Probability and statistical thinking

Professor Hlas
hlascs (@)
Drop-in times

The more I practice, the luckier I get.
—Arnold Palmer

Course Information

This course focuses on mathematical knowledge for teachers using active learning.Course learning outcomes include conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning and productive disposition of the following topics:

This course helps students meet the following Liberal Education Learning Outcome(s):

More course information is posted on Canvas.



  1. Beckmann, S. (2014). Mathematics for Elementary Teachers with Activities, 4th edition (rental text)
    I recommend printing Class Activities from Canvas so you do not need to bring the book to class.
  2. Calculators are allowed, but are not required. Devices with wireless capabilities (e.g., cell phones) are not allowed on assessments.
  3. Recommended review: Algebra rules




It is important to accurately show your mathematical thinking and to communicate clearly. On every assignment, the preservice teacher starts at zero then earns "math points" (MP) for demonstration of mathematical thinking in their solutions. If any concerns arise regarding grading, contact the instructor in a timely manner.

Class preparation

Class preparation activities are intended to be completed to the best of your ability before class. The idea behind these activities is that you learn more by trying something first (in this case before class), then getting feedback (during class). Perfection is not expected on these activities. If tasks are unclear, please ask questions via email. Also, feel free to work with fellow classmates on these tasks.

Extra practice

Recommended practice exercises from the book and other resources are listed in the daily calendar. These tasks are not graded but are recommended because practice problems may appear on assessments while readings provide context for class activities. Group work is recommended for extra practice problems.

Homework via WeBWork (+5 MP extra credit)

Homework problem sets apply skills from class and allow for practice. Problems in WeBWorK may be attempted multiple times, but only the highest score is recorded. Feedback is immediate, but is limited to correct/incorrect so please contact the instructor when better feedback is needed.

Each student earns extra credit based on their percent of correct answers. For example, a student that completes 70% of the problems would receive 70% of 5, or 3.5 bonus points.

Quizzes (30 MP)

Most days there will be a short quiz at the beginning of class. Notes are not allowed on quizzes. Approved calculators and manipulatives are allowed. Quizzes will be one of the following types:

Exams (20 MP, 40 MP)

"To assess conceptual knowledge, researchers often use novel tasks … Because children do not already know a procedure for solving the task, they must rely on their knowledge of relevant concepts to generate methods for solving the problems." (Rittle-Johnson, Seigler, Alibali, 2001, p. 347). Assessments are a part of the learning experience so will require mastery of class material and will require the ability to apply class material to new situations.

The final exam will include a take-home portion assigned the last week of class as well as an in-class portion. For each exam, one page of notes (one-sided, handwritten) is allowed. Approved calculators and manipulatives are also allowed. Other details will be posted to Canvas.

Fine print

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 family commitments.

Attendance 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.

Absences If you are absent, please check the course schedule then meet with me (drop-in hours, Zoom, or email) so I can make sure you are caught up. Authorized absences (school functions, emergencies or illness) may be made up for full credit. Other absences may be completed early for full credit, or late for 90% credit. Late work is expected to be completed within two weeks of the original due date or by the last day of classes, whichever occurs first.

Entry-level switching 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.


Student Accommodations Any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom accommodations should contact the instructor and the Services for Students with Disabilities Office in Centennial Hall 2106 at the beginning of the semester.

Academic Integrity Any academic misconduct in this course will be submitted to the Dean of Students.

Mandatory Reporter As a Wisconsin State employee, the instructor is obligated to report any crimes to the Dean of Students, including claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. The Dean of Students office may reach out to you to offer resources and support.

Community As members of this class we are members of a learning community that values all people with all backgrounds. Please remember that our words and actions affect everyone within our community and remember a little positivity can go a long way.