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Edwards, Thomas G.; Chelst, Kenneth R. – Mathematics Teacher, 2019

While tutoring his granddaughter in second-year algebra recently, the second author lamented that every textbook he could find expresses the quadratic formula as probably the most common form of the formula. What troubled him is that this form hides the meaning of the various components of the equation. Indeed, the meaning was obscured by the…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Formulas, Algebra, Teaching Methods

Russell, Craig – Mathematics Teacher, 2019

Although social studies or language arts classes may offer more natural settings for "global studies," the author's students have engaged in projects demonstrating that mathematical topics can work well at furthering the goal of increasing students' cultural literacy. The author describes one project here, where students working in…

Descriptors: Heritage Education, Historic Sites, Tourism, Mathematics Instruction

Cozzo, Thérèse; Cozzo, Joseph – Mathematics Teacher, 2019

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, increases in metallurgic technology and better manufacturing methods made naval artillery a more powerful force. Guns could fire more powerful shells that could travel farther and hit a target with much greater accuracy. Torpedoes represented a major threat to even the most powerful of warships, forcing captains…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Models, Trigonometry, Mathematical Concepts

Weber, Christof – Mathematics Teacher, 2019

Students' difficulties understanding the meaning of logarithms could stem in part from differences between teachers' and students' views of them. The purpose of this article is to unpack some specialized content knowledge for teaching logarithms. The author discusses the history of logarithms to show why they can be understood as repeated…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Difficulty Level, Numbers

Purvinis, Elaine M.; Fagan, Joshua B. – Mathematics Teacher, 2019

In first- and second-year algebra classrooms, the all-too-familiar whine of "when are we ever going to use this in real life?" challenges mathematics teachers to find new, engaging ways to present mathematical concepts. The introduction of quadratic equations is typically modeled by describing the motion of a moving object with respect…

Descriptors: Algebra, Mathematical Concepts, Equations (Mathematics), Mathematics Instruction

Stuart, Rick; Chedister, Matt – Mathematics Teacher, 2019

While students were constructing the concept of rates of change, linear relationships, and nonlinear relationships in a first-year algebra class, the wanted to build a task that allowed them to increase their understanding of covariation, that is, how two variables change in relation to each other. Research has shown that students who have built…

Descriptors: Correlation, Algebra, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts

Mooney, Eileen B. – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

Top-down implementation of technology is one of the most pervasive phenomena of the last couple of decades in educational history. It is the subject of many books, articles, and blog posts on how to fix schools or why educational technology is not working in the classroom. The idea of providing teachers with technology so they can make students…

Descriptors: Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Instruction

Hubacz, Meghan – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

During the author's eighteen-year tenure as a high school mathematics teacher, there has been one question that she has yet to answer: "Why don't students do homework?" On the basis of research, many factors may lead to a student leaving homework undone. A student may lack the drive to complete work out of school. Or a student may choose…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematics Instruction, Homework, Student Motivation

Teuscher, Dawn; Palsky, Kylie; Palfreyman, Charlie Y. – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

The goal of this article is to raise questions that will promote discussions among secondary mathematics teachers about the concept of inverse functions and how to motivate a more conceptual understanding of them in their classrooms. The authors share data to answer the following questions: (1) What meanings of inverse functions do high school…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Secondary School Mathematics, Mathematical Concepts, Teaching Methods

Nabb, Keith; Hofacker, Erick B.; Ernie, Kathryn T.; Ahrendt, Susan – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

This article highlights three of the eight Mathematics Teaching Practices (MTP) published in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' (NCTM's) "Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All" (2014): (1) facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse (MTP 4); (2) posing purposeful questions (MTP 5); and (3)…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Active Learning, Calculus

Lischka, Alyson E.; Gerstenschlager, Natasha E.; Stephens, D. Christopher; Strayer, Jeremy F.; Barlow, Angela T. – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

Mistakes can be a source of frustration for teachers and students in mathematics classrooms because they reveal potential misunderstandings or a lack of learning. However, increasing evidence shows that making mistakes creates productive pathways for learning new ideas and building new concepts (Boaler 2016; Borasi 1996). Learning through…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Error Patterns, Teaching Methods, Homework

Clinch, Adam – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

One of the foundational topics in first-year algebra concerns the concept of factoring. This article discusses an alternative strategy for factoring quadratics of the form ax[superscript 2] + bx + c, known as "factoring for roots." This strategy enables students to extend the knowledge they used when the leading coefficient was 1 and…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Algebra, Teaching Methods, Problem Solving

Cloft, Kristal – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

Many ways exist to engage students without detracting from the mathematics. Certainly some are high-tech options, such as video games, online trivia sites, and PowerPoint® presentations that follow the same model as Jeopardy; but sometimes low-tech options can be just as powerful. One exciting way to connect with students is by incorporating…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Learner Engagement, Mathematics Activities, Educational Games

Davis, Anna A.; Joswick, Candace – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

The correct use of visual perspective is one of the main reasons that virtual reality environments and realistic works of art look lifelike. Geometric construction techniques used by artists to achieve an accurate perspective effect were developed during the Renaissance. With the rise of computer graphics, translating the geometric ideas of 600…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Computer Graphics, Computer Simulation, Teaching Methods

Pope, Derek – Mathematics Teacher, 2018

The author shares the lesson that he used to introduce the quadratic unit to students in an extended second-year algebra class, demonstrate why it was appropriate for his struggling learners, and discuss possible future modifications to this lesson.

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Algebra, Mathematical Concepts, Secondary School Mathematics