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Felice S. Shore and Linda L. Cooper

The 2008 presidential election is a great backdrop for analyzing graphs, learning about population distributions, and studying the effect on the electoral voting process.

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Laurie Hart Reyes and George M. A. Stanic

Many black students, female students, and students of low socioeconomic status do not achieve up to their potential in mathematics. A model to explain group differences in performance is presented. Relationships are described among several groups of variables, including societal influences, school mathematics curricula, teacher attitudes, student attitudes and achievement-related behavior, classroom processes, and student achievement. Relevant research results are included, along with suggestions for future research to test the model.

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Teachers are invited to share a problem with their students and submit interesting solutions to the editors for possible future inclusion in the journal.

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Elinor J. Writt

Eighth graders at our school recently had a great deal of fun trying to solve a problem in logical reasoning that was invented by one of their classmates. Perhaps your students will enjoy solving such a puzzle, and they might possibly be motivated to create similar ones. The problem is presented here as it was submitted by the student.

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Danny Bernard Martin

To the detriment of young African American learners, racial achievement gap rhetoric impacts social constructs in American classrooms. In my opinion, recent mathematics education reforms, despite equity-oriented rhetoric expressing concern for all children (NCTM 1989, 2000; RAND Mathematics Study Panel 2003), have instead helped foster an environment where African American children continue to be viewed as intellectually inferior and mathematically illiterate, usually in relation to children who are identified as white or Asian.

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David J. Hildreth

Recently, applications of mathematics have received more attention in school mathematics. The NCTM's Curriculum and Evaluation Standards (1989), the Mathematics Teacher, and many textbooks reflect this much-needed emphasis. Many of these applications, some old and many new, reflect the need to apply mathematics to science and technology.

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Elizabeth George Bremigan

Students of all ages are enthusiastic about the Olympic Games. Many mathematics teachers use this context as an opportunity for students to examine numerical data while they display and discuss the results of different events and the success of various countries during the Olympic Games. These discussions allow teachers to address several aspects of the Data Analysis and Probability Standard from Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 2000).

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John W. Butzow

This article describe an activity approach for teaching upper elementary school students the concept of angles. It is a departure from the usual approach in which student are taught the use of a protractor, which show only 180°. ln thi activity student practice reading and drawing angle from oo to 360° as they simulate the behaviors used to navigate a sailboat. The activity is used in the form of a game to heighten the interest in a skill area that is often less than stimulating. The activity is also designed to help teachers infuse marine education into the study of mathematics.

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Karisma Morton and Catherine Riegle-Crumb

Using data from a large urban district, this study investigated whether racial inequality in access to eighth-grade algebra is a reproduction of differences in prior opportunities to learn (as evidenced by grades, test scores, and level of prior mathematics course) or whether patterns reflect an increase in inequality such that racial differences in access remain when controlling for academic background. We considered how this varies by the racial composition of the school; further, we examined differences in access between both Black and Hispanic students and their White peers as well as differences between Black and Hispanic students. The results point to patterns of reproduction of inequality in racially integrated schools, with some evidence of increasing inequality in predominantly Hispanic schools