This web site is devoted to EDUC 310 - Mathematics Elementary Methods at SUNY Potsdam as led by Sergei Abramovich. This site contains the course syllabus, links to relevant sites, and computational environments created to support the course.



Interesting links.

Lesson Plans web site contains lesson plans for a varitey of topics in elementary mathematics.

Helping your child learn mathematics web site (U.S. Department of Education).

NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education).

Cuisenaire rods and fractions.

Fresh Baked Fractions

Cool java applets for K-12 math.

AAA Math web site.

Rubrics web site.

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM).

School Jobs Bulletin Board.

Math web sites for elementary teachers.

Technology for teaching mathematics


Course syllabus.


EDUC 310: Mathematics -- Elementary Methods
Fall 2000


Class Place: Satterlee 301


Instructor: Sergei Abramovich

Office: Satterlee 210

Office Hours: MWF 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., and by appointment.

Phone: (315) 267-2541 (office); e-mail:



Background and Rationale


Mathematics &endash; Elementary Methods is a course designed to prepare students to teach mathematics in grades K-6. This course will reflect change and growth in mathematics education set by the National and New York State Standards for school mathematics. In particular, mathematics currently involved in K-6 program as recommended by the New York State Education Department will be highlighted. This course will attempt to increase the confidence level of a future teacher who, in turn, will help children develop confidence and understanding as they do mathematics. Students will be introduced to current issues and trends in mathematics education such as the use of physical manipulatives and computing technology, revision of curriculum and professional standards, alternative performance assessment, and social constructivism.

 SUNY Potsdam Education Unit Conceptual Framework

A Tradition of Excellence: Preparing Creative and Reflective Practitioners


EDUC 310 course supports the SUNY Potsdam Education Conceptual Framework in several ways. First, through experiences provided in this course students will continue to develop as "well educated citizens" by modeling the skills, attitudes, and values of inquiry relevant for mathematics content and by appropriately using technology such as the Internet, word processing, spreadsheets, and other electronic information technologies. They will continue to develop as 'reflective practitioners" by modeling inquiry, practice, and reflection in their field experiences and journals. They will effectively use research-based models of curriculum, instruction, and assessment as they plan for instruction, design, and teach lessons meeting the diverse learning needs of students, promoting reflective inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving, incorporating appropriate technology. They will identify national and state learning standards that are related to their lessons. They will develop as "principled educators" by demonstrating


Text book and other required materials


John A. Van de Walle. Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally. Addison Wesley Longman, 2000. (Available in the bookstore).


EDUC 310 Course Materials with instructor Sergei Abramovich. (Copied and available in the bookstore).


Two floppy disks (high density - HD) for Macintosh computer, compass, ruler, color pencils/markers, scissors, 3-ring binder (with Economy weight sheet protectors) for portfolio &emdash; all required.


SUNY Potsdam e-mail account is required in order to have access to a computer on the Campus. To arrange for this account please come over to the Office of Distributing Computing (Kellas 100, phone #2083) with your student ID. The Office hours are M-F, 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.


Several materials for the course will be put on a local server (ClassFiles volume of the Zeus Server) and/or attached to the course web site created on the Internet. Guidelines for accessing such materials from a Mac computer on the Campus are provided below.



Course Content


The course content will revolve around the following key ideas of the NYS Mathematics Core Curriculum:

1) Mathematical Reasoning;

2) Number and Numeration;

3) Operations;

4) Modeling/Multiple Representation;

5) Measurement;

6) Uncertainty; and

7) Patterns/Functions.



Course Objectives and Pedagogy


In accord with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics and the NYS framework this course will help students become proficient in:


1) selecting mathematical tasks to engage children's interests and intellect;

2) providing opportunities to deepen their understanding of mathematics being studied;

3) orchestrating classroom discourse in ways that promote conceptual growth;

4) using technology to enhance classroom instruction;

5) seeking, and helping children seek, connections to previous and developing knowledge.


These objectives will be achieved through examining examples of activities recommended by the NYS Mathematics Core Curriculum.


Evaluation Criteria



Students are expected to attend, be prepared for, and participate professionally in each class. This includes the ability to support classroom activities with questions, comments, and mini presentations based on homework and readings. Professionalism includes the ability to keep notes of the class discussions and home assignments in a special mathematics portfolio for the course. At the end of the semester the students will be expected to submit a portfolio with records of class and home works for this course. To facilitate students' work on the portfolio, a checklist of the records required and informal feedback on the portfolio will be provided during the semester.


In addition, the preparation of elementary teachers at SUNY Potsdam includes educational opportunities of using the Internet and local electronic information network. EDUC 310 course is a perfect place where such opportunities can be reinforced. First, an e-mail communication between the instructor and students will be used on a regular basis. Students will be expected to check their e-mail twice a week as regular homework will be given mostly via e-mail. Please be advised that you can check your campus e-mail through the Internet by opening the following location in the Navigator: Second, a web site for the course has been developed by the instructor. To access the course web site on the Internet, open the following location in the Navigator:

(any computer that has the Internet connection will be OK). This would give access to the course syllabus and other relevant materials. In order to access a password-required domain of the course web site find the hyperlink EDUC 310 at the top of the page and click at it. Upon clicking, a computer would require entering User Name and Password. Please be advised that the User Name is educ310 and Password is main. This will make some course materials available to the EDUC 310 students only. Finally, in order to access course materials put on the ClassFiles volume (of the Zeus Server) one should go to Class Files server, and find the folder EDUC 310 within the folder abramovs.


Note that everything placed in ClassFiles is automatically "published" on the Web at This option is convenient for those students who will be using non-campus (e.g., home) computers. To access ClassFiles on the Internet, make your way, via your browser, to the folder EDUC 310 and see a list of files; holding down the OPTION (Mac) or SHIFT (Windows) key while clicking on the document will cause the document to be downloaded to your computer. You can then double-click on the document and open it on your computer assuming that you have the same program that was used to create it.



Students are expected to read the textbook and Course Materials as assigned by the instructor. Homework will be assigned regularly throughout the semester and will be a part of portfolio for the course. During the semester students will be required to turn in 4 different homework assignments in a due time. Please plan to watch carefully for assignments given. Two homework assignments will be based the use of a computer and students must plan for time to work in a Macintosh computer lab on such assignments. Students are expected to acquire a minimum knowledge of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Dynamic Geometry (The Geometer's Sketchpad) programs. As stated in the New York State Education Department Core Curriculum for Mathematics, "software that allows students … to explore, conjecture and investigate mathematics, provides unique opportunities for students learning mathematics. Teachers should take full advantage of this resource, if available" (see the web site of New York State Education Department at, Resource Guides, Mathematics, Elementary Grades, p. 12). Please be advised that the instructor will be available to help students learn computer technology during office hours, by appointment, and beyond.

Three topic exams and a final exam will be given during the semester. The topic exams (exact dates to be announced) will be based on readings, home works, and activities presented in the class. The final exam (see Final Examination Schedule for date and time) will be based on the New York State Testing Program in Mathematics for Grade 4 provided in the Course Materials.

College policy (see the 1999-2001 Undergraduate Catalog, p. 47) provides that students should be allowed to make up work in the case of "a documented absence resulting from active participation in College-sponsored activities, illness or family emergency." For college-sponsored activities, students will be expected to turn their written assignments in advance of the date due and absences must be acceptably documented. With regard to illness and family emergency, these must be documented. It is a rare illness that impedes a student who has not waited to the last minute from submitting a paper on time. The Student Health Service refers acute illnesses and injuries to outside medical facilities and does NOT ordinarily provide documentation for treatment carried out only by it. The same rules that apply to students actively participating in college-sponsored activities, will apply to students unable to attend because of religious beliefs (see page 47 of the Catalog.)

Any student who feels she or he may need accommodations based on a documented disability should see me after class, during my office hours, or by appointment. Students needing an Accommodation Plan should see Disabled Student Services.


Portfolio 20%

The use of technology 10%

Topic Exams 40%

Final Exam 15%

Home work assignments 15%



An interactive chart titled Calculation of Grade is attached to the password-required domain of the course web site. Note: Blue numbers (in the chart) related to exams are subject to change.

It is expected that all work will be the students own otherwise documented. Failure to credit others for direct quotations and ideas will be considered plagiarism and will result in the student receiving a grade of 0.0 for that assignment.