A Good Textbook & Resource Aug 12, 2008
*This is a good text for discovering Algebra 1 principles through investigation and discovery. The text is not overly wordy and makes sense in context with the examples and illustrations within each section.
*One significant improvement over most discovery learning texts and programs is the attention given to teaching kids how to improve their visual and thinking skills. Most textbooks fail to teach a kid how to perceive and think differently. They are simple exercises throughout the chapters to help students make the change from traditional instruction methods to discovery/investigative techniques.
*This is especially needed to help all students to make the transition to discovery where they can really turn on their cognitive and creative talents to learn Algebra. This type of help has long been overdue. And with these kind of helps in place, it helps you as the teacher help the parents make the transition to discovery based learning.
*Discovering Algebra also avoids the snare of equating understanding with creativity and entertainment. Good teaching always involves teaching with creativity in an entertaining way. But methods alone aren't student achievement. They are an merely an end to achievement - in this case mastery of Algebra 1 curriculum. Methods used here provide a basis for real understanding to take place without filling up classroom time with activities which don't translate into grades and understanding.
*This text also avoids overwhelming the eye with too much color or causing distractions with myriads of pictures. The pictures used are meaningful and don't appear to just be filler illustrations to appease critics.
*Like most discovery based curricula, it could use more drill problems so kids can be sure to get enough practice. But as teachers that is easily remedied with the resources we already have.
*Most of us do not have a book on math discovery that's this good (if we have one at all). I heartily recommend Discovering Algebra a good investment in our growth as professional educators (in spite of what administrators might think). And remember, it's tax deductible, too.