We are delighted to announce that Derek Stolp, Inly Middle School Math Teacher, has launched his very own web site of algebra lessons that are rooted in direct experience. Over the course of his many teaching years at Milton Academy and Inly School, he has written his own middle school math curriculum. Now, he offers it to the world at www.algebra1models.org.
When asked why he built this site, Derek had this to say:
“In my book, Mathematics Miseducation: The Case Against a Tired Tradition, I made the case that the traditional program in teaching mathematics is fundamentally flawed—hence the title.
More specifically, pre-algebra and algebra textbooks are ordinarily structured with a Symbol-Precedence Model in mind, making the assumption that solving symbolic problems is easier than solving verbal problems, placing abstractions before their concrete foundations.
Over the past 15 years or so, I have been developing materials that, to the greatest degree possible, begin with concrete experiences—some from our children’s recollections of their activities in daily life outside the classroom and others from their activities within the classroom—and end with mathematical abstractions.
Because there are few, if any, textbooks in elementary algebra constructed according to this principle, I wanted to make these lessons available to any teachers who, perhaps sharing my perspective, might find them useful.”