Mathematics: Modeling Our World (MMOW)

Mathematics: Modeling Our World is an integrated core curriculum for high school that is based on the premise that students learn best when they are actively involved in the process. In this program, students do not first learn mathematics and then apply what they’ve learned. Rather, important questions about the real world come first. Students analyze situations and apply the mathematical concepts needed to solve problems. Contextual questions drive the mathematics. In each unit, students build, test, and present models that describe a real-world situation or problem, such as deciding where to build a fire station. Mathematical modeling is a central focus throughout the curriculum.

Each course covers the mathematical content found in the NCTM Standards. Each of the first three courses of Mathematics: Modeling Our World contains seven or eight units. Units are divided into four to seven lessons; each may take several days to complete. Each lesson contains a Lesson Opener, which provides the context for the lesson; Activities, which students work on in pairs or small groups using hands on mathematical investigation; and Individual Work, items that review, reinforce, extend, practice, and foreshadow concepts developed in the lesson. Course 4 is comprised of eight chapters and is intended to be a bridge between Courses 1, 2, and 3 and collegiate mathematics. The student text contains eight chapters divided into three to six lessons. Each lesson contains an activity designed for group work, expository readings, and exercises. Each chapter ends with a set of review exercises.

Assessment is an integral part of Mathematics: Modeling Our World. Both Activities and Individual Work offer embedded opportunities to assess student progress. The Teacher’s Resources provide Assessment Problems for use with each unit/chapter.

The units/chapters of Mathematics: Modeling Our World begin with a real situation or problem to be solved during the course of the unit. In Courses 1, 2, and 3, a short video segment may be used to introduce the theme or problem. Students use both graphing calculators and computers extensively throughout the curriculum to assist in carrying out computations of real problems and to enhance concept development. While it is strongly recommended that students use computers with this curriculum, material is provided to teach the lessons without computers as well. However, use of a graphing calculator is essential throughout the program.

Student materials for Mathematics: Modeling Our World are available in four hardcover texts, one each for each course. Teachers materials include, for Courses 1, 2, and 3, an Annotated Teacher’s Edition, a Solutions Manual, and Teacher’s Resources that includes additional teaching suggestions, background readings, reproducible handouts, assessment problems, supplemental activities, and transparencies. Course 4 has all the teacher material in the Teacher’s Resource Binder, including the Solutions Manual. Other materials include a video with segments for each unit and a CD-ROM with calculator and computer programs written specifically for Mathematics: Modeling Our World.