Two curricular projects have emerged from research funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The first project is Tools for Understanding. It involves the use of common application tools like spreadsheets and word processing programs in middle school math classes. Students learn how to model mathematical concepts using spreadsheets and produce brief reports. Additional support for the project came from the Microsoft Corporation. The Web-based materials are available at the following link: Tools for Understanding
The second project is much more extensive in scope. Transtional Mathematics is a comprehensive, 3 year curriculum for middle school students who struggle with mathematics. The curricula is based on the NCTM Standards, and it moves students from a conceptual understanding of basic operations through rational numbers to algebraic equations. Other topics such as measurement, geometry, working with data, basic statistics, and ratios and proportions are covered in the 3 levels of the program. Transitional Mathematics also includes a companion program, Fact Fluency and More! This program is designed to teach basic facts to elementary and middle school students. Students are taught strategies for learning facts, and the program also develops number sense by stressing the relationship between facts and extended facts. More information on these programs is available at Sopris West Publishing.