The Fundamentals of Reading, Writing and Mathematics 10GLSM

Course Objectives

Students will gain knowledge and insight that will enable them to:

  • Develop teaching plans based on children’s play and experiences.
  • Use teaching methods that will develop pupils’ identity and self-image.
  • Use the various forms of childhood expression in order to gain insight into their informal mathematical and linguistic skills, and make use of this insight to develop children’s understanding of basic concepts.
  • Be able to use knowledge that is relevant for the development of concepts and vocabulary of second language pupils to ensure that this pupil group is taught in a systematic manner.
  • Be able to develop varied and systematic lesson plans for reading, writing and mathematical skills based on theory, and show how practical-aesthetic and play-oriented activities may be used to strengthen this activity.
  • Develop knowledge and skills that support the liaison role that teachers play with parents and colleagues in schools and other contexts, and use these skills and knowledge when making lesson plans for basic reading, writing and mathematical skills.
  • Be able plan varied and systematic lesson plans in reading, writing and mathematical skills based on theory, and exploit theme-based and play-oriented activities to strengthen this teaching.
  • Be able to use adaptive teaching strategies, for instance by using mapping and observation notes.
  • Use knowledge of the subject to be able to evaluate various teaching aids.

Course Description


The development of children’s linguistic and mathematical skills starts at an early age. Teaching is based on the child’s experience and the language they have developed by the time they start school, and it must also be based on the child’s natural curiosity and need to explore.

The course reinforces students’ knowledge and didactic competence in the teaching of basic reading, writing, and mathematical skills in the 1st – 4th grades. They also develop the ability to evaluate the quality of their own teaching, in order to ensure the development of children’s skills in these subjects.

Language skills are acquired when children explore language and use it in communicative situations with others. The teaching of basic reading and writing skills must therefore be seen in relation to other activities where pupils listen, speak, write, and express themselves creatively through text. The concept text in this context refers to spoken and written texts, images, visual media texts and electronic texts.

Mathematical development in children is stimulated when they take part in activities involving principle mathematic ideas that offer varied forms of expression and stimulate exploration and reflection.

Students will gain an increased understanding and insight regarding the value of children’s culture and skills. This knowledge is important in order to prepare teaching for children in the 1st to 4th grades. Students will be encouraged to develop their professional and ethical awareness in teaching this particular age group.

The course counts for 10 ECTS and builds upon the obligatory subjects mathematics, Norwegian, and pedagogy in the General Teacher Education programme. The 10 ECTS are distributed in the following manner: 40% Norwegian, 40% mathematics, and 20% pedagogy.

The content is structured around the three subjects, Norwegian, mathematics, and pedagogy. The teaching will consider these subjects in relation to each other. Students will develop knowledge regarding the special linguistic challenges related to the development of concepts and vocabulary for second language children, and be able to evaluate various ways schools may organise systematic teaching and planning in this particular area. Students will learn how to use mapping tests and other observation and evaluation methods. They will be able to discuss and reflect on how teachers may use insight of such working methods as a basis for individual supervision. Students will experience how the practical-aesthetic subjects may be integrated into basic reading, writing, and mathematics teaching, through for example the use of musical, dramatic, physical, and visual expression.


It represents a challenge to teachers to take the child as a starting point when planning and teaching basic reading and writing skills. Students will develop their knowledge of children’s language learning and development. They will learn the importance of language-stimulating play in the 1st – 4th grades in relation to the significant reading and writing theories, principles and methods. There will be a focus on how teaching may be adapted to suit pupils with various backgrounds and abilities so that one may best prevent children from developing reading and writing difficulties. Learning to read happens, in most cases, as a result of interaction between the child and another interested and encouraging person.

Students will learn about, and develop personal skills in, handwriting, so that they can guide children in their development and mastery of functional handwriting.

Students will learn about the importance of reading aloud, and how the use of many examples of active use of writing have in relation to expanding the child’s vocabulary, as well as consolidating and developing the child’s use of complex linguistic structures. They should be familiar with how one may cooperate with parents in children’s reading training. The course emphasises the evaluation and discussion of various teaching tools, picture books, and other texts, as well as information and communications technology-based tools, so that students may become aware of how these may be used in the teaching of basic reading and writing skills.


Successful teaching of mathematics is based on an awareness of what children already know and what they will learn. There will be a focus on the content of specific basic mathematical concepts and how children develop an understanding of these. This includes basic concepts in relation to numerals, arithmetic, and geometry, as well as measurement, sorting and classifying. Using this as a foundation, it is the teacher’s responsibility to develop lesson plans that simultaneously challenges and supports children in their development, and consequently there will be a focus on the relevant pedagogical theory for the teaching of mathematics. In addition, there will be focus on various tools, including information and communications technology, as well as the use of mathematics in various contexts. The latter is important when teaching mathematics in the 1st - 4th grades, and especially in relation to the developing the child’s use of a formal symbolic language.


In the 1st – 4th grades, it is particularly important that teachers have a holistic approach to children’s learning and development. The importance of children’s play and learning environment for children’s learning and identity development will be focused on. It is the teacher’s responsibility to develop a stimulating learning environment, characterised by constructive relationships between pupils and teacher, among the pupils themselves, and by positive attitudes towards the learning material. Students will further develop their understanding of how important it is to see each child as an individual, and take into account the child’s individual learning and social needs in their teaching work. The course will challenge students’ knowledge of the use of interdisciplinary teamwork in the 1st - 4th grades, and in relation to collaborative tasks involving colleagues and professionals both in schools and other contexts. In addition, students will develop an understanding of the importance of a good school-home cooperation. Life in school will mirror multicultural society to a high degree, and students will gain a better insight into the challenges children from minority cultures face at school in the 1st - 4th grades.

Learning Methods

The course is divided into two phases. Lectures and group work are the main forms of teaching and learning during the first phase. During the second phase students will work together in groups to prepare a teaching plan based on the course’s three subject areas. The teaching plan and commentary will be used during the students’ teaching practice placement and aimed at grades 1-4 in primary school. Students will receive supervision from the subject teacher and the mentor at the placement school. The mentor will assess the teaching plan in relation to the teaching practice curriculum. Students must have their teaching practice approved in order to take the examination.

The development of professional skills in the teaching of primary school pupils is based on a dynamic interaction between discussions, dialogue and lectures. This process presupposes that students are present and actively participate.

Assessment Methods

In the course’s first phase, students will draft a journal, which illustrates their own handwriting skills. The journal will be submitted to the subject teacher. In order to take the final examination, students must achieve passing grades on the journal and the teaching practice.

The final examination consists of an individual oral examination of about 20 minutes duration. Candidates must answer questions from the syllabus material related to the subject areas covered by the course.

Candidates will receive a letter grade on the transcript, from A-F, A being the highest and E the lowest passing grade. Each course unit must receive a passing grade in order to receive a final passing grade.

Please refer to Telemark University College’s examination regulations.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Frode Evenstad <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 10/10/2009