GEL 198 - Elementary Mathematics is Fundamental (cross listed as MAT 198) course

Approval Status


Date Reviewed

June 2022

NOTE: Approved ONLY for course taken in quarters/years noted below and taught by Professor Al Mendle: subject to review

Spring 2022 - CRN: 45382 (GEL 198) or CRN 48757 (MAT 198) 

Winter 2023 - CRN: 26759 (GEL 198) or CRN 30890 (MAT 198)

Winter 2024 - CRN: 26732 (GEL 198) or CRN 30814 (MAT 198)


Here’s a course that will look at some of the basic ideas in elementary school mathematics in a way that’s not just for kids. We will explore ways of injecting a little FUN into some of the most basic ideas that children are learning about mathematics. We will be taking a deeper look at fundamentals with the goal of making elementary mathematics comprehensible and interesting. We will definitely adhere to the dictum that mathematics is not a spectator sport. It can be engaging and it can be understood.

This will be a hands-on course. We will explore mathematics as if it’s a laboratory activity, and we will play.

The course will be open to anyone regardless of mathematical background. It can be taken for Geology Credit (GEL198) or for Mathematics Credit (MAT 198). It is being offered as one of a series of courses integrated with the UC Davis CalTeach/MAST (Mathematics and Science Teaching) program (, and this program is designed to encourage STEM majors on campus to consider careers in K- 12 STEM teaching. The course will be examining high-interest topics along the Grade K-12 continuum. If you’re thinking of becoming an elementary teacher, it is an ideal way to begin your excursion. It will satisfy the Fundamental Mathematics requirement for the Multiple Subject UC Davis Teacher Education Program. It will also be useful for those thinking about teaching at the secondary level.

2 units

Course Type

Upper Division