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Mathematics 630

MATH 630

Algebra and Functions for Secondary Teachers

Catalog Entry

MATH 630.  Algebra and Functions for Secondary Teachers

Credit Hours:  3 

Prerequisite:  Undergraduate degree in mathematics or by instructor permission.

Brief Description of Course: Mathematics and pedagogy for teaching algebraic reasoning and secondary school algebra with emphasis on functions. Topics include introductory algebra and functions; multiple representation; patterns; variation; linear, quadratic, and exponential functions; small systems of linear equations; inequalities; problems and techniques for teaching.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

The course will introduce the concept of function by the description of patterns (numerical or geometrical) using different representations: verbal, tabular, graphical and symbolic. There will be an emphasis in using concrete objects (manipulatives) to represent algebraic concepts and as a means to connect the numerical, geometric, and symbolic representation of algebraic elements such as constants, variables, linear and quadratic polynomials and procedures like multiplication of binomials and factorizations. To generalize and deepen the understanding of specific families of functions (linear, quadratic, and exponential), a transformational approach to graphing and analyzing functions will be used. Graphic calculators and/or computer software will be used to facilitate the analysis of the behavior of the functions studied. This course will also cover solutions of linear and quadratic equations, solutions to systems of linear equations (symbolically and graphically) and solutions to inequalities.


The relationship of each topic and problem set to Virginia Standards of Learning for Algebra I; Algebra II; and Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis (AFDA) will be made clear.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

In addition to lecture, students may work individually and collaboratively on assignments created to help students understand the content. Online discussions will be encouraged. Calculators and mathematics software such as Excel will be used to present and work on the material presented in class. A project may be presented by the students on a topic chosen by the instructor.


Goals and Objectives of this Course

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be thoroughly prepared to teach Virginia’s Algebra I; Algebra II; and the algebra and functions portion of the Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis course using manipulatives and technology.


Assessment Measures

Students may be assessed through tests, homework, quizzes, discussions, and/or presentations.


Other Course Information:  None


Review and Approval

Approved:  April, 2010