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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

Rebholz, Joachim A. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Graphing functions is an important topic in algebra and precalculus high school courses. The functions that are usually discussed include polynomials, rational, exponential, and trigonometric functions along with their inverses. These functions can be used to teach different aspects of function theory: domain, range, monotonicity, inverse…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, High School Students, Secondary School Mathematics, Graphs

Nirode, Wayne – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Since the 1970s, the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA) journals "Mathematics Magazine" and "College Mathematics Journal" have published "Proofs without Words" (PWWs) (Nelsen 1993). "PWWs are pictures or diagrams that help the reader see why a particular mathematical statement may be true and how one…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Logic, Validity, Secondary School Mathematics

Kirwan, J. Vince – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Patterning tasks engage students in a core aspect of algebraic thinking-generalization (Kaput 2008). The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Algebra Standard states that students in grades 9-12 should "generalize patterns using explicitly defined and recursively defined functions" (NCTM 2000, p. 296). Although educators…

Descriptors: Visualization, Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Algebra

McCulloch, Allison W.; Whitehead, Ashley; Lovett, Jennifer N.; Whitley, Blake – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Context is what makes mathematical modeling tasks different from more traditional textbook word problems. Math problems are sometimes stripped of context as they are worked on. For modeling problems, however, context is important for making sense of the mathematics. The task should be brought back to its real-world context as often as possible. In…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Audio Equipment, Textbooks, Word Problems (Mathematics)

Czocher, Jennifer A.; Moss, Diana L. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Why are math modeling problems the source of such frustration for students and teachers? The conceptual understanding that students have when engaging with a math modeling problem varies greatly. They need opportunities to make their own assumptions and design the mathematics to fit these assumptions (CCSSI 2010). Making these assumptions is part…

Descriptors: Mathematical Models, Problem Solving, Mathematics Instruction, High School Students

Richardson, Janessa; Bachman, Rachel M. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

This article describes a preservice teacher's imaginative exploration of completing the square through a process of reasoning and sense making. She recounts historical perspectives and her own discoveries in the process of completing the square. Through this process of sense making, she engaged with the content standard of completing the square to…

Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematical Logic

Housen, Monica – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

In this article, Monica Housen describes how she uses Guess the Number of . . . , a game that develops estimation skills and persistence to provide a fun, to provide a meaningful experience for her high school students. Each week she displays objects in a clear plastic container, like those for pretzels sold in bulk. Students enter a…

Descriptors: High School Students, Mathematics Instruction, Educational Games, Teaching Methods

Liu, Yating; Enderson, Mary C. – Mathematics Teacher, 2016

A mysterious conflict of solutions emerged when a group of tenth- and eleventh-grade students were studying a seemingly ordinary problem on combination and probability. By investigating the mysterious "conflicts" caused by multiple randomization procedures, students will gain a deeper understanding of what it means to perform a task…

Descriptors: High School Students, Grade 10, Grade 11, Probability

Johnson, Heather Lynn; Hornbein, Peter; Azeem, Sumbal – Mathematics Teacher, 2016

The authors provide a dynamic Ferris wheel computer activity that teachers can use as an instructional tool to help students investigate functions. They use a student's work to illustrate how students can use relationships between quantities to further their thinking about functions.

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

Gurl, Theresa J.; Fox, Ryan; Dabovic, Nikolina; Leavitt, Arielle Eager – Mathematics Teacher, 2016

The implementation of the Common Core's Standards for Mathematical Practice can pose a challenge to all teachers of mathematics but especially to preservice teachers. These standards require teaching in a way that often differs from what preservice teachers have experienced as learners. Standard 1--"Make sense of problems and persevere in…

Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Mathematics Teachers, Preservice Teachers, Teaching Experience

Cetner, Michelle – Mathematics Teacher, 2015

When thinking about student reasoning and sense making, teachers must consider the nature of tasks given to students along with how to plan to use the tasks in the classroom. Students should be presented with tasks in a way that encourages them to draw connections between algebraic and geometric concepts. This article focuses on the idea that it…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Geometry, Algebra

Anhalt, Cynthia Oropesa; Cortez, Ricardo – Mathematics Teacher, 2015

Mathematical modeling, in which students use mathematics to explain or interpret physical, social, or scientific phenomena, is an essential component of the high school curriculum. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) classify modeling as a K-12 standard for mathematical practice and as a conceptual category for high school…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Models, Teaching Methods, Mathematical Concepts

Kurz, Terri L.; Garcia, Jorge – Mathematics Teacher, 2015

Since the 1950s, the understanding of how the base 10 system works has been encouraged through alternative base systems (Price 1995; Woodward 2004). If high school students are given opportunities to learn other base systems and analyze what they denote, we believe that they will better understand the structure of base 10 and its operations…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts, Teaching Methods, Grade 8

DeJarnette, Anna F.; Rosado Lausell, Sahid L.; González, Gloriana – Mathematics Teacher, 2015

How can geometry teachers design great tasks that allow students to make connections among interrelated concepts and expand their geometric reasoning skills? Many curricular materials provide problems for students to apply a single geometric concept. However, these problems do not always promote reasoning opportunities for students, because…

Descriptors: Geometry, Geometric Concepts, Task Analysis, Mathematics Activities