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No other authorship team in the industry provides the balance of classroom experience and mathematical expertise that the Big Ideas Math program authors bring to the table. Dr. Ron Larson and Dr. Laurie Boswell began writing together in 1992. Since that time, they have authored over three dozen textbooks. In their collaboration, Ron is primarily responsible for the Student Edition while Laurie is primarily responsible for the Teaching Edition.

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Dr. Ron Larson

Ron Larson, Ph.D.

Ron Larson, Ph.D., is well known as the lead author of a comprehensive program for mathematics that spans middle school, high school, and college courses. He holds the distinction of Professor Emeritus from Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where he taught for nearly 40 years. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Colorado. Dr. Larson’s numerous professional activities keep him actively involved in the mathematics education community and allow him to fully understand the needs of students, teachers, supervisors, and administrators.

Dr. Laurie Boswell

Laurie Boswell, ED.D.

Laurie Boswell, Ed.D., is the former Head of School at Riverside School in Lyndonville, Vermont. In addition to textbook authoring, she provides mathematics consulting and embedded coaching sessions. Dr. Boswell received her Ed.D. from the University of Vermont in 2010. She is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching and is a Tandy Technology Scholar. Laurie has taught mathematics to students at all levels, elementary through college. In addition, Laurie has served on the NCTM Board of Directors and as a Regional Director for NCSM. Along with Ron, Laurie has co-authored numerous math programs and has become a popular national speaker.

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Laurie's Notes

Research-Based Program

The Big Ideas Math program is a research-based curriculum providing a rigorous, focused, and coherent curriculum for middle school and high school students. Ron Larson and Laurie Boswell utilized their expertise as well as the body of knowledge collected by additional expert mathematicians and researchers to develop each course.

The pedagogical approach to this program follows the best practices outlined in the most prominent and widely-accepted educational research and standards.

  • Achieve, ACT, and The College Board
  • Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics
  • National Research Council ©2001
  • Common Core State Standards
  • National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers ©2010
  • Curriculum Focal Points
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) ©2006
  • Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) ©2000
  • Project Based Learning
  • The Buck Institute
  • Rigor / Relevance Framework
  • International Center for Leadership in Education
  • Universal Design for Learning Guidelines
  • CAST ©2011
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Laurie's Notes

Balanced Approach to Instruction

The Big Ideas Math program follows a balanced instructional approach. The program balances conceptual understanding with procedural fluency, as research shows that students benefit from equal exposure to discovery learning and scaffolded instruction.

Essential Questions
Essential Question Activity

Each section in the program begins with a discovery Activity or Exploration that encourages conceptual understanding. These provide students with the opportunity to explore, question, explain, and persevere as they seek to answer Essential Questions that encourage abstract thought.

Each Activity or Exploration is then followed by a scaffolded Lesson. These lessons give students the opportunity to develop procedural fluency and to use clear, precise mathematical language. These lessons also give teachers opportunities to use class discussion, flexible grouping, and other delivery methods in their classrooms.

Real-life applications are utilized throughout the program. These applications are opportunities for students to connect classroom lessons to realistic scenarios, and assist teachers with turning mathematical learning into an engaging and meaningful way to explore the real world.

Chapter openers focused on What You Learned Before or Maintaining Mathematical proficiency promote the development of the habits of mind mathematically proficient students demonstrate.

The Mathematical Practices are woven into every chapter, including a full page dedicated to mastering one of the Mathematical Practices. In addition, On Your Own or Monitoring Progress problems allow students to practice and sharpen their skills as they work toward mathematical understanding.

Laurie's Notes

Personalized Learning with Complete Teacher Support

The Big Ideas Math program offers teachers and students a number of tools to personalize and enrich their classroom experience. Teachers can use Laurie's Notes, the Dynamic Classroom, and the Answer Presentation Tool on a daily basis. Students can use the online Lesson Tutorial Videos which are valuable for students who miss a class, need a second explanation, or just need some help with a homework assignment. Big Ideas Math completely supports the 3-Tier Response to Intervention Model, so the program can be customized for every level of learner.

Teaching Edition with Laurie’s Notes

The Big Ideas Math Teaching Edition is unique in its organization. Throughout the book, master educator Laurie Boswell shares insights on Learning Progressions and Mathematical Practices.

Laurie includes best practices, motivational techniques, connections to previous learning, support for the Mathematical Practices, and closure opportunities for the entire Student Edition. The Teaching Edition also provides Differentiated Instruction, Response to Intervention, and English Language Learner support.

Editable Online Resources

Complete and editable Lesson Plans and Pacing Guides are available online for every lesson in the program to provide teachers with support for planning.

Differentiated Instruction

Through print and digital resources, the Big Ideas Math program completely supports the 3-Tier Response to Intervention model. Using research-based instructional strategies teachers can reach, challenge, and motivate each student with high-quality instruction targeted to individual needs.