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ISBN: 978-1-936368-35-8


Intermediate Algebra: A Modeling Approach Activities Workbook

Author: Kathy Yoshiwara


About this Activities Workbook and the Yoshiwara Program of Instruction

This course is based on the Modeling with Algebra Project (MAP) created and implemented as a joint venture between Pierce College and the California State Universities at Northridge, Long Beach, and Humboldt, under a grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges. The course is an activity-based intermediate algebra course. The foundation of the course is the textbook, Intermediate Algebra: A Modeling Approach by Katherine Yoshiwara. Th e textbook and associated course materials develop the skills of algebra in the context of modeling and problem-solving. Although this approach may be new to students and to many instructors, the methods employed have been validated by research.

Course Materials

Intermediate Algebra: A Modeling Approach
The textbook for the course, available in print or eBook format

Activities Workbook for Intermediate Algebra: A Modeling Approach
Day to day classroom activities

Toolkit for Intermediate Algebra: A Modeling Approach
Review of algebra drill problems

Instructor's Guide
A document that includes Teaching Points, Objectives, Concept Questions designed for use with a personal response system ("clickers"), and Questions for Writing for each section

XYZ Homework
The online electronic homework system

Students will need the following items:

Textbook and Activities Workbook. The textbook is available online, but we find that possessing a print version of the reading material is important for student success.

A graphing calculator. We use the TI-84, but students may use any calculator they feel comfortable with.

Clickers, if you choose to use them. (Alternatively, you can issue each student a set of colored index cards for answering concept questions.)

A course notebook or portfolio for their homework, exams, etc. Course Structure

Before Class Before coming to class, students read the Lesson and answer a set of Reading Questions via XYZ Homework. We want students to learn how to read a textbook, rather than relying entirely on an instructor's lecture to provide all the information they need.

During Class Class time is spent primarily on the Activities Workbook. You may want to give a brief introduction, but should start on the activities as soon as possible to allow students sufficient time. Usually, students should work on the activities in groups of three or four, while you circulate to answer questions and provide support. For some lessons it is more effective to lead the class as a whole in a guided inquiry.

Class for a Summary and Wrap-up You can use the Concept Questions for this purpose, or help the class to outline the main points of the lesson in their course notebooks. We have also provided some activity-specific questions in PowerPoint; if you use "clickers" for these questions, Turning Point will grade them and keep the scores for you. If you make them part of the grade, they can help motivate students to focus on the lesson during class time. Alternatively, clicker questions can be used as part of a review before exams.

Follow-Up Questions for the Activities Here are some suggested follow-up questions designed to help students monitor their own learning. If possible, have students use a personal response system (PRS), or clickers, to answer the questions.

For each Activity:

  1. How many questions did your group answer?
  2. How many questions did your group answer correctly?
  3. Which part of the activity did your group find the easiest?
  4. Which part was the most difficult? Why?
  5. Circle the parts your group answered incorrectly, and take two minutes to make sure everyone understands the correct answers.
  6. What can you do to feel more comfortable with questions that ask you to explain or interpret? Write up your response in your portfolio.
  7. What did you learn from the activity that was new, or that you didn't get from the reading? Write up your response in your portfolio.

After Class Homework consists of three parts. Students answer the Reading Questions on XYZ Homework before class. After class, they complete a set of Skills Practice questions on XYZ Homework and a set of written problems to be turned in. Th e computer grades the reading and skills problems for you, but it is important for the instructor to assess the written work. You might collect homework periodically and grade some of the problems.

For Your Syllabus

Reading Study Skill We find that students are more effective readers when the study skills below are part of your first day activity. Th e three-step reading method helps students learn to read a math book with understanding.

Read Three Times

  1. Survey the reading assignment for an overview. List the titles of the subsections.
  2. Study in depth for understanding. Answer the Reading Questions and complete the Exercises.
  3. Reflect on the reading to organize and retain knowledge. In your course notebook, write out the one or two most important points from each subsection.

The Lessons

On the following pages you will find detailed lesson plans for each section of the Intermediate Algebra: A Modeling Approach textbook. These plans have been extensively tested in a classroom environment to ensure that the concepts are covered in a way that is most conducive to student success.