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Enhancing Mathematics Teaching & Learning through Problem Solving (grades 3-8)

This online course is designed to expand the mathematical and pedagogical content knowledge of upper elementary and middle school mathematics teachers of regular education students, special education students, and English language learners within a key mathematical topic strand (fractions – proportional reasoning – linear relationships). Participants will examine, explore, and develop practical classroom strategies for teaching amongst the targeted areas of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM).  Problem solving and reasoning will be an integral part of the course, as participants will be working to solve real-life problems set in meaningful contexts.  Problem solving will serve both as a vehicle for the development of conceptual understanding as well as the application of important skills.  Because so many math problems are text-based and vocabulary rich, reading comprehension and vocabulary strategies will be modeled and implemented during the course.  Concepts such as equivalent fractions, rational numbers, ratios and rates, proportional reasoning, and linear relationships will be explored through various media including standards-based, hands-on activities, web-based videos and interactive tools, graphic organizers, readings and discussion.  In order to connect this course to classroom practice, participants will be able to try out problems and strategies with their own students.  To that end, student work will be collected and analyzed, a student case study or lesson plan will be written, and a student interview will be conducted.