Teaching Mathematics in Grades 4-12

Professor Hlas
hlascs (@) uwec.edu
Drop-in hours / Zoom appointments

There is not one way to teach effectively, but many.
Hiebert & Stigler

Course Information

A methods course serves as a capstone experience that ties together college mathematics and pedagogy classes by addressing various areas of the Wisconsin Teaching Standards. No one class can fully prepare someone for teaching, so this class is designed to practice skills and develop mindsets for continual improvement after the course ends.




  1. Teaching mathematics in grades 6-12 (Groth, 2013)
  2. Progressions documents for CCSSM (online)


  1. Join National Council of Teachers of Mathematics -- http://www.nctm.org
  2. Join Wisconsin Mathematics Council -- http://www.wismath.org
  3. Become a Math Lab tutor


More course information is posted on Canvas.


It is important to accurately show your mathematical thinking and to communicate clearly. If any concerns arise regarding grading, please contact the instructor outside of class time. Preservice teachers are awarded "math teacher points" (MTP) for demonstration of mathematical or teacher-like thinking in their work.

Practice assignments (13 × 10 MTP )

Practice assignments are open-ended and usually given before class discussion in order to gauge prior knowledge of common teaching tasks. Expect them to be challenging. Expect to discuss them in class. Expect feedback for improvement.

Additionally, each practice assignment requires justification of some aspect of the assignment. This is designed to prepare for edTPA, which requires justification of pedagogical decisions.

Problem solving observation (50 MTP)

Each preservice teacher will pose an original mathematical problem to two students: one struggling and one advanced, then observe how they solve the problem. The results of these observations will be presented to the class and written up for the cooperating teacher.


More course information is posted on Canvas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When/how is the professor available outside of class?

Email is the best way to reach me. I typically respond within 24 hours, but do not check email in the evenings or on Saturdays due to other commitments.

My drop-in schedule and sign-up for Zoom appointments are posted at https://math.hlasnet.com/officehours

What is the attendance policy?

A record of attendance is required by the University to maintain accurate class rosters. Attendance is not graded but poor attendance may impact participation in group activities (e.g., taking a group quiz individually).

If you are absent, please check the course schedule then meet with the instructor via drop-in hours, Zoom, or email to make sure you are caught up. Graded work that occurs during an authorized absence (school functions, emergencies or illness) may be made up for full credit. Other absences may complete graded assignments late for 90% credit or early for full credit. Late work is expected to be completed within two weeks of the return date or by the last day of classes, whichever occurs first. In situations where a makeup cannot occur, the final exam score may be used as a proxy for a missing assignment. Students missing a week or more of class should contact the Dean of Students Office to get extra support.

What if the class is too easy or too difficult?

The Department of Mathematics allows students within entry-level mathematics courses (i.e., 010, 020, 104, 109, 112, 114, or 246) to move up to a higher numbered course during the first two weeks of a semester or move down during the first three weeks. Please contact the instructor for more details.

How does grading work?

Final scores (rounded up to the nearest whole number) are compared to the grading scale given in the syllabus to determine a final grade. Individual scores or grades will not be modified because they represent a student's progress in the class throughout the semester. If there is a mistake in scoring, please contact the instructor as soon as possible to get the error fixed.

Midterm grades do not have a score table so are based on the percentage of points completed at the time of midterm submission.

Note: I dislike the University's scale of "F" because I have never once felt that a student has "failed" a class. Instead, I prefer to think of this as a "not pass" where insufficient evidence has been demonstrated by a student to move on to the next level.

What if I need accommodations (like extra time on tests)?

Any student who is in need of classroom accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office in Centennial Hall 2106 at the beginning of the semester.

What else do I need to know?