Since Danielle, Ben and Jen gave a good summary of the chapter, I'm not going to reiterate the main ideas of the chapter on Illuminations. Instead, I'm going to focus on one point that stood out to me. Illuminations was built on the idea that "students' understanding of mathematical ideas can be built throughout their school years IF they actively engage in tasks and experiences designed to deepen and connect their knowledge" (223). I completely agree with this statement.
I took a math class (that I will keep anonymous) at Wesleyan and really could not apply the topics to anything that I had previously learned. Furthermore, I could not see how the concepts would be applied to life outside the classroom and to this day I can honestly not tell you one topic we learned that semester. However, I took managerial accounting last year and was able to directly apply what we learned in that class to my job this past summer. I remember a lot more from that class and will be able to use the information in the future. I actively engaged in experiences that deepened my understanding of the subject.
Math is a little harder to connect to the real world than business, which is why this Illuminations website, and others like it, are so beneficial in a classroom. By applying the concepts to something that interests a student (like a summer job), the student is then more able to understand and grasp those concepts.