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Journal Entry: Modeling and Variation in Secondary Mathematics
A revised set of standards and principles for school mathematics has just been released by the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. For this journal you must read the sections in this
document that address Mathematical Modeling and Variation. Both of these topics are
subsections in the “Algebra” standards for the different grade bands. (Instead of modeling, the
standards say, “Use mathematical models to represent… .” Instead of variation, the standards
say, “Analyze change in various concepts.”) Your job is to read these sections in the algebra
standard for grades 6 – 8 and grades 9 – 12 and answer the following questions based on your
reading:
1. What are the primary mathematical models of middle school and of high school? Summarize
an example of “modeling” from each of these levels.
2. In what way(s) are students at the middle and the high school levels to analyze change?
Summarize an example of this analysis for each of these levels.
3. How are the discussions of “modeling” and “variation” connected?
You will find the reading on the following web site: http://standards.nctm.org/
Look under the 6-8 and the 9-12 grade bands for Algebra.