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Math I

Prealgebra and Advanced Topics – Year 1 (Fall / Winter / Spring Sessions)

Age Level: Grades 3, 4, 5. Location: Edina Community Center, Room 315. Instructor: Karl Bunday, 2007 Edyth May Sliffe award recipient for middle school mathematics coaching, parent workshop director for Epsilon Camp 2012, 2013, and 2014. Textbook: Prealgebra by Richard Rusczyk, David Patrick, and Ravi Boppna (2011), useful for Year 1 and Year 2 students. Dates: (See Calendar, or Home page). Fee: $125 for July or August half-term (per section), $225 for full summer course (each section each half term).  

Description: Accelerated prealgebra course for bright learners curious about mathematics, with much emphasis on foundations of higher mathematics and many problems selected from mathematics competitions. The Prealgebra and Advanced Topics course follows a syllabus, in development since 2005, that over two years covers most essential topics in a formal course in prealgebra and mathematical problem-solving contests for pupils of late elementary age, with additional topics from upper-division university-level mathematics. The course lays a foundation for further advanced study of mathematics to the highest and most challenging level, and also delves into topics that are interesting and intriguing and not usually taught in the school curriculum. 

On Saturdays during the summer, the two half-terms (the four-week July module or the four-week August module) of the 11:00am section will be the "year 1" (Math I) sections, covering basic principles of statistics during the July half-term and basic combinatorics (counting) and probability in the August half-term. Students may take either the July half-term, the August half-term, or both whether they are new to the ECAE course (as some students will be) or alumni of the school-year ECAE course (as some students will be). Problems for the Math I summer course come not just from the assigned textbook but also from other sources around the world, especially for the fourth week of each four week half-term. The summer courses at either level (Math I or Math II) are good introductions for first-time students to the school-year ECAE courses. All ECAE mathematics courses especially emphasize building a foundation for numeracy in adult life, proficiency in secondary school mathematics, and success in university mathematics courses. Problem sources are not limited to the course textbook but include problems from many other sources, including problems originally written in Russia, China, or India.

Placement Test Instructions: The textbook publisher has an online placement test that shows what level is expected for starting the textbook, that is starting Year 1 of the two-year Prealgebra and Advanced Topics (PAT) course. My Course Placement Test illustrates many of the topics that are covered during ECAE’s Math Year 1 class. The Year 2 section of the course assumes most of that content as background. Students can join either the Year 1 or the Year 2 section in the middle of the school year if they are ready.The Course Placement Test prints out as six pages. Calculations are to be done by thinking, or by pencil and paper, without any use of an electronic calculator, abacus, or slide rule. Encourage your child to do as much work, and to show as many steps, on the Course Placement Test as can be done in one hour, skipping ahead to problems farther along in the test if that helps complete more questions. The last question is also important. Once your child is done, please send the completed test by scanning-and-emailing to the instructor.