FAQs

CME Frequently Asked Questions  

Below is a list of frequently asked questions:

How is the program organized?

How are the lessons organized?

What about “skills”?

What is the approach to applications?

What else makes it different?



How is the program organized?


CME Project is a student-centered and standards-based program that adheres to the traditional American course structure: its courses are Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2.

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How are the lessons organized?

Each CME Project activity starts out with a problem set that students do before instruction and that provides experiments that preview—in simple numerical and geometric contexts— the important ideas in the exposition. The lesson then includes worked-out examples or written dialogues that codify methods, bring closure to this experimentation, and provide a reference for later work. In addition, each lesson has a set of orchestrated practice problems in which students practice arithmetic and algebraic skills as they look for regularity that suggests interesting mathematical results.

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What about “skills”?

For the vast majority of students, the development of technical expertise in numerical and algebraic calculation is corequisite with the development of conceptual mathematical understanding. CME Project provides students with ample practice so that they can develop the robust skills needed to dig into the mathematics they study.

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What is the approach to applications?

Students in CME Project apply elementary algebra and mathematical induction to determine the monthly payment on a loan; they use complex numbers as a device for establishing trigonometric identities; they use elementary arithmetic to study methods for creating secure ciphers; and they apply Euclidean geometry to perspective drawing, optimization problems, and trigonometry. All these situations are applications of mathematics, because the emphasis is on how one uses mathematics as opposed to where one uses it.

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What else makes it different?

• The organization of CME Project provides students the time and focus they need to develop central mathematical ways of thinking.

• The program employs innovative methods, developed over decades of classroom experience and informed by research, that help students master difficult topics like solving algebra word problems, graphing equations, constructing proofs, understanding area and volume, establishing trigonometric identities, and using mathematical induction.

• The design of CME Project employs a low threshold–high ceiling approach: each chapter starts with activities that are accessible to all students and ends with problems that will challenge the most advanced students.

• Mathematical and pedagogical themes, like extension, structure, invariance, representation, and encapsulation, are themes that run throughout the program.

• The writers, advisors, and consultants include classroom teachers, education researchers, research mathematicians, university faculty, and high school students.

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