Active Algebra: Strategies and Lessons for Successfully Teaching Linear Relationships, Grades 7–10
Based on recent research on the adolescent brain, Active Algebra presents a living, working example of how teachers can use active learning techniques to make linear relationships more meaningful for students. In addition to the 10 reproducible, sequenced lessons, this award-winning resource offers seven chapters of guidance in teaching algebra.
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Review by Kay Gilliland, from the the 2010 NCSM Spring Newsletter.
After describing a hilarious incident in his classroom, Dan Brutlag comments in Active Algebra: Strategies for Successfully Teaching Linear Relationships “. . . the truth is that the mathematical logic often makes no sense at all to these students. That is why textbook presentations consisting of clear, logical examples and explanations, although necessary, usually are not sufficient to teach mathematics to adolescents.” How true, and how often we as mathematics leaders have tried to say this! Active Algebra does this for us, helping teachers build awareness of adolescents’ thinking and behavior. Brutleg explains what he considers to be active learning in algebra involving the whole brain: listening, reading, writing, speaking, movement, social interaction, visualizing, and imagining. He includes lessons designed to build connections across large areas of the brain, mental mathematics exercises designed to stretch students’ memory and recall, and a 10-lesson unit that focuses on understanding linear functions numerically, graphically, and symbolically. A CD of the 10 lessons comes with the book. Brutleg carefully explains the teacher’s role in the lessons and peppers the text with real incidents from his own classroom.
Active Algebra: Strategies and Lessons for Successfully Teaching Linear Relationships, Grades 7–10 offers comprehensive coverage of
- active learning strategies,
- mental math,
- student presentations,
- graphing calculators,
- classroom management and discipline,
- authentic classroom experiences,
- and brain research and mathematics.
It also provides connections to NCTM’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.