MED 200        Field Experience in Secondary Mathematics Education

Spring 2005         Tuesday/Thursday: 1:40 – 2:55     Science Building  224


Dr. Jody Magner

Bishop Hall 325

878 – 6920    

           Office hours:    Monday 4:30 – 5: 30    

            Thursdays 11:15 – 12:15  &   3 - 4                           





The goal of this course is to prepare reflective practitioners for classrooms of diverse learners.  This course is designed to help students examine their motivations for becoming teachers of mathematics. This course provides classroom and field experience designed to help the student make an informed decision about a career in secondary or middle school mathematics teaching. While observing local middle and high school mathematics teachers throughout the semester, students will become familiar with current school mathematics curricula; related mathematics teaching periodicals and policy documents; and affective and societal issues surrounding teaching. The emphasis is on reflective observation of teaching and learning, and the classroom, school, and community contexts in which they occur.





MED 200 students will develop techniques of critical observation and reflection.

MED 200 students will observe, reflect and read about middle and high school mathematics classrooms and classroom procedures.

MED 200 students will have the opportunity to observe diverse populations of middle and high school students.

MED 200 students will identify some of the challenges that confront teachers of all disciplines and, in particular, teachers of mathematics.

MED 200 students will explore a variety of mathematics education literature and will gain an understanding of the use and interpretation of these resources.

MED 200 classroom discussions will facilitate a deeper understanding of classroom experiences and observations.





Canestrari, A. S. & Marlowe, B. A. (Eds.).  (2004). Educational foundations: An anthology of Critical Readings.  Thousand Oaks, CA: sage Publications.


National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, Va.


General Classroom Activities and Attendance:

You will be expected to attend all scheduled classes and participate actively in discussions. You are expected to be a collaborative participant in all classwork. Your participation in our class activities and discussions is important not only for your own learning, but also for the learning of others. You are expected to participate thoughtfully, responsibly and constructively in discussion on a regular basis. Our discussions serve as a forum in which you can sharpen your thinking, test your ideas, exchange insights and perceptions with the instructor and each other and contribute toward others' ideas.

Within our classroom, we must all try to work hard at providing opportunities for all perspectives to be voiced and heard; it is through debate, discussion and the challenging of each other's ideas that we will maximize the potential to learn about the central themes, topics and questions of this course. We, as a class, will be vigilant about encouraging discussions in non- threatening ways, creating conversations, working to communicate with each other in the best possible ways, and striving to be rigorous, patient, good humored, respectful and tolerant of diverse viewpoints.

While you cannot participate and engage in ideas in the class if you do not attend, mere attendance is not the central criteria that will be used to assess the classroom activities portion of your grade.

            It is expected that you will be prompt both for class on the Buffalo State Campus, as well as to your field placements. If you do not know where the school is located, find out and perhaps do a test drive BEFORE your first meeting, so you will be on time.


Candidates’ Workshop:

            All MED 200 students are required to attend Buffalo State’s “Becoming an Ideal Teaching Candidate” workshop on Friday, March 18 from 3:00 – 5:00.  Speakers will include Principals, Superintendents and new teachers.  They will discuss the expectations for teachers and offer suggestions to enhance your development as a prospective teacher.


Field Placement:

                        Each student is required to complete at least 45 hours of field experience in local middle or high schools in relation to MED 200 throughout the semester.  Each week you will be given an assignment that will require you to observe classroom events and interactions.  In addition, you are expected to assist your cooperating teachers at their direction. 

            Active participation in the field classroom is required.  In case of severe illness or an unexpected emergency, you are expected to contact your cooperating teacher before your scheduled day.  You are also responsible for making up any missed meetings. 

You are required to keep a log of your visits and to bring the log to each class meeting.  Teacher signatures are required for all field experience hours.  Further elaboration about placements will be handed out separately.


Use of Cell Phones and Pagers:

While in our classroom at Buffalo State College, as well as in your placement, please turn off all cell phones and pagers. This is a disruption to the entire class. If you are facing an emergency situation which necessitates that you keep your phone or beeper on, please notify the instructor before class begins and be as discrete as you can while in class. Otherwise, please turn it off or choose vibrate as your ringer. There should not be a need to have a beeper or cell phone turned on at any time in your field placements.




You will be required to read selected sections from the texts as well as articles distributed in class. You will be required to type responses to various questions within the readings. You may have quizzes addressing the readings. You will be required to work with other students in our class outside of class time to give presentations on specific portions of the readings.



You will be expected to complete a typed, double-spaced, grammatically correct journal for each day you attend your MED 200 field placement. The format of this journal should follow that discussed in class. Once you have started your field experience, you are expected to turn in at least one journal a week, or it will be considered a late assignment and penalized accordingly.  The dates below are benchmarks you should meet. 

            By Thursday, March 3:  Journals for at least 12 hours of field experience

            By Thursday, March 24:  Journals for at least an additional 12 hours are due.

            By Thursday, April 21:  Journals for at least an additional 14 hours are due.

            Friday, May 6:  All remaining journals are due.



Each student will give two presentations during the semester.   One presentation will be on a section of either national or state standards for school mathematics.  The other will be an article from Mathematics Teacher or Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School. Each presenter MUST bring copies of the article to class at least one week prior to his/her presentation. Each presenter is responsible for his/her OWN critique of the article being presented, which is due the day of the presentation.  



This assignment will be constructed throughout the semester. The weekly journals, reflections and contemplation of your individual views during the semester, and your placement spreadsheet will all be part of this project. Further elaboration of this project will be provided.


In order to maintain consistency in grading, points will be deducted from assignments that are submitted after the due date and time. 10% of the total point value will be deducted for each weekday the assignment is late.


It is NOT possible to repeat an assignment to raise a grade unless otherwise stated on a specific assignment.




Your grade for the semester will be determined as follows:


Journals                                                                       40 %

Presentations                                                              30%    

            Journal Article                                    15%

            Standards                                            15%

Final Exam,  (TBA during week of May 9)                10%

Portfolio                                                                      10%

Class Discussions and Other Reflective Activities    10 %

Total                                                                           100%

It is not possible to pass this class without the required 45 hours of field experience logged

Academic Honesty Policy:   Plagiarize: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own; use(a created production) without crediting the source.  (Webster's ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)

ANY work handed in by you, with your name on it, is assumed to be YOUR WORK and YOUR WORK alone.  If you work with another person or a group of people, or find a solution in another text, which you wish to submit, PLEASE give credit where credit is due.  Any materials that are not documented are defined as plagiarism.   Students who engage in plagiarism, cheating on examinations, multiple submission of the same work, unauthorized collaboration, falsification and/or any other violation of academic integrity will receive a grade of zero in the assignment.  A second offense will result in an "E" grade in the course.


Behavior: (recommended College policy)

"All students are expected to comport themselves in a manner that does not convey to others in the college community any disrespect, intolerance, or rude behavior based on age, race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or marital, veteran, or socioeconomic status. All members of the college community are expected to contribute to the college environment to move the college community in the direction of respect for all".                       And

"The instructor may have removed from the classroom anyone who, in the instructor's opinion, is disrupting the educational process, and pursue formal changes against the student under the college judicial system, pursuant to Buffalo State College's Procedure Regarding Disruptive Individuals."


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:  If you have a disability or suspect that you have a disability that requires any type of accommodation to fulfill the requirements of this course, please contact the Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities at 878-4500.