Math in the Middle
Expanding Your Horizons
April 10, 1999
Cynthia Lanius

Middle school students, you've gotta love 'em, and middle school teachers, you've got to admire them. We've known for a long time that middle-years U.S. mathematics textbooks introduce very few new topics, which may partly explain why many students go into middle school loving mathematics and come out hating it. At the same time, students in other countries, with whom our students are compared, are being introduced to algebra earlier and earlier. Most middle school students don't respond very well to the "bitter pill" type of teaching -- take this, it's good for you. This creates a serious chore for teachers to find activities that will engage their students in interesting and important mathematics, and prepare them for a challenging high school program.

The web can provide a rich source of this type of mathematical activity. All of the activities in this session can be found on the web at All are student-centered activities that integrate creativity, technology, and manipulatives to develop important mathematical concepts.

To see how we can increase girls' use of technology see Girls and Technology.

Session Activities:

Right Hand or Left

Pattern Block Fractions


Million $ Mission

Calendar Fun


Power Cards
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Rectangle Patterns

Golden Ratio Volume Experiment School-Bus Geometry

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These pages were developed through GirlTECH, a teacher training program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.