MATH 212 Geometry & Measurement for MCED

Spring 2008

Check out daily activities at the course calendar.  You will find reading assignments, homework exercises, web links, and important due dates.  This calendar may change often, so return to it regularly throughout the semester.
Course Content: This course is for education majors working toward middle childhood licensure with a mathematics concentration. It discusses the van Hiele five-level model of a child's development in geometry and uses that organization for the development of the course. The study of geometric shapes and definitions, then measurement and right triangle trigonometry, leads to an increasingly more formal approach. We treat notions of Euclidean congruence, similarity and constructions; transformations, coordinates, and analytic geometry; introductions to hyperbolic and spherical geometry. The history of the development of geometric knowledge is consulted to provide broad context for the mathematical concepts. Hands-on activities, pencil-and-paper exercises, reflection writing, geometry software, and other problem solving experiences are employed to approach the material from a variety of perspectives.
Time & Place: MWF 12:30am - 1:20pm, COH 190
Instructor: Daniel E. Otero
Office Hours:

Hinkle 104, W 1:30 - 3:00, R 1:00 - 5:00, F 1:30- 5:00, or by appointment or capture

Phone: 745-2012 (voicemail available)
Textbooks: Chapters 11-14 of Mathematical Reasoning for Elementary Teachers (MR) , 5th ed., by Calvin T. Long, Duane W. DeTemple & Richard S. Millman (Pearson/Addison-Wesley, 2009) -- available at XU Library E-Reserves; and...
Geometry Connections: mathematics for middle school teachers (GC), by John K. Beem (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006) -- available as a standard print book from the Xavier Bookstore.
Other Supplies:
Over the course of the semester, we will be required to perform geometric constructions with a straightedge and compass. A ruler marking both inches and centimeters is best. Aversatile safety compass is an invaluable tool for this work and can be purchased for a few dollars at any school supply store (or from me). It is a good idea to always come to class with a calculator; the standard issue calculator at Xavier is still the TI-83, -83 Plus, or -84 graphics calculator, widely available in stores for about $100. These calculators are required for other mathematics courses you are also required to take, like MATH 120 Elementary Functions, MATH 150 Elements of Calculus, and MATH 116/156 Statistics. We will also make use of a piece of software called Geometer's Sketchpad. It is installed on the PCs in COHEN 190 for our use in the classroom, and across the campus through the Xavier network; you may also purchase a stand-alone student edition for yourself from Key Curriculum Press for $40.
Grading: A standard scale (A = 90%, B = 80%, C = 70%, D = 60%) based on a total 600 pts.
Homework/classwork = 200 pts
Test 1 (MR, Chs 11 & 12) = 100 pts
Test 2 (MR, Chs 13 & 14) = 100 pts
Test 3 (GC, Chs1, 2, 3 & 5) = 100 pts
Final Exam = 100 pts

Frequent homework assignments and occasional projects will be assigned. The final exam will be cumulative. Your final exam grade will replace that of the lowest 100-pt score previously obtained. The Department of Mathematics & Computer Science has adopted this Statement of Grading Standards which you should review.

Absences: Attendance and participation in class is expected, especially since there will be graded assignments that take place in the classroom.  No extra credit work will be assigned.  If you foresee that you will not be able to attend a class, you must make arrangements beforehand to schedule a time to make up any missed work.  A simple email or phone message before the time of the scheduled quiz or test is sufficient.  No arrangements will be made otherwise.
Homework: Read the textbook ahead of time; youíll be surprised how much more useful class time is if you train yourself to read what will be covered in class before you get there!  The best preparation for tests is diligent attention to working the homework assignments, as tests will contain problems modeled on these exercises.  Indeed, it is impossible to learn mathematical ideas without doing a fair number of problems that explore these concepts. The homework assignments listed in the calendar on the day they are due. Late assignments will be accepted but might not be graded. If you submit more than one sheet of paper as your assignment, staple them together; do not submit loose or folded pages.

Here are some interesting and useful websites for you to explore...

  • Geometric Dissections on the Web: library of web pages exploring tessellation and dissections maintained by Purdue University professor Greg Frederickson
  • The Geometry Center: a mathematics research and education center at the University of Minnesota with a unified mathematics computing environment supporting math and computer science research, mathematical visualization, software development, application development, video animation production, and K-16 math education.
  • Geometry Games: web-based games for the elementary school classroom, especially targeted for grades 3-6.
  • Kali Java Applet: a program that lets you draw symmetrical patterns based on any of the 17 wallpaper groups, as well as several frieze and rosette groups.
  • The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive: comprehensive resource for the history of mathematics
  • Math Archives: wide-ranging resource for the K-12 classroom teacher
  • Math Central: many resources for mathematics education
  • Mathematics Education and Outreach Resources: directory of dozens of links to organizations, curricula, and resources in mathematics education
  • Math Forum: advertises itself as "the leading online resource for improving math learning, teaching, and communication...a wealth of problems and puzzles; online mentoring; research; team problem solving; collaborations; and professional development."
  • MathWorld: an online encyclopedia of mathematics; a great search tool
  • National Library of Virtual Manipulatives:
  • Powers of 10: a resource centered around the famous short film
  • precisely what it's called
  • Totally Tessellated: pretty site, devoted to displays of various tessellations

  last modified 1/12/08