MATH 700: Graduate Student Teaching Workshop

Prerequisites & Bulletin Description


Must be taken with GTA assignment.

Bulletin Description

Discussion and analysis of teaching techniques, peer classroom observations, guided group and self analysis of videotapes and group projects developing and studying common lesson materials.

Course Objectives

The goal of this workshop is for instructors to develop and refine their teaching. Effective college teaching is more than speaking what one knows. Necessary knowledge and skills include:
   • mathematical understanding,
   • social and materials management (e.g., designing activities and tasks for students, facilitating student engagement, orchestrating classroom conversations, assessing and providing feedback in multiple forms), and
   • commitment to essential professional processes (e.g., a cycle of plan-implement-evaluate-reflect).
As a participant in Math 700 you will work on these skills both directly during the workshop meetings and outside of workshop meetings through individual and group activities. Weekly meetings will regularly include time to consult with others in preparing for the classes you teach.

Objective 1. Develop effective processes for teaching college mathematics

Through documents, observations, and discussions, identify and refine personal decision-making practices related to teaching college mathematics. Document personal techniques for equitable facilitation of learning by students using a variety of platforms (e.g., iLearn, Zoom, collaborative tools such as whiteboards, spreadsheets, documents, presentations) and methods (e.g., demonstration, cooperative group work, collaborative group tasks, presentation, asynchronous activity). 

Objective 2. Develop effective teaching materials for instruction

Use and refine existing curricular materials to implement lessons aligned with target course learning objectives. Lessons may span multiple class meetings. Each lesson includes some form of: (a) activity, (b) assessment, and (c) feedback to students. Lesson plans have clear specifications for how students will (i) access materials, (ii) engage with ideas and people to learn, (iii) submit and get feedback on their efforts, and (iv) how rubrics will be shared with students before or with each activity or assessment.

Objective 3. Build understanding about the nature of human thinking and learning

Through documents, observations, and discussions, develop understanding of what it means to know, do, and think with/through/about mathematics and how those are related to collegiate mathematics teaching and learning in the 21st century, both inside and outside the United States. Increase knowledge of the mathematics in the target course and knowledge of student thinking related to the mathematics being taught.

Documenting and Reflecting on Teaching

Classroom Visits/Observing

At least two visits to observe another class will be assigned. Generally, Math 700 participants work in pairs to observe each other’s class and then meet to discuss what they observed.  The focus in the observations will be on (a) how students are experiencing/responding to instruction and (b) looking for useful, productive prompts and questions to improve interactions. Essentially, you are a second set of eyes for the class that you are observing.  One of your observations might be in a supplemental course instruction (SCI) class, in the class of a more experienced GTA, or of an instructor you want to learn from/with.

Classroom Videos

You will arrange to video record two of your class sessions. This may sound scary, but keep in mind that your students are seeing you teach every class anyway. No one but you will see the whole video.  For Math 700 you will be expected to select a 10-minute segment to share and discuss in a small group.  There will be a short list of questions to help guide your reflection. The video is for your professional growth only and will not be shared outside of the above purpose.


Math 700 includes the following types of activities:

  • Participation in discussions, mathematical and pedagogical problem solving, and other class-session tasks related to building skills in college mathematics teaching and learning.
  • Regular contributions to online fora – these include group discussions about readings, by “pod” (stats, calc/business calc, pre-calc), and in your individual, personal journal for reflecting on teaching and learning math.
  • Occasional written assignments submitted through iLearn.
  • Preparation (completed before class) in order to productively discuss and make decisions about teaching the next weeks’ lessons.
  • Participation in classroom visits (as host and as guest) and peer-observation activities. This will include selecting and sharing short video clips from your own classes, providing written feedback to others, and responding thoughtfully in writing to feedback from others.

Course Grading

Name % of Grade Description
Discussion 25%

Contributions to class discussions (whole and group), including class fora.

Assignments 25%

Written assignments submitted through iLearn.

Preparation 25%

Pre-work (thinking, planning, reviewing, drafting) needed to be ready for discussion of teaching/materials development each Thursday.

Implementation 25%

Classroom visits and peer-observations (as guest and/or host).

Textbooks and Software

No textbook is required. Resources will be shared through the course site in iLearn. Use of the university's learning management system (iLearn) is required.

Date: August 22, 2021