Pathways may be a unique approach to teaching and learning math but the topics are taken no less seriously than in a traditional developmental algebra course. The content is organized in a way that instructors teaching developmental math will find familiar and logical.
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Focus on data. Set the stage by addressing a number of study skills and student success issues. Work on number sense, encourage educated guesses, analyzing data for patterns, and review some prerequisite material.
Building blocks of functions and equations—start to develop the idea of function, input/output, independent/dependent, more number sense, carefully explore the meaning of a variable and develop the idea of a solution of an equation, solve some basic equations, and develop a problem solving strategy.
Dig in on linear relationships. Cover the rectangular coordinate system. Explore slope-intercept form, direct variation, writing equations of lines, relating graphs and tables to equations, linear regression, problem solving, and systems.
Expand to nonlinear relationships. Cover distance formula, applications based on graphs of quadratic functions, quadratic regression, applications based on graphs of exponential functions, exponential regression, inverse variation, scientific notation, operations with polynomials, factoring (stressing the relationship between factors, x-intercepts, and solutions), and algebraic approaches to solving quadratic equations.