A protected domain of the SECD 350 course web site can be entered using the user name and password only (please see a hard copy of the syllabus).


SECD 350: Secondary Mathematics Program

Spring 2000

Class Time: TU-TH 11:00 a.m. -- 12:15 a.m. Class Place: Satterlee 301


Instructor: Sergei Abramovich

Office: Satterlee 210; Office Hours: MWF 10:00a.m. - 11:00a.m., and by appointment.

Phone: (315) 267-2541 (office); e-mail: abramovs@potsdam.edu



Background and Rationale


Secondary Mathematics Program is a course designed to prepare students to teach mathematical concepts and skills in the secondary classroom. This content-oriented course is aimed at developing knowledge and understanding of current trends in mathematics education with a particular focus on the N.Y.S. framework of the secondary mathematics curriculum (grades 7-12). The course structure and content are defined by the National and N.Y.S. educational documents associated with secondary mathematics teaching; among them:


1. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (available on line at: http://www.enc.org/reform/journals/ENC2280/280dtoc1.htm);

2. New York State Education Department Core Curriculum for High School Mathematics (http://www.nysed.gov/rscs/resguide/Mathcc3.pdf);

3. NCTM Standards 2000 Draft (http://www.nctm.org/standards2000/download.html).



These documents suggest that higher-level thinking processes and problem solving strategies must be continuously emphasized in mathematics education courses for pre-service teachers. Consequently, through problem solving approach secondary mathematics, as described in the Standard 3 of the N.Y.S. Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, and Technology, will be highlighted in an attempt to increase the confidence level of the teachers. The course will deal also with current issues in mathematics education such as the use of physical manipulatives and computing technology.



Text and materials required


1. SECD 350 Course Materials (CM) with instructor Sergei Abramovich (available in the bookstore).

2. Barron's Regent Exams, Course I (ISBN 0-8120-4144-5) and Course II (ISBN 0-8120-3126-1) referred to below as BRE (available in the bookstore).

3. Posamentier, A., & Stepelman, J. (1999). Teaching Secondary Mathematics, 5th Edition. Prentice-Hall, (referred to below as TSM and put on the reserve desk of the Crumb Library for instructor Sergei Abramovich, SECD 350).

4. Mac computer disk, compass, ruler, pencils/markers, scissors, a glue stick, 3-ring binder (with Economy weight sheet protectors) for portfolio - all required.

5. 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 Distributed Computing (Kellas 100, phone #2083) with your student ID. The Office hours are M-F, 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

6. Several materials for the course will be put on a local server (ClassFiles volume of the Zeus Storage Server). Guidelines for accessing such materials are provided below.


Course Content


The course content will focus on 7 key ideas of Standard 3 of the N.Y.S. Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, and Technology related to secondary school curriculum, namely:


1. Mathematical Reasoning

2. Number and Numeration

3. Operations

4. Modeling/Multiple representation

5. Measurement

6. Uncertainty

7. Patterns and Functions


Course Objectives and Pedagogy


In accord with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics and the New York State framework this course will help pre-teachers become proficient in:



In particular, these objectives will be achieved through examining examples of activities recommended by the New York State Mathematics Core Curriculum.


Evaluation Criteria



The preparation of secondary mathematics teachers at SUNY Potsdam includes educational opportunities of using the Internet and local network. To this end, 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 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: http://mailman.potsdam.edu. There exists a web site for the course (which is currently under construction). To access the course web site on the Internet, open the following location in the Navigator http://www2.potsdam.edu/educ/abramovs/secd350site.htm (any computer that has the Internet connection will be OK). This would give access to an electronic version of the course syllabus and other relevant materials. In order to access a password-required domain of the course web site, click at the hyperlink SECD 350 at the top of the page. Upon clicking, a computer would require entering User Name and Password. Please be advised that the User Name is secd350 and the Password is maple. This will make some course materials available to the SECD 350 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 SECD 350 within the folder abramovs.


Note that everything placed in the ClassFiles is automatically "published" on the Web at http://zeus.potsdam.edu. 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 SECD 350 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 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 all class and home works 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 homework assignments for this course, classroom discussions, and copies of the students lesson plans "published" on the web (see below).



By using examples of classroom ideas for the secondary classroom from the N.Y.S. Education Department Mathematics Core Curriculum presented in the CM and enrichment units from the TSM, the students, working in small groups, will be required to develop presentations of these examples and units to the whole class. Work on such presentation (lesson) will include (but may not be limited to):


(a) preparation of not less than a 450-word lesson plan for an assigned topic that must be submitted to the instructor electronically at least 4 study days prior to the presentation (note: in order to count the number of words in a typed document, one can use "Word Count" feature from the Tools menu of MS Word program);


(b) a 60-minute preliminary discussion of the presentation with the instructor; and


(c) conducting a 45-minute presentation/lesson according to the plan.


Each lesson plan will be put on the protected part of the course web site by the instructor prior to a presentation with an expectation that the whole class would be prepared for the lesson by reading its summary via the Internet. An appropriate outline for a lesson plan can be found on p.10 of the TSM; examples of lesson plans can be found on the Internet at http://ericir.syr.edu/Virtual/Lessons/Mathematics/index.html,

http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/math, and


(these sites are linked to the course web site via electronic version of the syllabus). All students are expected to include a copy of each lesson plan in the mathematics portfolio for the course.


In many cases a presentation can be enhanced by the use of a computer, and the instructor will help the students to support their presentations by a computer-enhanced environment. That would make it possible to address the NCTM, NCATE and N.Y.S. Learning Standards emphasis on computing technology.


 Two topic exams and a final exam will be given during the semester. Topic exams (exact dates to be announced) will be based on assessment examples for grades 7-12 (see CM). The final exam will be based on NYS Regents Exams framework, and it will be given during the final exam week. See the Final Examination Schedule for date and time.

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%

Presentations 25%

The use of technology 10%

Topic Exams 30%

Final Exam 15%



An interactive chart titled Calculation of Grade will be attached to the password-required domain of the course web site.

Calculation of grade


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.


Computational environments

1. Linda's Video Store.