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03/05/2014

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Course Syllabus
Title:
 Calculus for Teachers, I
Credits:
 3
Instructor:
 Susan Ojala (sojala@uvm.edu) 656-8186
Location:
 Votey 209
Meeting dates and times
: Monday-Friday, July 28-August 1 8:00-500
Course Description:
 This course builds upon prior courses in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. It is designed to introduce teachers to the branch of mathematics known as calculus in a way that relates calculus to the mathematics taught in the K-8 classroom. Topics include the idea of a limit, the role limits play in K-8 mathematics, and the concept of instantaneous change. Course goals include reinforcing and extending arithmetic, algebra, and geometry knowledge and skills through problem solving involving calculus, and empowering teachers with a deep understanding of how capability in K-8 arithmetic and algebra is foundational for success in higher-level mathematics.
Note:
 
 As in all VMI courses, attention will be given to effective K-8 mathematics  practice.
 This includes ongoing classroom observation by a VMI field mentor, conducting a systemic inquiry into practice in collaboration with the VMI mentor, demonstrating willingness to receive and use feedback about instructional practices, developing lesson plans in the context of overall curriculum, and sharing work with and critiquing work of other VMI teachers.
Goals:
 All VMI teachers should take with them from their work on calculus:
 
Appreciation of the importance of arithmetic as the gatekeeper for all higher mathematics
 
An understanding of the idea of a „limit,‟ and the role that idea can play in K 
-8 teaching (e.g. in the study of area, division, rates and change, in the applications of area beyond geometry and in student enrichment)
 
The understanding of
„instantaneous,; how we model instantaneous change
mathematically, and the way in which the concept of a limit can be used to make sense of 0/0
 
The understanding of how to use the concept of a limit to calculate area of a region having a curved boundary.
 
T
he important applications of „area‟ that
go far beyond geometry into the nooks and crannies of everyday life
 
Learning Outcomes
Content
What participants will know and be able to do How they will learn it
Classroom Connection Recognize how arithmetic
is the “gatekeeper” for
higher mathematics Recognize how limits appear in K-6 mathematics Use of arithmetic and algebra through out the course Presentations by VMI graduates, homework assignments Limits Recognize when a real-life or mathematics problem involves a limit Approximate the area under a parabola by counting Calculate the area of a circle by the method of exhaustion by polygons Infinite series as limits Understand the distinction  between average speed and instantaneous speed
Use “delta notation” to
describe average rates Classroom examples and activities
“Slicing the Cake”
 
“Approximating the area of a circle”
 
“Painting the wall” and
other problems
“Making sense of 0/0” and
various problem sets
“Constant vs.
nonconstant
rates”
 Derivatives Understand the derivative of a function as the instantaneous rate of change of the function Understand the derivative geometrically as the slope of a line tangent to the function Understand how the limit definition of a derivative corresponds to the Classroom activities and  problem sets
“Picturing the Derivative”
 
 
geometric definition Use the limit definition to calculate derivatives Derive the power rule The derivative of a sum is the sum of the derivatives
Apply the “power rule” to
find the derivative of arbitrary polynomial functions
“Pascal‟s triangle”
 Utilizing everyday intuition, and analyzing the limits
“The Snowball Problem”
 Applications to real-life  problem solving Find the minimum or maximum value of a function by utilizing its derivative Problems sets
General Course Information
Course Policies
As in all VMI courses, attention will be given to effective K-8 mathematics practice. This includes ongoing classroom observation by a VMI field mentor, conducting a systemic inquiry into practice in collaboration with the VMI mentor, demonstrating willingness to receive and use feedback about instructional practices, developing lesson plans in the context of overall curriculum, and sharing work with and critiquing work of other VMI teachers.
Attendance Expectations:
Full attendance is required. In the event of an emergency requiring an absence, the  participant will arrange with the instructor to make up all work that was missed on the day of the absence. No grade will be issued until submission of completed assignments.
 Religious Observance:
The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.

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