Several new curricula, and text books based on them, have been developed for the middle school mathematics community. These efforts represent a significant step toward implementation of the national standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Both subject matter and presentation are designed to address a wide range of learning styles, embrace diversity, and generate true interest in mathematics rather than a fleeting familiarity with a few computational algorithms.
A critical element that is largely missing from most of these efforts is the authentic application of modern technology, especially but not limited to computers. However, because the various teams of writers have made such an effort to provide examples of how mathematics is applied in the workplace and in the real world in general, there are a wealth of opportunities already embedded in the current text for implementation of numerical models and explorations. These technology enhanced materials could really allow the students not only to see that the mathematics is applicable to real world situations, but to actually use simple versions of the kinds of mathematical modeling tools that would be used in the real world.
In short, by taking advantage of the good work that has already been done by the publisher, we have implemented a set of well written, authentic modeling tools and activities that will truly make the mathematics interactive. Our goal is to provide significant computer-based, supplemental activities throughout the middle school mathematics curriculum that would extend the learning styles and objectives now employed.
We are looking for teachers, students, parents, and anyone interested in middle school mathematics. We need help to assess the quality of our materials and the usefulness of our lesson plans for real teachers using real computers in real classrooms. We would to find individuals who would be willing to review what we have done to date, and make brutally honest suggestions on how to improve the materials before they are published.