Making Algebra Come Alive! provides versatile enrichment exercises for teaching a broad range of mathematical topics and applications.
Each activity is presented as a reproducible student investigation. It is followed by guidelines and notes for the teacher. Each activity is keyed to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards, Revised. This link to the NCTM standards allows teachers to facilitate linking classroom activities to specific state and school district content standards.
First and foremost, the activities are meant to be motivational. As much as possible, we want this book to achieve the goal of being attractive to people who thought they didn't like mathematics. To accomplish this, it is necessary for the activities to be quite different from what students encounter in their basal texts-different in both substance and form. This seems especially critical; no matter how excellent a basal text is being used, nearly every class experiences the "blahs." Unfortunately, this sort of boredom is often well entrenched long before the teacher and perhaps even the students are aware of it. Presenting activities on a regular basis gives the variety and change of pace needed to sustain interest in any subject.