Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Part C

Defining Connections
  The Connections Standard | The Interconnectedness of Mathematics | Applying Mathematics to Other Subjects | Asking Questions | Relating Connections to the Other Process Standards | Your Journal
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In addition to the mathematics we see in the world outside the classroom, there are many ways that mathematics can be integrated into other subjects in the middle grades. Think of some ways that mathematical topics can be developed or reinforced by applying them to other subject areas. For example, in science, students measure and collect data, and represent the data using tables, lists, and graphs. In social studies, students interpret and construct tables, charts, and graphs. In art classes, they use perspective and proportion. In the middle grades, students can apply algebraic concepts, rates of change through scientific study of growth, and a variety of other topics. When integrating the study of mathematics into other subject areas, it is important that the mathematics maintains its integrity -- that is, the mathematical content must be consistent with the middle school curriculum.

Outside the Classroom

Take a walk down the street or go for a ride in your car. Now make a list of all of the mathematics you see around you. The building under construction involves a tremendous amount of mathematics. The amount of gas in your car and the distance you have to drive - especially if your tank is almost empty -- involves mathematics. The symmetry of the garden in the park or the amount of mulch it takes to cover that garden involves -- you guessed it -- mathematics! Often we hear students say, "When are we ever going to use this?" when they are learning mathematics. It is critical for us to help students become aware of the important applications of mathematics in careers and in their everyday world. Asking students to interview people in various careers or to keep a "mathematics diary" in which they record everything mathematical that they encounter in one day are ways of helping students become aware of the mathematics around them. These types of activities help students see the power and necessity of mathematics and its importance in their future!

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