T_L 444 01

TL 444 - Assessing and Correcting Mathematics Difficulties

2021 Fall Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 15085

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

This syllabus describes the requirements and procedures for TL 440 - Assessing and Correcting Mathematics Difficulties.  You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read it through carefully. Please note that this syllabus is subject to change at the instructor’s discretion, but any changes will be announced in an email and in a Blackboard Announcement in advance.

Times and Location

Instructor Information

Dr. Sonja Brandt

Email: sonja.brandt@und.edu

Office: Education Building Room 376

2021 Fall Office Hours:
Mondays from 9:30am - 11:00pm and 1:30 - 2:30pm, Tuesdays from 9:30am-10:30am, Thursdays from 1:30pm-2:30pm, or by appointment. Zoom office hours (in person or via Zoom) also available upon email request.

Office Phone: 701-777-3145

About the Professor

For information about your professor for this course, Dr. Sonja Brandt, view the Faculty tab inside our Blackboard course. All students will complete a short introductory Flipgrid video to introduce themselves!

Course Description

The focus of this course and the co-requisite practicum is to learn about current approaches to assessment and methods to assist students who are having difficulty with mathematics. Observations, error pattern analysis, interviews, and other evaluation procedures are used to learn about elementary students' mathematical abilities, and these assessments are used to plan for instruction.

Learning Outcomes

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to prepare you to teach mathematics to students who struggle with  the subject.   

After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Conduct a variety of assessments, and analyze and utilize the data obtained to  better evaluate where students are with regard to their mathematical understanding.  (InTASC 6) 

  • Create and implement lesson plans for diverse students that are designed around  the principals of effective mathematics instruction. (ESPB 11010.6, 11010.7; InTASC  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8) 

  • Be knowledgeable about and confident in your ability to use and teach with the  mathematical resources – literature, manipulatives, technologies, and other materials – available. (ESPB 11010.6; CAEP 1.1; INTASC 4, 5, 7)

  • Know how to help students connect mathematical ideas to real life through the use of  authentic mathematics problem solving experiences and authentic assessment.  (ESPB 11010.2, 11010.4; CAEP 1.1; INTASC 5, 6, 7, 8)

Department of Teaching, Leadership, & Professional Practice Conceptual Framework

All of our programs in the College of Education are grounded on constructivist principles and are accredited by the appropriate agencies (NCATE, ESPB, and the Higher Learning Commission) and are designed to support the development of educators around the three themes that comprise the conceptual framework of our college:

  1. Teachers as Learners
  2. Teachers as Articulate Visionaries
  3. Teachers as Active Agents of Learning

Course Materials

Required Text:

  • Gurganus, Susan Perry. (2017). Math Instruction for Students with Learning Problems. New York, NY: Routledge. (2nd Edition) 

Recommended Text: 

  • Sammons, Laney. (2019). Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education. (2nd Edition)

Recommended Resources:

  • A list of recommended math manipulatives (hands-on, printable, and virtual) is available within our Blackboard course. These manipulatives are highly recommended as you read and learn about various math content in our course, as you view and take part in the weekly recorded lesson videos from your instructor, and as you plan lessons for students in classrooms.

  • Additional readings and resources shown on the course schedule will be made available electronically in Blackboard.


Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

The course content is organized into sixteen weeks. Each week contains a to do list with reading and assignments as well as a variety of links to articles, instructional video, and other instructional resources selected to enhance the learning experience and support the various topics. Discussions, blogs, wikis, surveys, quizzes, assignments, and a final presentation will be used to assess your comprehension and application of those materials over the course of this class.  

Course Overview

To get the most from your experience, it is recommended that you consider the following: 

  • Review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard 

  • Use the FAQ Discussion Board found under Resources to ask questions  

  • Participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from your peers and the facilitators 

What Should You Do First?

The Blackboard site for this course will be open to you one week prior to the start of the semester with the syllabus, an introductory message/video, and other introductory materials available for your review. Prior to the start of the first week of the course, please review the course syllabus and schedule and view the introductory video for further details on how to navigate the course Blackboard site. 

How Students Should Proceed Each Week for Class Activities:

On the left side course menu in Blackboard there is a “Weekly Assignments” tab. By clicking on this tab, you will find all weekly content folders containing the required readings, videos, and assignments/activities for the week. An overview of each week can be found in Blackboard under the Schedule tab. Each weekly folder will be opened up on Tuesday by 9:00am CST for the coming week, and (unless otherwise specified), all assignments will be due by 11:59pm CST of the following Monday (ex. Week 1 materials are open by Tuesday at 9:00am CST and all Week 1 materials will be due by the end of Week 1 on Tuesday by 11:59pm CST).

You can find an overview of the Major Assignments for this course under that Blackboard tab, under the TL486 Field Experience tab, as well as information on the TL486 Field Experience course.

Under the Resources tab you will find the FAQ Discussion Board where students can post questions about the course; you are encouraged to respond and help your classmates by answering questions if and when you are able.


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

  1. Please review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard and continue to monitor these for any changes during the 6-week session. 

  2. Please access and follow all weekly instructions and complete all assignments as indicated in the Weekly assignments folders. 

  3. Please complete and submit assignments by the date noted in Blackboard and on the course schedule – typically by the following Monday by 11:59pm CST unless otherwise specified. We will use Central Standard Time (CST) for due dates and times.

  4. Participate fully in all online discussions and other activities in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from your classmates. Also, as you establish or continue your field experience relationship with your field experience student and their family/teacher, know that you are representing UND and yourself as a current (and future) teacher. You are expected to attend your scheduled field experience sessions with your field experience student, work with the family and/or teacher of this student to schedule each session and communicate clearly, professionally, and in a timely manner.

Policies for Students in Educator Preparation Programs

Dispositions: The Council of Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) requires the university to monitor the academic progress and dispositions of every student enrolled in a program leading to an education license or credential. Dispositions refer to a student’s actions and behaviors in terms of professionalism, ethics and human relations. Should a concern arise about a student’s progress or dispositions, faculty, instructors and/or cooperating teachers may request a one-on-one meeting with the teacher candidate or advanced student to discuss areas of strength or concerns. Written documentation of this conference may be included in the student’s permanent file. Specific procedures are delineated on the form, Professional Dispositions for UND Teacher Education.



Announcements will be posted on the main Blackboard page (and subsequently emailed directly to you) on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters. 


You are encouraged to post your questions about the course in the FAQs Discussion Board Forum in the Blackboard site (found under Resources). This is an open forum in which you and your classmates are encouraged to answer each other’s questions. But, if you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information.  I will respond back to you within 48 hours during the week and may not respond on the weekend until the next business day. If you have not heard back from me within 48 hours, please email again.  

Discussion Forums, Blogs, & Wikis: 

These tools are an excellent way for you to engage with the course material and with your peers.  Each week will have at least one of these tools for you to participate in. You are expected to read all assigned discussion boards, blog posts, and/or wiki pages and provide thoughtful contributions. 


When participating in an online class it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails, just as you would in a school setting or other professional position. Our online posts are our main interactions and discussions as a community of teachers and learners. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas. Consider the perspectives of others, participate on time and completely, and make sure your tone is considerate and collegial when engaging with others. In addition, almost all assignments depend on the contributions of each of you. Your reflections, ideas, and suggestions are required for us to engage with and learn reading content. Your learning and understanding will be enhanced by reading and responding to others’ work. As with any class, please complete assignments fully and on time and promptly communicate if you have questions or if any issues should arise. We are here to support each other’s teaching and learning for the benefit of you and your future students, so be willing to take risks and put yourself out there among your classmates! We are here to learn from and alongside one another! 


Many services are available to online students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center (virtual appointments), free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.


Grading (0%)



This course is made up of a series of assignments and lesson plans  to assist you in achieving the course learning objectives/outcomes. (Please refer to Blackboard for specific dates, directions, and prompts as needed).

Weight of assignments/ percentage and point distribution for grading are as follows: 

  • Weekly Assignments and Participation  40%        

  • Field Experience Elements  45%

    • Student Math Interest Inventory        

    • Guided Math Lesson Plans with If/then Analyses 

  • Final Math Profile Presentation 15%

Grade Scale:  

  • A = 93 – 100% 

  • B = 81 – 92% 

  • C = 71 – 80% 

  • D = 61 – 70%

  • F = 0 – 60%                     

  • In the state of North Dakota, a GPA of 2.50 is required for teacher licensure. Please make sure you know what your state will require.
  • You must achieve a “C” or better in all T&L courses.

Description of Major Assignments (0%)

Description of Major Assignments

Assignments – Weekly Work and Online Participation (40%):  

Instructions for weekly assignments will be embedded within the weekly lessons. Additionally, each week there will be a short quiz and/or a discussion board post. These will be based upon your readings for the day from the textbook and/or your case study analyses/TL486 field experience work. Quizzes are open book, so if you’ve forgotten  something, look it up. If you find that you often need to look up the answers to these  questions, this is probably an indicator that you need to read the materials a bit more thoroughly. Use these quizzes as an opportunity to test and assess your study skills!
Active engagement calls for your completion of weekly assignments and quizzes and participating in online discussion boards. Participation involves engaging with the course in ways that demonstrate a disposition towards becoming a successful classroom teacher, which includes completion of all assignments, engaging in critical dialogue with peers and the instructor, being an advocate for your learning, remaining open to learning new ideas, and practicing teaching with a learner-mindset. Some homework assignments are designed for you to learn the material, some are designed so you can experience a topic in the same way your future students might, and some are designed so you can practice finding and creating your own lessons, assessments, and materials to teach your students. Each of these assignments will be weighted equally.  This means that an assignment for a writing lesson is “worth” the same as a reading technology project. Although the points vary, the weight does not.  (Think percentage, not points!) 

Case Study Videos Analyses (part of your Weekly  Assignments)  

Over our 6-week summer course you will be presented with several video case studies of teachers working with students on math concepts. Following the instructions within each weekly folder in Blackboard and using the provided Case Study template, you will use the “If/Then” format to determine the strengths and needs of the student depicted in each video, write an intervention plan (teaching implications or instructional “next steps”), and also include recommendations for and a description of one or more assessments to help the student grow and develop mathematical skills and abilities in the given math content area from their video. These will be completed and submitted within the weekly folders in which they are assigned.

Field Experience Elements (45%)

You will be responsible for finding your own student for TL486: field experience as part of your TL413 and TL444 learning this semester. For your field experience visits, you will create a Student Interest and Content Inventory as well as three math lesson plans that match the grade level of your student. For your reference, the different math content areas are: number and operations, measurement, geometry, data analysis and probability, and algebra.

Guided Math Lesson Plans with If/Then Math Templates:

Your three math lesson plans must be original, creative, and include clear standards and learning objectives, direct instruction in a strategy or skill, followed by modeling and guided practice of the strategy or skill in an engaging learning activity.  The lesson plans you create will use the “Guided Math Lesson” template which will be provided on Blackboard. 

Your three lesson plans will include assessments that will help you collect data on your student. After each lesson you will complete an If/Then Math Template which will then help you make plans for where you should go from that point forward with that particular student and that particular math content. All of these artifacts, along with student work, will be used to create the Mathematics Student Profile Presentation. Additional information is provided under Major Assignments within our Blackboard course.

Student Math Interest Inventory:

You will design your own student math interest inventory including both math and "other" questions that could be given to a student in a chosen grade level. Questions will include math interests and abilities as well as other academic content areas and non-school questions. Getting to know your students’ interests and perceived abilities in order to help design your lessons. 

Examples of various student interest inventories are included in our Blackboard course. Note that some of these are more reading-focused, but these ideas could help you design math-focused questions instead. You can be as creative as you wish! You can use a Word document, Google Slides with interactive elements, Google Form, etc. Aesthetics matter, so having a long list of questions with fill-in-the-blanks is not ideal, whereas a variety of questions (multiple choice, circle the answer, short answer, etc.) is preferred. You can also find great examples and ideas for questions and designs online, but you cannot find and use/print one that has already been created. You must create your own for this assignment.

Final Math Student Profile Presentation (15%)

You will provide a 20 to 30-minute video recorded presentation on your T&L 486 Mathematics Student. In this presentation you will share information about your student (taking care not to reveal the student's identity); your inventory and lessons; student artifacts; as well as your thoughts, ideas, and reflections on your overall experience.. Your focus is on the math portions of your field experience sessions with your student. 

Math Presentations will take place during the final weeks of our course. Each student will provide peer feedback on one another’s presentations as part of this presentation experience as well. More information can be found under Major Assignments in our Blackboard course.

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
8/23 Week 1
Read Chapter 1 of Gurganus text
Overview of Class, Syllabus, Materials
Mathematics in Today’s Schools: The Context for Learning Challenges
Standards: Comparing & Contrasting NCTM: Process vs. Content; Common Core: Practices vs. Content; Your State Standards
How do we teach math? Conceptual Understandings; Manipulatives; Children’s Literature & Life Experiences; Intentional Mathematics; Number Talks
What do we do when students are struggling?
What is “productive struggle”?
Chapter 1 Quiz
Watch the Week 1 Video
Explore Productive Struggle website
Productive Struggle Discussion Board assignment
Begin searching for a student for your TL486 field placement math study
8/30 Week 2
Read Chapter 2
Foundations of Mathematics Learning Chapter 2 Quiz
Week 2 Video
Make plans with the parents/guardians/teacher for your TL486 field placement math study.
9/6 Week 3
Read Chapter 3
Mathematics Assessment Topics:
Pre-Assessments; Formative Assessments; Summative Assessments; Response to Intervention (RtI); Multi-Tiered Support Systems
Chapter 3 Quiz
Week 3 Video
Explore MARS: Balanced Assessment in Mathematics website
Explore Performance Assessment Tasks – Inside Mathematics website
Submit information on your TL486 field experience student in Blackboard (information will be kept confidential)
Continue working on your Student Interest & Content Inventory to use with your field experience student - due in Week 4.
9/13 Week 4
Read Chapter 4
Effective Mathematics Instruction
Children’s Literature
Chapter 4 Quiz
Week 4 Video
Lesson Planning Discussion Board assignment
Student Interest & Content Inventory due
Look for a math game or activity you could play with your student during your first field experience session
9/20 Week 5
Read Chapter 5
Problem-Solving Instruction: What is problem solving? What is a problem?
Is problem solving something you should be doing with students in the primary grades? (Problem solving steps & problem solving strategies)
Guided Math Lesson Plans Instruction
Chapter 5 Quiz
Week 5 Video
Problem Solving Video Discussion Board assignment
Review the Lesson Plan Sample provided in Blackboard
Guided Math Lesson Plan #1 is due
Schedule a date & time to meet with your field experience student once during Week 6.
9/27 Week 6
Read Chapter 6
Instruction & Collaboration for General Education
First Field Experience Session with your Student
Chapter 6 Quiz
Week 6 Video
Video Case Study Analysis with Case Study document: Early Math Problem Solving website
Complete & submit your If/Then Math Profile document after your field experience lesson
Work on Guided Math Lesson Plan #2 (due in Week 7)
10/4 Week 7
Read Chapter 7
Resources to Support Mathematics Instruction & Integration
Children's Literature
Chapter 7 Quiz
Week 7 Video
Guided Math Lesson Plan #2 is due
10/11 Week 8
Read Content Strands, Chapter A
Number Sense, Place Value, & Number Systems
Chapter A Quiz
Week 8 Video
Complete & submit your If/Then Math Profile document after your field experience lesson
10/18 Week 9
Read Chapter B (Sections on Addition & Subtraction only)
Whole-Number Relationships
Single- & Multi-Digit Addition & Subtraction
Children’s Literature
Chapter B Quiz
Week 9 Video
Case Study Analysis & Case Study document: Number Sense & Place Value
View the Running Records Overview & Assessment folder (found inside the Week 9 folder)
Work on Guided Math Lesson Plan #3 (Due in Week 11)
10/25 Week 10
Read Chapter B (sections on Multiplication & Division only)
Whole-Number Relationships
Single- & Multi-Digit Multiplication & Division
Children's Literature
Chapter B Quiz
Week 10 Video
Video Case Study Analysis with Case Study document: Addition & Subtraction
11/1 Week 11
Read Chapter C
Rational Numbers
Children’s Literature
Chapter C Quiz
Week 11 Video
Guided Math Lesson Plan #3 is due
Complete & submit your If/Then Math Profile document after your field experience lesson
11/8 Week 12
Read Chapter D
Spatial & Geometric Reasoning
Children's Literature
Chapter D Quiz
Case Study Analysis with Case Study document: Multiplication with Manipulatives
11/15 Week 13
Read Chapter E
Measurement, Data Analysis, & Probability
Children’s Literature
Quiz Chapter E
Week 13 Video
Case Study Analysis with Case Study document: Early Math Geometry website
11/22 Week 14
Read Chapter F
Algebraic Reasoning
Children’s Literature
Chapter F Quiz
Week 14 Video
Case Study Analysis: Data Analysis (focus on Kayla) YouTube link
11/29 Week 15
Presentations of Mathematics Student Profile Portfolios Round 1 of Mathematics Student Profile Portfolios due by Friday at 11:59pm CST
Review & comment on peers’ portfolios by Sunday at 11:59pm CST
12/6 Week 16
Presentations of Mathematics Student Profile Portfolios Round 2 of Mathematics Student Profile Portfolios due by Friday at 11:59pm CST
Review & comment on peers’ portfolios by Sunday at 11:59pm CST

Course Policies

Assignment Policy:

Assignments are expected to be submitted either in class or on Blackboard as specified on their designated due dates. If you feel you require an extension on an assignment, please email me in advance in order to discuss options. Late assignments without such a request will result in a reduction in points.

If you feel you need to revise and resubmit an assignment in order to improve your own learning and success, please email me to discuss. Such instances will be considered individually as they arise. 

Class Participation:

Students are required to login regularly to the online class site. Students are also required to participate in all class assignments and activities such as discussion board, blogs, and wikis, and sharing lesson planning ideas and materials.


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.

Course Requirements:  

In this course, students are expected to:  

  • Complete all readings and coursework in a reflective and critical manner  

  • Demonstrate professional-level skills in thinking and communication  

  • Be considerate of others’ thoughts and opinions  

Assignments that are not well-written or well-thought out or those that are incomplete will be returned to the student for revision. Unless otherwise directed, format assignments using 12 pt. font and 1-inch margins and follow APA style. All assignments must be posted in Blackboard unless otherwise directed. E-mailed assignments will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructor. 

Central Standard Time is used for class due dates and times. 

Effort/Course Rigor:  

Plan to spend sufficient time on the course. You are expected to put in the same amount of time into online courses as you would if you were enrolled in a face-to-face course on campus. For example, if a two-credit course were meeting on-campus it would meet for two hours a week for sixteen weeks. In addition to this meeting time, you would be expected to spend, at minimum, an additional hour for each hour of class time on assignments, which includes readings, watching weekly videos, completing assignments, sharing in discussion boards, creating lesson plans, etc.