Teaching Mathematics to All Students, Grades 6-8

Article excerpt

Teaching Mathematics to All Students, Grades 6-8

Company: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 10801 N. MoPac Expressway, Austin, TX 78759; Phone: 800/ 992-1726; Internet: http://www. hrw.com/.

Price: $200, price per teacher. Volume discounts available.

Audience: Mathematics teachers, grades 6-8.

Format: Two Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROMs and an Internet-based component (username and password required).

Minimum System Requirements: Windows systems: 233 MHz, 64-MB RAM (128 MB recommended), 33.6 Kbps modem, 8x CD-ROM drive, Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media Player 6.4, Macromedia Flash 6 Player, and printer.

Macintosh systems: 233 MHz, 96-MB RAM (128 MB recommended), 33.6 Kbps modem, 8x CD-ROM drive, Netscape 7, QuickTime 6, Macromedia Flash 6 Player, and printer.

Description: Teaching Mathematics to All Students is a professional development course that combines Internet-based training content with CD-ROM video elements. The program includes five modules that cover differentiation strategies, fundamentals of math and algebra, use of data to inform instruction, building competency and confidence in students, and the use of multiple representations including manipulatives. This package helps teachers develop teaching strategies for promoting mathematical fluency in their students, especially those who are at risk of failing algebra.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: I reviewed Teaching Mathematics to All Students on a Dell Latitude/D505 laptop computer with a Pentium M processor (1500 MHz) and Windows XP. The program started as soon as the CD-ROM booted up. I also tried the program on a Mac G3, and the process was equally as easy. My Mac required an updated version of Netscape; the program prompted me to the Netscape site, and I was up and running in no time. Installation Rating:A

Content/Features: Course participants must first choose between Content-Knowledge Topics and the five modules. The Content-Knowledge Topics include 58 PowerPoint presentations in nine topic areas. All topics prepare teachers for Praxis-type assessments. The topic areas are Fractions, Decimals, and Percents; Integers, Exponents, and Order of Operations; Ratios, Rates, and Proportions; Equations; Graphing Lines; Plane Geometry; Perimeter, Area, and Volume; Probability; and Sequences and Functions. These PowerPoint presentations are available either in Win or Mac format. A link to a free viewer is also available.

The five modules consist of 25 lessons and are grouped as follows: Module 1: Managing Interventions to Differentiate Instruction, Module 2: Linking Familiar Mathematics to Algebra Fundamentals, Module 3: Using Data and Assessment to Inform Instruction, Module 4: Building Competence and Confidence in Problem Solving, and Module 5: Making Sense of Multiple Representations. Each module is supported by additional resources that can be downloaded. The resources include everything from sample family involvement letters to sample practice sheets. Module 1, for example, has 16 different resources.

Each module contains researchbased commentary, video clips of proven teaching practices, opportunities for application, opportunities for discussion board participation, and the ability to receive progresstracking reports for individual teachers.

Two interesting features of the course are the portfolio section and the online discussion group. …

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