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NCTM IMP Review
From NCTM Mathematics Teacher (Volume 90: Number 6, September 1997, pp. 501502)
The Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) is not just another textbook series; it is a thoughtful and comprehensive outgrowth of the NCTM's Standards. The IMP replaces the traditional course sequence with a four-year integrated and enriched curriculum. Each year is divided into a series of units with each unit centered on one unifying problem. The Year 1 course introduces algebra, geometry, trigonometry, probability, and statistics.
The unifying problems for each unit provide a captivating context for the mathematics content. The Pit and the Pendulum supplies suspenseful literary tension as the students discover the rules for computing the standard deviation of the swings of a pendulum. The Overland Trail engages the students in the decision making and life of another era as they construct linear models and graphs. The units develop incrementally from intuitive and hands-on to formal and structured. In The Game of Pig, the students' strategy evolves from trial and error to reasoning based on probability.
The assessment strategies, which emphasize portfolios and "problems of the week," entail lots of student writing, reasoning, and creativity.
The teacher materials are extensive but not constrictive. They include the rationale for, and purpose of, each IMP component, propose questions for lessons, discuss potential concerns, and detail topic progression in a collegial style. Because of the comprehensive and unique nature of the curriculum, the IMP authors highly recommend a substantial investment in teacher training.
These materials are enticing and thorough. The are bound to enthuse and stimulate both students and teachers while providing a solid foundation for further study of mathematics.
Reproduced with permission from NCTM Mathematics Teacher, copyright 1997 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. All rights reserved.