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Course Syllabus
 Algebra and Functions I
 Susan Ojala 656-8186
 Votey 209
Meeting dates and times
: Monday-Friday, July 21-25-8:00-500
Course Description:
 This course builds on the prior course Mathematics as a Second Language. Participants will obtain deep understanding of the concept of a function, utilize functions in problem solving, appreciate the pervasiveness of the function idea in the K-8 mathematics curriculum as well as everyday life, and engage in a variety of problem-solving activities that relate directly to the K-8 mathematics classroom. Topics include functions, graphs, inverse functions, linear functions, the algebra and geometry of straight lines, solving linear equations and inequalities, and an introduction to nonlinear functions.
 All VMI teachers should learn from this course: Functions Concept of a function  Notation Patterns, Tables, Graphs, and Formulas as manifestations of the function concept Domain and Range One-to-one and Onto Applications to the Classroom Linear Functions Linear equations and Straight Lines Simultaneous linear equations Linear Inequalities Composition of functions and inverse functions  Nonlinear functions Distance (absolute value) Function Polynomials of low degree Square roots
and indirect proportion
Learning Outcomes:
Day 1
This course builds on the foundation of the prior course Mathematics as a Second Language. As we saw from the outset of the VMI, the ideas and techniques of
arithmetic, algebra, and geometry are intrinsically intertwined. In this course, participants will further develop these interfaces through an understanding of the concept of a "function."
Day 2
Today’s work
deepens and broaden
s participants’ understanding of functions
and provides a great deal of practice with problem solving related to linear functions and functions in general. Topics, in addition to problem solving, include various forms for the equation of a straight line and composition of functions.
Day 3
: Teachers will study the concept of an inverse function, calculate the inverse functions algebraically and by using the ideas from processes and inverse processes, and will graph the inverse function. Teachers will learn to solve systems of linear equations algebraically by several methods and geometrically, and will engage in problem solving that involving systems of linear inequalities. Emphasis today will also be given to how the function concept develops in the classroom across grade levels.
Day 4
: Teachers will start to develop expertise with nonlinear functions, including calculating the domain and range. Teachers will build their knowledge of the distance function, otherwise known as absolute value, polynomials of low degree, and inverse of the squaring and cubing functions.
Day 5
Today’s work will relate functions to the Pythagorean theorem and the
equation of a circle. Teachers will also graph the function
 and work with direct and indirect proportion.
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.
Academic Honesty & Professionalism:
 All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures”
delineated in the most recent ed
ition of “The Cat’s Tale”. (
 Accommodations will be provided to eligible students with disabilities. Please obtain an accommodation letter from the ACCESS office and see one of the instructors early in the course to discuss what accommodations will be necessary. If you are unfamiliar with ACCESS, visit their website at http://www.uvm.edu/access to learn more about the services they provide. ACESS: A-170 Living Learning Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. PH: 802-656-7753, TTY: call 711 (relay), Fax: 802-656-0739, Email: access@uvm.edu, Instant Messenger: UVMaccess. General office hours: 8:30am
 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Call to make an appointment.
Required and/or recommended readings:
1. Algebra and Functions for Teachers K-8 by Dr. Kenneth Gross-This represents all materials distributed in class.
2. Willoughby, Stephen S; Functions from Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. Teaching Children Mathematics 3 (February 1997); 314-316
Electronic Submissions/Internet Use:
Student Evaluation/Assessment
Grades will be based upon a combination of:
1. Content based homework to be completed before each session
(See Instructional Sequence for details)
2. Attendance & promptness 3. Class Participation and helpfulness to colleagues Format for Expected Work:
All homework assignments should be neat and organized and should show all work. All homework assignments should be photocopied before submitting the original copies to the instructor. Homework assignments should be revised and rewritten as necessary and
retained for the participant’s portfolio.
 Scoring Rubrics:

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