Math 1190 Fundamentals of Mathematics I

Fall Semester 2014, Section 01

Course Instructor:  Professor Solomon Friedberg

This course meets in Campion Hall, Room 302, MWF 10 a.m.  Attendance at all classes is required.

Reading and Homework Assignments

Special Project Assignment

(includes information on office hours and extra help)

EXTRA OFFICE HOURS BEFORE THE FINAL EXAMINATION:  Thursday, December 10, 4-5 p.m. and Friday, December 11, 1-3 p.m.

Welcome to the Math 1190 course website.  This website is the primary way for you to get information about our course, including the homework assignments. It also contains the course syllabus, and some links to related material on the web.  

Please note: enrollment in this course is restricted to students in the Lynch School of Education.

Course description for Math 1190 (from the Mathematics Department web site):

Math 1190-1191 is a course sequence designed for those who plan to teach mathematics in grades K-8. The emphasis is on building conceptual understanding of the mathematics present in the emerging K-8 curriculum and on deepening content knowledge. Number and number systems through the real number system will be studied; functions and the structure of algebra will be developed. Problem solving and reasoning, applications, and making connections will be featured.

We will focus on mathematics at the elementary school level.  Our goal will be to develop the pedagogical content knowledge necessary to succeed in teaching mathematics in elementary school.  We will also learn how to present this material so that it is good preparation for the topics that come in later grades. Unfortunately, many teachers find that students in higher grades have not mastered this material; even BC students who have gone off to teach in high school have reported it as extremely useful to them. This course will focus on numbers and arithmetic.  Please note that pedagogical content knowledge related to geometry is also necessary to be well-prepared to teach.  This is covered in MT1191, and students are strongly advised to include that class in their schedules for the Spring 2015 semester.

Textbooks:  There are two required textbooks for this course.

1.  Mathematics for Elementary Teachers With Activities (Fourth Edition) by Sybilla Beckmann
2.  Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics by Liping Ma.  The Anniversary Edition is in the bookstore, but a prior edition will also be fine.

Examination Dates:  Please note that full information about the grading policy for this course may be found in the syllabus (see link above).

Hour Exam Dates (tentative): Monday, October 6 and Monday, November 10.

The Final Examination for Math 1190, Section 01 is on Monday, December 15, 2014 at 9:00 a.m
Important: The date and time of the final examination is fixed by the Registrar and may not be changed.



1.  The key development in mathematics education of the last few years has been the adoption of the Common Core Mathematics Standards by most of the United States.  (You can also find an L.A. Times op-ed I wrote about this here.)

2.  One requirement for elementary certification in Massachusetts is passing the Mathematics Subtest.  Here is a practice test.

3.  Here is the Massachusettts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Guidelines for the Mathematical Preparation of Elementary Teachers.

4.  Here is a review of the book by Liping Ma that is required for our course.  The review is by Prof. Richard Askey, a very distinguished mathematics professor who has also been active in mathematics education for many years.

5.  Here is a provocative article that came out this summer in the New York Times magazine, entitled "Why do Americans stink at math?".  And here is a criticism by Tom Loveless of that article.  And a thoughtful response "Americans stink at math but we can fix that" by Prof. Hung-Hsi Wu which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.  And a criticism of the article by a Japanese educator, Manabu Watanabe.

Last revised:  December 9, 2014.  Copyright 2014 by Dr. Solomon Friedberg.  All rights reserved.