• This web page describes an activity within the Department of Mathematics at Ohio University, but is not an official university web page.
• If you have difficulty accessing these materials due to visual impairment, please email me at mohlenka@ohio.edu; an alternative format may be available.

# MATH 5120 (1543-100), Fall 2014

## College Mathematics Teaching for New Teaching Assistants

Catalog Description:
This course prepares new mathematics teaching assistants for undergraduate-level mathematics instruction. Students will investigate the technical, pedagogical, ethical, and other professional dimensions of undergraduate mathematics instruction.
Desired Learning Outcomes:
A successful participant is able to:
• Articulate specific teaching strategies that support students' mastery of content.
• Identify and use a variety of resources (technologies, texts, experts...) to support teaching and learning.
• Plan and implement a lesson.
• Design assessments/evaluations that provide appropriate feedback and then analyze and respond effectively to the results.
• Understands interpersonal and diversity issues and their relevance to effective teaching of all students.
• Strike a balance between the demands of teaching and the demands of being a successful graduate student.
• Write a complete and useful syllabus for a course, subject to guidelines issued by a coordinator.
• Articulate an educational philosophy of teaching, learning, assessment, etc.
Requisites:
Permission. Mathematics Department teaching assistants will be enrolled automatically; others should contact the instructor.
Credits:
2 (This course counts toward your minimum enrollment but does not count toward the masters program.)
Instructor:
Martin J. Mohlenkamp, mohlenka@ohio.edu, (740)593-1259, 315B Morton Hall.
Office hours: Monday 9:40-10:35am, Wednesday 9:40-10:35am, and Friday 9:40-10:35am, or by appointment.
Web page:
http://www.ohiouniversityfaculty.com/mohlenka/20151/5120.
Class hours/ location:
Wednesday 6:20-8:10pm in 215 Morton Hall.
Text:
None; materials will be provided. You should read the MAA's A Handbook for Mathematics Teaching Assistants.
Homework:
Each week an assignment of some type is due. When it makes sense, these will be submitted through Blackboard as .pdf files. Late homework is penalized 5% per day.
Final Exam:
The final exam is scheduled on Monday, December 8, at 7:00 pm. We will substitute a final report/project due at that time.
Attendance:
Attendance is required and is counted as a percentage of your grade. Missed classes may be made up by doing additional course-related work.
Your grade is based on attendance at 20%, homework at 60%, and the final exam/report/project at 20%. An average of 90% guarantees you at least an A-, 80% a B-, 70% a C-, and 60% a D-. Grades are not the point.
Special Needs:
If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know as soon as possible so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You should also register with Student Accessibility Services to obtain written documentation and to learn about the resources they have available.
Learning Resources:
• Your classmates are your best resource. Use them!
• MAA's A Handbook for Mathematics Teaching Assistants.
• Tools for Teaching eBook (on-campus access).
• Tomorrow's Professor mailing list.
• Good Problems writing program.
• LaTeX, Python, and Matlab resources.
• OHIO Center for Teaching and Learning
• University of Nebraska-Lincoln Teaching Programs, Tools, and Resources
• MIT Teaching and Learning Laboratory
• Open course materials for Teaching College-Level Science and Engineering
• Math section (pages 10-15) in the ACT College Readiness Standard
• Math section (pages 4-6) in the Ohio Uniform Statewide Standards for Remediation-Free Status
• Online Mathematics Teaching Community

## Schedule

Subject to change.

WeekDate Topic/Materials Homework due
0See the orientation page.
1Wed Aug 27
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Course themes:
• Tools and knowledge you can immediately use in the classroom.
• Skill and attitude development for your teaching career.
• Skills useful for any profession.
• Set up your class in Blackboard
• login, select the class you teach.
• Select "Information", "Build Content", "Item". Put in your contact information, office location, office hours, etc. If you are teaching a coordinated course, link to its main page.
• Make the course available to the students.
• (optional) Set up the grade center to display test (or other) grades.
(Further support)
• Homework for next week.
• Explore your classlist:
• Log into the Faculty and Advising Center; select "Teaching", "Class list and Grading".
• Hit the people icon by your class to get the classlist.
• Click the magnifying glass icon by a person to get more info and a little picture. Click the picture to get a bigger one. (There is no good way to get a photo gallery of your class.)
• Try out the "PDF listing", "PDF", and "Excel" buttons.
• ConnectMath practice
orientation evaluation
2Wed Sep 3
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for next week.
Who are your students?
Peer observation (.tex)
3Wed Sep 10
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
Tests:
Assessment policies and problems:
• Should you drop the lowest test/quiz/homework?
• Should you give extra credit?
• When should you allow make-up tests/quizzes?
• How can you reduce cheating?
• What do you do if you think a student is cheating?
Alternative Assessments:
Mathematical and pedagogical autobiography (.tex)
4Wed Sep 17
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for next week.
(Featuring Jenny Klein, Assistant Dean of Student Persistence and Success) Intervening:
• Tips for retention:
• If someone gets below a C on anything, tell them they have to come see you in their office hours.
• If a student misses more than one class period, call their cell phone (?or email first) and ask them if they are OK.
• Develop a buddy system for attendance -- have students introduce themselves to each other on the first day, and then when someone is gone ask their buddy where they are and why they are missing and to try to track the person down if they haven't heard from them.
• The Ohio University Academic Advancement Center offers Supplemental Instruction and a Math Center.
• The Allen Student Advising Center can help students who are academically adrift. If a student disappears from your class or is beyond your ability to help, submit an Academic Alert.
• If you think a student may need accomodation due to a disability, refer them to Student Accessibility Services.
• If you think a student may be a danger to themselves or others, report them.
• If you observe sexual misconduct you are required to report it; further guidance.
• Study skills vary and matter:
Design a test (.tex)
5Wed Sep 24
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for next week.
Writing mathematics with $$\LaTeX$$
Peer observation (.tex)
6Wed Oct 1
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
Active learning
Why do it?
How to do it:
• Homework for next week.
Make your test from week 4 in $$\LaTeX$$. Submit through blackboard the source (.tex, any graphics) and the resulting .pdf file.
7Wed Oct 8
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for next week.
Classroom Craft
Own the room:
Arrange the furniture; remove trip hazards; remove broken furniture; discard trash; close curtains; close doors.
Questions:
Wait at least 8 seconds for responses; ask "Are there any questions?" not "Does everyone understand?"; try using stoplight cards.
Projector skills:
Preload content; use presentation mode; use a large font; adjust lighting; check visibility from the back of the room; use a pointer; do not switch back and forth too much.
Board skills:
Work left-to-right and top-to-bottom; use the whole (visible) board; leave material as long as you can before erasing; organize with dividing lines and section headers; write objectives/outline; write large; develop board letters; use colors.
Voice:
Vocal Techniques for Actors; open your mouth wider; stretch your mouth; warm up your voice; face the class; shut the doors.
Body language:
Varies by culture and gender; be aware.
Enthusiasm:
If you are not enthusiastic about the topic, act like you are. Spice things up (a little).
Design an active-learning activity (.tex).
8Wed Oct 15
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for next week.
Active learning activities.
Faculty observation (.tex)
9Wed Oct 22
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
Syllabus preparation:
Unpleasantries:
Implement and report on your active-learning activity (.tex).
10Wed Oct 29
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
Teaching Philosophies and Portfolios (featuring Tim Vickers, Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning)
Teaching Philosophies
Teaching Portfolios
Critique a syllabus (.tex)
11Wed Nov 5
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for next week.
Prep for next week: Mathematical software:
Critique a teaching philosophy (.tex)
12Wed Nov 12
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for next week.
Using the web:
Make a syllabus for one of the Spring semester MATH classes here, pretending you will be the instructor. Clearly label this syllabus as an exercise and not real.
13Wed Nov 19
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Homework for the last week.

Doing better next time:

Student evaluations.
What to expect
What do they mean?
Other forums:
Rate my Professors
Self-critique:
• example (not from this course)
• Your Final "Exam"
Make your (university) webpage. Submit the url through Blackboard.
14Wed Nov 26 Thanksgiving holiday, no meeting
15Wed Dec 3
• Questions, Problems, and Venting.
• Final "exam".
End of semester tasks:
• Submit grades via the online grading system; stick to the MATH 1200 grading scale; for information on the meaning of odd grades, see the catalog
• Print a copy of your submitted grades and turn it in to the office.
• Print a copy of your grades spreadsheet and turn it in to the office.
• Turn the students' final exams in to the office.
• If you will not teach the same course next semester, turn in your textbook.
Odds and ends:
Make your teaching philosophy (.tex)
16Mon Dec 8 7:00 pm Final Exam (virtual; your physical presence is not required) Substitute summative activity (.tex)

Martin J. Mohlenkamp
Last modified: Wed Dec 10 16:49:28 EST 2014