Students today come to first-year algebra with considerable prior experience and a wide range of skills. Teachers need to modify their instructional strategies accordingly.

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### Jennifer Suh and Padmanabhan Seshaiyer

Skills that students will need in the twenty-first century, such as financial literacy, are explored in this classroom-centered research article.

### Wendy B. Sanchez

Educating students—for life, not for tests—implies incorporating open-ended questions in your teaching to develop higher-order thinking.

### Joel Amidon and Matt Roscoe

A monthly set of problems is aimed at a variety of ability levels.

## Quick Reads: Journaling: Out with the Old

### a good idea in a small package

### Shelli L. Casler-Failing

Students' writings in math class can be used for both reflection and assessment.

### Sheldon P. Gordon

The idea of a function of several variables–important in other disciplines–can be introduced in secondary school mathematics courses.

### Jamie-Marie L. Wilder and Molly H. Fisher

Our favorite lesson is a hands-on activity that helps students visually “tie” (pun intended) the concepts of rate of change and *y*-intercept together in a meaningful context using strings and ropes. Students tie knots in ropes of various thicknesses and then measure the length of the rope as the number of knots increases. We provide clothesline, twine, bungee cord, and other ropes found at local crafts, sporting goods, and home stores. We avoid very thin string, such as thread or knitting yarn, because the knots are small and the string length does not change enough to explore a rate of change. A variety of thicknesses is important because this allows for variability in the rates of change.

### Jason Silverman, Gail L. Rosen, and Steve Essinger

Use digital signal processing to capitalize on an exciting intersection of mathematics and popular culture.

A set of problems of many types.

A set of problems of many types.