Supporting Math Foundational Skills in the Primary Grades

(Grades K-3) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 108T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40223


Course Description

Do you find that your K-3 students often struggle with the most basic of mathematical principles? Do you want to find a way to better support those students as they learn to unlock the gift of mathematics? The intent of this course is to provide a toolbox of both information and activities that K-3 teachers can use to support students who struggle to understand and grasp both the meaning and the manipulation of basic math principles. Some of the topics include counting and cardinality, counting objects, rote counting, number sense of quantity, counting on and back, operations of addition and subtraction, composing and decomposing numbers, the application of mathematical foundational skills within the problem-solving process, and guiding students to use their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to make real-world connections. Teachers will also learn how to determine student levels and how to choose and design assessments to best utilize the resources that are available within a typical math curriculum. As teachers work through this course, they will learn how to create meaningful and engaging activities in order to promote student ownership, and they will learn how to establish home connections so that those mathematical habits of mind can flourish. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"The content and resources were thorough and helpful. I was able to use a lot immediately in my classroom." - Jessica Cullen

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$112

Course with Credit from UCSD Extension

$285

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.



Required Resource Book

This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List



UCSD Course Number: EDUC40223
Unit One
  • The Importance of Establishing Foundational Skills
  • Critical Areas in Mathematics
  • A Review of the Math Practice Standards
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Determining Student Levels
  • Choosing and Designing an Assessment Style
  • Utilizing Resources Within Your Math Curriculum
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Counting and Cardinality
  • Counting Objects
  • Rote Counting
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Number Sense and Quantity
  • Counting On and Back
  • Operations of Addition and Subtraction
  • Compose and Decompose Numbers
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Foundations of Problem Solving
  • The Application of Foundational Skills Within the Problem-Solving Process
  • Using Mathematics as a Tool to Make Real-World Connections
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Taking Ownership Through Engagement
  • Establishing Home Connections and Mathematical Habits of Mind
  • Assignment #4: Develop math foundation lessons
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)


Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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