Math in the Middle 2000
May 21, 2001
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 challenge for teachers to find activities that will engage their students in interesting and important mathematics, and prepare them for a rigorous high school program.
The web can provide a rich source of this type of mathematical activity. All of the activities in this session (and more) can be found on the web at http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Lessons. All are student-centered activities that integrate creativity, technology, and manipulatives to develop important mathematical concepts.
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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.