with live whole-group Zoom meetings in the mornings. If this timeframe does not work for you, you may take the section 800 of Math 802T from July 12 to August 12.

Math in the Middle participants who want to take advantage of web conferencing during Summer 2021 and have the time to commit to additional coursework should discuss this option with an adviser. Other options that would count toward the Math in the Middle program are TEAC 848G, which will be offered June 7-18 in the mornings, and Math 805T: Discrete Mathematics, which will be offered June 21-July 2 in the afternoons.

Course Descriptions

Summer 2021 Options

Math 804T: Experimentation, Conjecture and Reasoning -- This course focuses on problem solving, reasoning and proof and communicating mathematics. Possible topics include the Pythagorean Theorem, golden rectangles, Platonic solids, Fibonacci numbers, the Art Gallery Theorem, Symmetry and Shifts, counting, probability and Bayes Theorem.

MATH 802T: Functions, Algebra & Geometry -- Deepens teachers’ understanding of the concepts of variable and function, problem solving, measurement (especially length, area, volume), and geometric modeling; with emphasis on the connections between these concepts.

TEAC 848G: Introduction to Curriculum Studies: Mathematics Curriculum Analysis & Design -- Description coming soon.

MATH 805T: Discrete Mathematics -- Designed to deepen knowledge of discrete mathematics as it relates to topics covered in middle through high school curricula through hands-on explorations which emphasize problem-solving strategies.



Speak with an adviser

One of the benefits of participation in the Math in the Middle program is the support you will receive from your adviser who has taught courses to previous cohorts of teachers. If you want to speak with an adviser as you are considering applying to the program, write us at nebraskamath@unl.edu.