EMAT 3500 - Final Course Project
Presentations on Thursday, May 4, 2006 8:00 - 11:00am


The purpose of the course project is to synthesize what you have learned about secondary school curriculum topics, teaching mathematics, learning mathematics, and the appropriate use of technology to enhance these topics and processes. The following project and presentation will serve as your cumulative final exam and are worth 60 points of your final grade.

An Overview of the Project
The project will be a group effort.  You will form into groups of 3 based on your chosen mathematics topic.  You and your partners will plan and create a 2-3 day (assume 60-70 minute class periods) investigation of a mathematics topic that utilizes at least two technology tools explored in this course. This project will include a clearly written lesson plan and student materials, if needed. In addition to the investigation, you will need to write a paper (one per group) that supports the methods used in teaching the topic and how technology is extending or enhancing the learning of this topic. You should use the NCTM Principles and Standards document and, if appropriate, any other readings from books or journals to support your methods. Your paper will also include a reflections section about what you learned in creating your course project.

Each group of students will share the investigation in a 30 minute class presentation. Approximately 15 minutes of that presentation should engage your classmates in a "glimpse" of the investigation you have planned. The remaining time should be used to discuss your rationale for the methods and technology used, personal reflections, and questions/comments from the group.  Each member of your group should have a role in the presentation.

Suggestions for Getting Started:
Choose a "big idea" in Algebra that interests you (e.g., functions, modeling, conics, statistics, formulas, matrices, trigonometry, data analysis, etc.). Make a list of some of the major concepts and skills within that "big idea". As you review the sources listed below, you should further refine and focus your "big idea" into a topic for a solid 2-3 day investigation at the grade level of your choice.

Look through the website supporting the NCTM Principles and Standards for suggestions related to your topic of study, including the Illuminations site and the Electronic Examples. You will need to cite which of the 6 Principles and 10 Standards you address in your investigation. These Principles and Standards can be linked to your project in LiveText by using the NCTM-S standards (NOT the NCTM Standards) in LiveText.  You should also link your project activities to the relevant Georgia Performance Standards (GA-GPS).

Do a search on your topic both on the internet and/or in print journals such as Mathematics Teacher, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, and Learning and Leading with Technology (we have these journals in the math education library). Look for suggested ways to teach your topic. Look through textbooks and workbook materials for suggested activities that address your topic (look in Room 111/113 and the 2nd floor curriculum library) . You are required to reference at least 2 sources from which you found ideas, examples, etc.

And, most importantly, keep asking yourself critical questions about HOW and WHY technology enhances or extends the teaching and learning of your topic. Remember, you need to formulate a solid rationale in support of the teaching methods and technology you will use in your 2-3 day investigation of this mathematics topic.



Guide and Rubric for Project Assessment


I. Lesson Plans, Rationale, and Reflections






Points Possible
1. Describe your "big idea", the important concepts and skills related to that big idea, 
and the focused topic for your investigation.  For whom is this unit designed?
Describe the grade level and course where your investigation could be taught. 
Also describe the prerequisite skills and concepts that are essential for students to be 
successful in your investigation.  
 (2-3 paragraphs)



  6 pts
2. List and briefly discuss the NCTM Principles and Standards and 
the Georgia Performance Standards that are addressed in your investigation and 
that support  the methods and technology used. 
(1 page max)



  6 pts
3. Provide a lesson plan that includes  classroom procedures, guiding questions for 
students, and an outline of what you and the students will be doing throughout the 
The format of this plan is flexible. Be sure to also include samples of any worksheets 
or handouts that would be used by students.



 12 pts
4. Discuss a well-formulated rationale in support of your methods and technology 
used for investigating the mathematics topic. 
The rationale should contain evidence of a synthesis of the information you learned 
from the NCTM Principles and Standards, textbooks, and literature, as well as other 
sources you may have referenced. 
(1-3 pages)



 12 pts
5. Write a reflection on developing the investigation. 
What did you and your partners learn about the mathematics topic?
What did you learn about teaching this topic and students' understandings of this topic? 
What did you learn about the use of technology for this topic? 
(1 page )



 6 pts




 42 pts


II. 30-minute class presentation

 Part of Presentation
 Points Possible
Provide a clear understanding of the "Big Idea" and the target group, including 
assumed prerequisite skills and where this unit fits in the curriculum. (~ 5 minutes)

 2 pts
Provide a clear "glimpse" at the investigation that actively 
engages the class in using the technology. (~10 minutes)


 6 pts
Provide a clear concise summary of your rationale for the 
methods and technology used. (~10 minutes)


 6 pts
Provide a brief "glimpse" at your personal reflections on 
developing this investigation. (~5 minutes)



4 pts




  18 pts

III. Assessment of Individual Contributions to the Group Effort.

        One issue with group work is determining the contributions that individual members made to the group project.  We shall use an anonymous  rating sheet where each member of the group will assign a percentage to each group member that indicates that member's contribution to the group project (including their own contribution).  I shall then sum these percentages for each member of the group.  Ideally these summed percentages would add to 100% for each member.  This anonymous procedure allows group members to assess their own contribution relative to the others in the group.  Some people may feel that they did the lion's share of the work, while others may realize that they didn't pull their weight.  I shall use these summed percentages as scale factors for each member of the group when assigning individual points.  For example, if the group project results in a total of 60 points, and the summed percentages across the three members of the group are as follows: student A - 110%, student B - 90%, student C - 100%, then A would receive 60x1.1=66, B would receive 60x0.9=54 and C would receive 60 points.

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