College of Science and Health > Academics > STEM Studies > Research & Externally Funded Programs > EMS Program

Elementary Math Specialist (EMS) Program

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The EMS Program strives to promote advocacy, high-quality instruction, to further develop collaboration and to continue professional growth in mathematics teaching in Chicago-area schools.

The first six courses focus on content and pedagogy of numbers and operations, geometry, and algebraic reasoning (STEM 461-466) with a seventh course centering on leadership (STEM 467).  Through these courses, teachers will gain a deeper knowledge of the mathematics of primary and early middle grades, as well as familiarity and experience with using the Teaching for Robust Understanding (TRU) framework for mathematics teaching. Course participants will get hands on experience with pedagogical techniques such as math talks and formative assessment lessons and will be well prepared to be act as math teaching leaders in their schools. 

In the first EMS Cohort (2017-2019) 14 CPS teachers successfully completed the program. There are currently 16 CPS/AUSL teachers enrolled in the 2019-2021 Cohort and there is some availability for enrollment in Fall 2020. If you are an elementary teacher interested in joining the 2019-2021 cohort, please contact us at stem@depaul.edu.

Course descriptions:

STEM  461  Numbers and Operations for Elementary Mathematics Teachers I

This course is the first of a three course sequence that develops teachers’ conceptual understanding of whole numbers, integers, rational numbers, and real numbers in order for the teachers to take on the role of being a math teaching specialist in their school.  The courses emphasize problem solving, cognitive demand, equitable access, and the development of student agency.  

Topics of the first quarter include whole numbers, the laws of arithmetic, place value, models for multiplication, models for division (inverse multiplication model, measurement model, and partitive model).

STEM  462  Numbers and Operations for Elementary Mathematics Teachers II

This course is the second of a three course sequence that develops teachers’ conceptual understanding of whole numbers, integers, rational numbers, and real numbers in order for the teachers to take on the role of being a math teaching specialist in their school.  The courses emphasize problem solving, cognitive demand, equitable access, and the development of student agency.

Topics include rational numbers, different models for fractions including part-to-part, part-to-whole, and area, operations with fractions.

STEM  463  Numbers and Operations for Elementary Mathematics Teachers III

This course is the third of a three course sequence that develops teachers’ conceptual understanding of whole numbers, integers, rational numbers, and real numbers in order for the teachers to take on the role of being a math teaching specialist in their school.  The courses emphasize problem solving, cognitive demand, equitable access, and the development of student agency.

Topics include factors and multiples of whole numbers, greatest common divisor and least common multiple of whole numbers, prime factorization, decimal representations of fractions, use of ratios and proportions to represent and analyze quantitative relationships, percentages and scaling.

STEM  464  Geometry for Elementary Mathematics Teachers I

This course launches a two course sequence that develops teachers’ conceptual understanding of geometry in order for the teachers to take on the role of being a math teaching specialist in their school. Teachers will gain fluency with geometric terms and concepts and think strategically about geometric problem solving. 

Topics include the foundations of geometry, and its system of definitions, axioms, and basic theorems; the classification of shapes; transformations of the plane, including reflections, rotations, and translations.

STEM  465  Geometry for Elementary Mathematics Teachers II

This course is the second of a two course sequence that develops teachers’ conceptual understanding of geometry in order for the teachers to take on the role of being a math teaching specialist in their school. Teachers will gain fluency with geometric terms and concepts and think strategically about geometric problem solving. 

Topics include geometric measurement and its applications, including length, perimeter, and area; transformations of the plane including dilations and similitudes; the Pythagorean Theorem.

STEM  466  Integrating Number and Operations and Algebra for Elementary Mathematics Teachers 

This course draws on the context and examples from previous courses in number and operations and geometry to develop teachers’ understanding of algebraic reasoning.

Topics include generalizing and analyzing patterns, creating and interpreting expressions and equations using variables, and solving real world problems that model continuous situations.

STEM 467  Leadership in Elementary Mathematics Education

This course develops the aptitudes and leadership skills required for elementary school mathematics teachers to act as math teaching specialists in their school. The course emphasizes advocating for high-quality mathematics instruction, enhancing collaboration in mathematics within and across grade levels, and supporting professional learning in high-quality mathematics instruction.