Structure of the Number System I

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2010
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 8:00-8:50 A.M.

Dr. Dawn Slavens (view Profile)


A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics, 10th Ed
Authors: Billstein, Libeskind, Lott

Course Objectives

This course is a mathematical content course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers.  The course objectives focus on the mathematical content needs of those preparing to teach prekindergarten through grade 8, to include mathematical content which addresses Standards I, II, V, and VI of the TExES  Mathematics Generalist EC-6 Standards and the TExES Mathematics 4-8 Standards.  These standards are stated below:

Standard I. Number Concepts: The mathematics teacher understands and uses numbers, number systems and their structure, operations and algorithms, quantitative reasoning, and technology appropriate to teach the statewide curriculum (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills [TEKS]) in order to prepare students to use mathematics.

Standard II. Patterns and Algebra: The mathematics teacher understands and uses patterns, relations, functions, algebraic reasoning, analysis, and technology appropriate to teach the statewide curriculum (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills [TEKS]) in order to prepare students to use mathematics.

Standard V. Mathematical Processes: The mathematics teacher understands and uses mathematical processes to reason mathematically, to solve mathematical problems, to make mathematical connections within and outside of mathematics, and to communicate mathematically.

Standard VI. Mathematical Perspectives: The mathematics teacher understands the historical development of mathematical ideas, the interrelationship between society and mathematics, the structure of mathematics, and the evolving nature of mathematics and mathematical knowledge.

Within the context of Number Concepts and Operations (Competency 014 of the EC - 6 Generalist Texas Educator Certification Examination) and Patterns and Algebra (Competency 015 of the EC - 6 Generalist Texas Educator Certification Examination), the successful student will exhibit mathematical processes (Competency 018 of the EC - 6 Generalist Texas Educator Certification Examination) which demonstrate that she/he

  • understands the role of logical reasoning in mathematics and uses formal and informal reasoning to explore, investigate, and justify mathematical ideas;
  • applies principles of inductive reasoning to make conjectures and uses deductive methods to evaluate the validity of conjectures;
  • understands connections among concepts, procedures, and equivalent representations in areas of mathematics;
  • recognizes that a mathematical problem can be solved in a variety of ways and selects an appropriate strategy for a given problem;
  • can expresses mathematical statements using standard English, mathematical language, and symbolic mathematics;
  • can communicate mathematical ideas using a variety of representations (e.g., numeric, verbal, graphic, pictorial, symbolic, concrete);
  • knows how to use mathematical manipulatives to develop and explore mathematical concepts and ideas.

Course Expectations

Grades will be calculated using one of the following two methods:

                     METHOD 1                                                 OR                                            METHOD 2


4 Exams:  Each worth 14% of course grade                            3 Highest Exams:  Each worth 16% of course grade

Final Exam: 25% of course grade                                              Final Exam: 33% of course grade

Homework & Activities: 12% of course grade                          Homework & Activities: 12% of course grade

1Arithmetic Proficiency Exam: 7 % of course grade                1Arithmetic Proficiency Exam: 7 % of course grade

1A requirement of this course is for you to demonstrate basic arithmetic skills needed to teach elementary/middle school  mathematics.  To demonstrate these skills you will be given an arithmetic proficiency exam on which you must earn at least an 80% to earn any of the 60 points which make up this component of your grade.  A study guide will be provided to help you prepare for this exam.  The exam will be given once in-class (Sept. 3) and twice out-of-class. Times for the out-of-class administrations of the arithmetic proficiency exam can be found in the calendar at the end of this syllabus.

The standard percentage grading scale of 90-80-70-60 will be used to assign course grades at the end of the semester.

Grading Standards

See course requirements above.

Final Exam

12/08/2010 8 AM - 10 AM

Submission Format Policy

The final exam and all other exams will be taken in class.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Make-up exams are not generally given; however, such exams may be given (at the instructor’s discretion) for an absence that is a result of a documented medical or personal emergency or an approved university activity.   Further, timely notification (for emergencies, on or before the scheduled day of the exam and for approved university activities, a week prior to the scheduled day of the exam) is necessary to receive consideration to make up the missed exam.  Further, make-up exams must be taken prior to the class period following the missed exam.  In addition, no student will be allowed to make up more than one exam. 

No late homework or other class work will be accepted unless you have a documented medical emergency.  Homework is due at the beginning of class.  If you are going to be absent, you may turn your homework in early, at your own risk you can give it to another student in class to turn in for you, you scan it and email it to me prior to the beginning of class, or you can fax it to my attention at 940-397-4442 prior to the beginning of class.  Any student who misses class should check WebCT for new assignments.  If no new assignment is posted on WebCT, the student should send the instructor an email requesting newly assigned work.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Any student who accumulates more than 4 absences prior to Oct. 18th (last day to withdraw from the course) is subject to dismissal from class with a grade of “F.”  Further, any student with more than six absences at the end of the semester is subject to a one letter grade reduction in her/his course average.  For example, a student with seven absences and a C average will be assigned a course grade of D.   Exceptions to this attendance policy may be made (at the instructor’s discretion) for extremely rare extenuating circumstances (such as a lengthy hospitalization).

Other Policies

Homework: Homework will be assigned regularly from the book, as well as occasionally from class handouts.

 Calculator PolicyCalculators may not be used on the Arithmetic Proficiency Exam.  For most other work calculators will be approved for use.  Calculators on cell phones are not approved for use.

 Cell Phones and Pagers:  Please turn these off (or place on silent mode) during class and do not send or read received text messages during class.  Incompliant students will not be allowed to attend class. 

 Adhering to Scheduled Class TimeStudents who need to leave class early should have permission from the instructor or be counted absent for the entire class period.  Students should make every effort to arrive to class on time and remain for the entire period.  Excessively leaving class early or arriving to class late will result in dismissal from the class with a grade of F.

 Student Rights: All students should refer to the MSU Student Handbook for information related to student responsibilities, rights and activities.  Topics such as Student Affairs and Student Life, Academic Issues, Financial Issues, University Policies and Procedures, and Code of Student Conduct are included in this handbook. 

 Evidence of CheatingEvidence of cheating on any of the assessments from which your course grade will be determined will result in a grade of F on the evaluated work and possibly a grade of F in the course.  Further, university policy concerning reporting evidence of cheating to department chairs, college deans, etc. will be followed.

 Disability PolicyIn accordance with the law, MSU provides academic accommodations to students with documented disabilities.  Students with disabilities must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided.  The DSS Office is located in Clark Student Center, Room 168, phone 397-4140.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at