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Course Description

Fall 2020

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for Math 385 Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers

Current research in mathematics education highlights the importance of elementary teachers' math content knowledge in carrying out their teaching duties. Math 385/489 is a two semester math content sequence required for all elementary education majors. It aims to provide the students with a deep understanding of the structures and concepts behind elementary mathematics. Both courses in the sequence are part of the IBL program in the math department and are taught using group work, student presentations, and projects. The core material in Math 385 is numbers and operations, place value, and fractions. Central objectives of the course include supporting students in using the meaning of numbers and operations in order to understand and justify why computational procedures work, and encouraging the development of problem solving skills.

Here is an example of a problem from this course:

“A school hallway has a row of lockers numbered 1 to 100. While cleaning the building over the summer, a janitor opens all of the lockers. Then the janitor closes every second locker (that is, those numbered 2, 4, 6, etc.), walks back to the start of the row, and changes every third locker: closing it if it is open and opening it if it is closed. In the next stage the janitor changes every fourth locker, and so on. At the last stage, the janitor changes every 100th locker (that is, only the last locker). Which lockers are open at the end?”

Being a GSI for this course gives you the opportunity to think deeply about elementary mathematics. You will get a chance to engage with two of the big questions facing math teacher education: "What mathematics do\elementary teachers need to know to be successful?" and "How do we best teach future teachers that mathematics?" This is a growing area of interest for math departments across the country and experience with this population (future elementary teachers) and their needs is desirable for many tenure track jobs.



This is a 50% GSI position. The anticipated workload is 16.5 to 20 hours per week. The GSI will work closely with the instructor on all facets of the course in order to help meet student needs. Duties include but are not limited to the following: collaborate with instructor to revise worksheets and homework, contribute exam problems and help edit exams,  attend classes to help facilitate group work, prepare and deliver some lessons, hold three office hours per week, assist with grading of homework and exams, meet with instructor regularly, administrative tasks (copying, etc.)

Required Qualifications*

- Graduate student in good standing in the University

- Previous experience as a GSI, with favorable student evaluations

- Previous experience teaching courses in Mathematics


Desired Qualifications*

Graduate level coursework in Mathematics

Contact Information

Please contact with questions.

Decision Making Process

Applications should be submitted by July 13, 2020.

Selection Process

Selection Criteria will include:
- Relevant academic preparation for teaching the course material

- Extent of prior instructional experience

- Relevance to graduate training

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at and for the University Ombuds at

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.


U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.