Three Fundamental NMSSI Courses Come to Central Nebraska

NMSSI Geometry Course
NMSSI Geometry Course

As a result of the NeSA-M, Nebraska's first statewide mathematics assessment, mathematics teachers at all grade levels are looking for new learning opportunities that support them in offering high quality mathematics courses to their students. The Nebraska Math and Science Summer Institutes (NMSSI) offer graduate mathematics and pedagogy courses using a teacher-friendly delivery model that help teachers respond to this challenge.

As one teacher said at the end of an NMSSI course last summer: "I am truly grateful to once again have the opportunity to take part in professional development this past summer. It was a great reinforcement to see the great things that the teachers in the State of Nebraska are doing in their classrooms."

Three NMSSI courses for middle-level mathematics teachers (and arguably three fundamental courses) are coming to Central Nebraska this June. MATH 800T: Math as a Second Language will be held in Hastings from June 4-8, MATH 802T: Functions, Algebra and Geometry will be held in Holdrege from June 11-15, and MATH 805T: Discrete Mathematics will be held in Kearney from June 25-29. Each course is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and in each case, the lead instructor is a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Take advantage of this opportunity to earn up to 9 hours of graduate credit in your area in just one month.

MATH 800T (Class # 3378 in Hastings at ESU 9) will help you align your teaching with the new Nebraska standards and the new Common Core standards in mathematics by focusing on the development of "habits of mind of a mathematical thinker". The approach is to understand arithmetic (number) and (introductory) algebra as a means of communicating mathematical ideas, and will stress a deep understanding of the basic operations of arithmetic, as well as the interconnected nature of arithmetic, algebra and geometry relating to the grades 3-7 curriculum. Alicia Davis, a teacher at Hastings Middle School, will be the lead instructor of the course.

MATH 802T (Class # 8848 in Holdrege at ESU 11) is designed to help teachers gain a deep understanding of the concept of function and the algebra and geometry concepts taught in the middle-level (through early high school) curriculum. Studying this content at a deeper level will help teachers better prepare their students for the NeSA-M. Participants also will study measurement with an emphasis on length, area and volume. Dan Schaben, a teacher at Arapahoe High School, will be the lead instructor of the course.

MATH 805T (Class # 3011 in Kearney at ESU 10) is designed to deepen knowledge of discrete mathematics as it relates to topics covered in middle through high school curricula. Many of the course topics are introduced through "hands-on" explorations (which characterize discrete mathematics) through which various problem-solving strategies are emphasized. The course also develops an understanding of the role of precise mathematical language, reasoning, and proof in the development of discrete mathematics. Brent Larson, a teacher at Omaha Central High School, will be the lead instructor of the course. Jill Edgren, from Wood River Jr/Sr High School and who is also a Master Teaching Fellow, will be assisting Larson.

Crystal Simpson, an OPS teacher who recently completed the courses, said about MATH 802T: “The best way to describe this course is to compare it to a roller-coaster ride – thrilling, refreshing and mind-blowing all at once. This class went into detail about theorems so that I could understand why these theorems existed in the first place and learn the importance of the theorems. These courses are right on time for teachers with the new state assessment.”

Visit our website for our complete course catalog for this summer as well as steps on how to enroll and apply for tuition assistance. Contact Lindsay Augustyn at with questions.

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Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education

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