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MAT 2415 Mathematics for Elementary Education I

This is the first of two mathematics courses designed for future elementary school teachers. The focus is on understanding numbers, operations, algebraic thinking, and number theory. This is a mathematics content course. Please note that this is not a teaching methods course, but a course focusing on using, justifying and connecting mathematical concepts. This course employs oral and written communication as both a learning tool and as preparation for handling mathematical questions which arise in elementary school classrooms. Discussion focuses on the deep mathematical reasoning underlying the computational procedures that are usually taught in elementary school. The course explores common misconceptions with preservice teachers, enabling the interpretation of children's work which might be incorrect, incomplete, or different from adult ways of thinking. Also this course is activity based, providing opportunities for deep, connected learning. It is essential for all teachers of mathematics to understand the reasoning underlying the mathematics they are teaching. They need to understand why various procedures work, how each idea they will be teaching connects with other important ideas in mathematics, and how these ideas develop and become more sophisticated. Please note that students are expected to pass a mathematics competency exam without the use of a calculator in order to be eligible to take the final exam.

Division: Science, Mathematics and Engineering
Department: Mathematics
Repeatable Credit: No
Offered Online: No

Prereqs: MAT 0300 AND with a grade of C or better OR Satisfactory score on math placement test 


  • Demonstrate understanding of numbers by explaining place value, development of fractions, and interpretation of signed numbers.
  • Use math drawings and manipulative materials to reveal, discuss, and explain the rationale behind computational methods, and how these extend from whole numbers to fractions, decimals and signed numbers. Compare and contrast standard algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Use a variety of methods to model and communicate reasoning about algebra and its properties.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic number theory, including divisibility, prime factorization, and existence of irrational numbers.

Credit Hours: 5

Classroom Hours: 5