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Monday, September 29, 2014

Ideas for accountability in group work

In Math Lit, we use a lot of group work to give students time to work through more involved problems and gain the ability to articulate their thought processes with others.  It's a flexible component of the book and math literacy course in that you can use your class time to be mostly group work or use it some or little of the time.  I teach my class with about half the time in groups and half as whole class, but that's just a personal preference.  It flexes with the students I have and their abilities and personalities.

If you use group work, especially group projects like the focus problems in the text, you know that some students don't carry their weight.  We have suggestions throughout the book for working with groups and maintaining accountability.  This article shares some additional ideas that are worth considering.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Viral Growth

In the book Math Lit, we work with linear and exponential growth a lot.  In lesson 1.17, we introduce students to both using viral videos as a context.  In this article, a Yale economist explores the ALS ice bucket challenge and how mathematics is related to it.

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Math Lit MyMathLab course!

Long time, no blog!  I apologize for not blogging during the summer, but I have something to hopefully make up for it.  Earlier this month Pearson released a new version of the Ready-to-go MyMathLab course for Math Lit.  It contains some great new resources for students and instructors.


For the instructor, we created a series of twelve, brief videos that can be used for training purposes.  These videos can help an instructor with planning and teaching a math literacy course with the book Math Lit.  The videos are available within a new tab in MyMathLab called Instructor Resource Videos.  They are also linked through the ebook's preface.

Video topics:

A Typical Day
Book Structure
Focus Problems
Lesson Features
Cycle Wrap-Up
Teaching with Excel
Tour of MyMathLab
Top 10 Tips
Instructor Support


For students, we created many videos to assist with the skills in the text.  These videos are designed to support the skills in the book but using the techniques and philosophy that we wrote the book with.  Every A Closer Look mini-lecture has videos that accompany all the examples and practice problems (see picture at left).  This allows an instructor to assign the Closer Looks for outside of class in order to have time for the problem solving problems in class.

The student videos are available in the Multimedia Library, linked throughout the ebook, and listed on the lesson pages within the MyMathLab course.


By request, a factoring appendix will soon be added to the MyMathLab course.  It will contain skill problems for all types of factoring including greatest common factor, sum/difference of cubes, difference of two squares, and trinomials (a = 1 and a not equal to 1).  Solving quadratic equations by factoring and applications using factoring will also be included.  This provides schools that want to include factoring a way to assign problems easily.

For a list of the existing resources in the MyMathLab course, check out this blog post.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

4 Credit Hour Syllabi using Math Lit

Math literacy courses are not identical between states or even within them.  Because of that, we included a lot of content in Math Lit to provide schools and states with options.  Some schools would like a 4 credit hour course using Math Lit and aren't sure how to choose sections from the book to fit in their time constraints and meet their content goals.  To make this process easier, I've created three syllabi to respond to the most frequent requests.  They are available at the bottom of this post and can be downloaded.  They are:

1.  A broad range version that prepares students for liberal arts math or stats and has a prealgebra prerequisite.  This version should work for many schools.

2.  A version that prepares students for liberal arts math or stats but has a greater emphasis on stats prep.  It also has a prealgebra prerequisite.

3.  A course that replaces intermediate algebra for non-STEM students.  It has a beginning algebra prerequisite.

The first and second syllabi would work for either of these models:

The third syllabus would work in this model:

If you have questions or would like a different syllabus created for your school, please email me.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New recording of webinar on Youtube

Since the volume of the recording was low, I increased the volume and converted the webinar from last week to an MP4 file that is uploaded on Youtube.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Slides, handouts, and recording for today's webinar

Overview handout on Math Literacy course

Presentation slides

MLCS Pearson March 2014 from kathleenalmy

Click here for a recording of the webinar.  Please turn your speakers up.  Unfortunately the sound is not perfect, so please overlook some of the background noises.  That comes with webinars often.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Webinar this week on Math Literacy and pathways

If you'd like to learn more about pathways and the Math Literacy course, I'm giving a webinar this week.

What:     Math Literacy course webinar
When:    Friday March 28, 1 pm Central time
Where:   Online
Cost:      Free

Register with this link.

Edited:  Documents from the webinar will be posted afterwards.  The webinar's recording will be available on the blog soon.