The Money Mustache Community
Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: mozar on May 26, 2020, 07:58:35 PM

Hello mustachians,
I'm studying to become a highschool math teacher. Right now I'm going through the math playlist from kahn academy. I finished arithmetic, prealgebra, algebra 1 and geometry. Next I will do algebra 2 and precalculus. I hope to take praxis 1 this summer. Then take a calculus class for credit in the fall.
After that I'm not sure how to study for praxis II. When I look over the subject matter for the test one of them is discrete math. When I looked up discrete math it said it was math that is not continuous. That's not helpful. Can someone point me in the right direction?

I'm not a math teacher, but I did take a discrete math class once. I think this outline on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_discrete_mathematics) is a good place to start.

This isn't the question you asked, but have you asked the high schools in the areas where you want to teach what course of study you need to follow in order to become a high school teacher?
In my corner of the world, I believe you need to get a bachelor's degree in education with at least a minor in math, complete a student teaching semester at a high school in math, and obtain some sort of state certification. I don't think the Khan classes would count towards any of that, although it may be a good brush up before starting a college degree in that direction.
I agree with seattlecyclone's link about discrete math. As a (possibly helpful) analogy, discrete is like turning the light on and off whereas continuous is like turning a dimmer switch.

Where I live there is such high demand for teachers that there are programs that will walk you through cerification and pay for the required masters degree in education.
I'm aware kahn academy doesn't count for much, it's for me to brush up.
So on the wikipedia page it says that discrete math is related to computer science. So should I take a computer science course? But I know of highschool math teachers who haven't taken computer science. I asked my math tutor who has a phd in education and teaches math teachers, and she didn't have any suggestions.

The course I took was offered in the computer science department. Discrete math encompasses a pretty broad set of topics, but several of them are very relevant to computing.

@seattlecyclone can you tell me the name of the course you took?

The course was called "Theoretical Foundations of Computer Engineering." Looks like they still offer it. Course description: "Propositional logic and methods of proof; set theory and its applications; mathematical induction and recurrence relations; functions and relations; and counting; trees and graphs; applications in computer engineering." It used an earlier edition of this textbook (https://amzn.to/3gvrv0M).

Thank you so much!

That's good stuff but seems like it's at a more advanced level than high school math (maybe for AP Computer Science or similar).
For high school I'd expect more on stuff like probability and combinatorics (which was the discrete math class I took in college and really liked, but would be accessible to a good high school math student).
For HS I'd also expect a good introduction to statistics, although I'm not sure if that is included under the umbrella of discrete math.

Have you found a prep book for the test?

Re: Praxis II, discrete math?
« Reply #8 on: Today at 04:27:34 PM »
Quote
That's good stuff but seems like it's at a more advanced level than high school math (maybe for AP Computer Science or similar).
Noted.
Yes there are prep books for praxis II.

Hello mustachians,
I'm studying to become a highschool math teacher. Right now I'm going through the math playlist from kahn academy. I finished arithmetic, prealgebra, algebra 1 and geometry. Next I will do algebra 2 and precalculus. I hope to take praxis 1 this summer. Then take a calculus class for credit in the fall.
After that I'm not sure how to study for praxis II. When I look over the subject matter for the test one of them is discrete math. When I looked up discrete math it said it was math that is not continuous. That's not helpful. Can someone point me in the right direction?
I did my degree in math, with an emphasis in discrete math. At the time (~20 years ago), the math department offered 3 emphases: discrete math, pure math, and applied math. I chose discrete because it was the one that was most recognizable to high school math, (there were actual numbers), as opposed to pure math which was all proofs (basically writing a damn essay) or applied math which was all coding (basically learning another language). Courses that I took as part of the discrete math emphasis included graph theory, combinatorics, probabilities, logic, and discrete geometries. Basically, if it’s math that deals with countable numbers or objects, it’s discrete math.