Teacher’s Guide – Instructional Plan

Door A Designs > Projects > School > “Math For Life” > Teacher’s Guide > Teacher’s Guide – Instructional Plan

Preparation of Students

Ensure that the students have the appropriate skills necessary in the area of mathematics as well as in using computers. Check to see where students have access to computers and the internet so that an appropriate amount of class time can be allotted to use the curriculum web as deemed necessary.

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Suggestions for Introducing “Math for Life”

A good way to introduce this curriculum web (CW) is to start students on the first writing project about biographies of mathematicians. This will allow them to get accustomed to the CW layout and navigation as well as academic writing in the class. The CW is designed to be easily navigable and non-linear. Users are able to move from one activity to any other activity freely.

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Step-by-step instructions for non-Web activities

Each activity is written so that it can be completed independently by students outside of class. Ample directions and sometimes examples are given for each activity so that students should be able to complete the activity with very little instruction. The teacher may choose to do the activities in class, which would require them to read the directions and examples and use or adjust the activities as necessary for their needs. These adjustments could require the use of materials, so please make sure to read and decide carefully.

Many of the activities are purposefully made to be flexible so that a teacher can manipulate them to fit their time schedule, student grouping, and teaching style.

It is suggested that the first two written assignments be done during the review/remediation period that is traditional at the beginning of a new class; however, they can be used at any time during the course. Depending on the activity being used, the activity may be assigned prior to the lesson in order to have the students explore it before being taught the material in class or post-lesson as a way for enrichment or remediation.

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Discussion of Grouping

Grouping of Students – The activities are designed as independent tasks to be done individually, except for the final project which may be done individually or in small groups (2-3 students). Student grouping may be changed to meet teacher needs/wants.

Grouping of Curriculum – The activities are broken up into a few groups. The first two are mathematics history and appreciation which are great projects to be done while skills are being reviewed and remediated in class. Another group focuses on probability and statistics. A third group focuses on linear and non-linear sequences, series, and functions. A final project is given as a culminating activity for the course.

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Organization of Student Time

The activities are designed to be completed by the students independently as assigned or before the assignment by the teacher. Appropriate class time will be needed to answer any students’ questions or to allow access to the CW as is determined in the Preparation of Students. The teacher may choose to do the activities in class for many of the projects presented in the CW. The first two composition projects are suggested to be given 1-3 weeks for completion while the final project is suggested to give 3-6 weeks for completion.

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Enrichment and further activity suggestions

  • After completion of the probability and statistics units, students could be assigned to come up with and test their own hypotheses.
  • After the simple probability project, students could be assigned to research compound and conditional probabilities with the expectation to learn about dependent, independent, and mutually exclusive events. “Let’s Make a Deal” situations could be used to demonstrate conditional probability.
  • After the Deal or No Deal activity, students could be asked to find other applications of expected value, such as insurance.
  • After the lesson on exponential functions and chess, students could be asked to research other types of non-linear functions and try to figure out how they came about.
  • After the lesson on exponential functions and chess, students could be assigned to find other applications of exponential functions such as banking and half-life analysis. This is an excellent opportunity to add some consumer math into your curriculum.
  • After the trigonometric function exploration, students could be asked to check functions other than sine or to explore how these changes are used in real-world applications.
  • Along with the counting activity, students could be asked to determine how many outfits they could possibly make from counting their shirts, legwear, and footwear they have at home. Often, some students find their numbers so amazing they want to share their results with the class.

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