Exploring and Understanding Patterns, Functions and Modeling for Elementary Teachers (Math 106)

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Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Solve story problems using multiple strategies

  • Explain numerical and geometric patterns through words and symbols

  • Interpret graphs in multiple contexts

  • Understand the difference between arithmetic thinking and algebraic thinking

  • Make connections across multiple representations (graphs, tables, words, and algebraic expressions)

  • Describe real world situation through different types of functions (linear, quadratic, and exponential)

  • Understand the concept of mathematical model

  • Apply the modeling cycle to real-world situations

  • Communicate mathematical ideas and develop an ability to explain and justify their own reasoning

  • Examine how mathematical ideas are represented in multiple ways, in particular through the use of technology or hands-on manipulatives

  • Develop a familiarity with materials and methods that are consistent with current mathematics teaching approaches for algebra at the K-8 level


Students must meet eligibility requirements.

See the current Math Course Placement Chart here.


The following course materials are required for Math 106:

  1. Students may use either a Calculator or the Desmos app

  2. Geometry Tool: ruler (cm and inches)

Other recommended, but not required, materials:

  • Pencils, colored pencils, markers, graph paper, scissors, eraser and/or whiteout, protractor, compass, triangle squares


  • This course explores algebraic thinking from early childhood through middle school, with a focus on the different conceptions of algebra, including generalized arithmetic; thinking in patterns and functions; and modeling. We will examine the different topics in K-8 algebra from an advanced perspective. MATH 106 is an activity-based course.

  • This course will approach mathematics with the idea that everything in mathematics makes sense, and that you (and your future students) are capable of understanding all of K-8 mathematics. The class is organized to provide a friendly, intimate, non-competitive atmosphere in which you can feel free to explore, discuss, and learn Mathematics in a small group situation.

  • You are expected to come to class prepared. Time in class will be spent primarily on working on and discussing problems and activities.