Archive for the ‘Welcome and Introductory Information’ Category

College Algebra: A Make It Real Approach  and Precalculus: A Make It Real Approach use real-world scenarios to draw out mathematical concepts. This approach motivates students to learn and helps them see the relevance of mathematics in their personal lives. Using real-world contexts helps instructors focus on student understanding and sense making. As students make sense of foundational concepts, the procedural aspects of mathematics become relevant and emerge as an important part of the problem solving process.

With the rapid advances in technology, today’s learners need to be (1) willing to attack “tough” problems, (2) persistent, flexible, and creative in solving problems, and (3) effective in communicating. With these textbooks, students learn to creatively and effectively solve problems using numerical, graphical, and analytical methods. The examples and exercises inspire students to use novel and creative approaches. Students communicate their understanding by describing their thinking, challenging the thinking of others, and justifying their solutions. These textbooks promote student collaboration as well as student/instructor interaction.

Too often students view mathematics as a parade of isolated facts, skills, and calculations to be memorized and quickly recalled instead of a coherent and well-connected body of knowledge to be understood. These textbooks were purposefully designed so that students will think and solve rather than memorize and recite.

Creating an effective learning environment involves classroom culture, classroom layout, building teams, teaching big ideas, effective homework strategies,  and learning assessment strategies.

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Welcome to the Get Real Math blog. We look forward to sharing with you innovative ways to use real-world contexts to make math come alive for students.  Although many of the blog posts will focus on creative ways to teach the concepts in College Algebra: A Make It Real Approach and Precalculus: A Make It Real Approach, we will also share other insights into teaching and the world of math education. To provide you with a diverse set of perspectives, the author team (Frank, Scott, Trey, and Alan) will post to this blog with the goal of better helping students learn why math matters and how to use it in daily life.

Frank