Intermediate Mathematics: Q&A with the Editor

Multiplication Tables

Basic Mathematics was recently transformed into Intermediate Mathematics with new concepts and features to help your students learn. To give you a behind-the-scenes look at this revised course, we talked with editor Monica Percival. She has 17 years of experience teaching secondary subjects. For the past four years, she’s worked in Abeka’s publishing department and revised books including Algebra 1 and Algebra 2.

Q: Can you share the story of how Intermediate Mathematics was made?

A:  “When we first started redoing the Basic Mathematics book, there were really 5 areas that we looked at: customer comments, standards, testing data, curriculum mapping, and market analysis.

One of the things we heard customers wanted was increased rigor. They wanted it to be a little bit more challenging. We did a lot of standards research to see what we would need to put in our math book to meet that need. We also took into account what we could do better in preparing students for standardized testing and high school math courses.

Then, we took Basic Mathematics as the framework, outlined the scope and sequence, identified what we needed to implement from our research, and built it into the book.” 

Q: Why did the name change from Basic Mathematics to Intermediate Mathematics?

A: “We found that ‘Intermediate Mathematics’ became a much better description for the revised course. Abeka’s elementary math already gives a thorough introduction to basic math concepts in arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. This text really builds on that. Students get a foundation in a wide variety of mathematical branches. It isn’t just arithmetic or algebra. It is probability and statistics, geometry, and a little bit of trigonometry basics. It is really a bridge from elementary to high school math.” 

Q: How can the new book improve students’ learning?

A: “We’ve focused more on understanding instead of just memorizing when it comes to processes.”

Q: Tell us about the new expanded explanations in the student book.

A: “Each section is designed to match a classroom math lesson. The expanded explanations will benefit students who are unable to catch every nuance of each concept in a regular math class. They provide students with a detailed ‘reference manual.’”

Q: How does the new shrunken-text Teacher Edition help teachers?

A: “We took the student book, shrunk it a little, and put daily lessons for teachers on the sides. We wanted to give teachers extra details that would help any teacher, from a first-year to a veteran teacher, to enhance the teaching/learning process for their students. There are several types of extras we implemented:

Tips might be an attention-getter that could help enhance the lesson, a way to explain a concept using an illustration, or a game to play. Quick Quizzes are a flexible assessment option that can be used during review time or given as a quiz. Fast Facts are sometimes an alternate method for a problem or background for a concept to add interest.”

Q: How does Intermediate Mathematics help build critical thinking skills?

A: “Critical thinking starts with knowing facts and building on that knowledge. We supplemented the teacher edition with critical thinking opportunities called Thought Provokers. These are problems where students have to know the facts and then apply them to a situation that they haven’t seen before.”

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