Jamie Blair, Orange Coast Community College, California
John Tobey, North Shore Community College, Massachuset
Jeffrey Slater, North Shore Community College, Massachuset
Published March, 1999 by Prentice Hall Engineering/Science/Mathematics
Copyright 1999, 704 pp.
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Prealgebra (Basic Math with very Early Algebra)-Mathematics
For courses in Prealgebra or basic math when instructors
would like to introduce algebra earlier.
This text is designed to help a variety of students bridge
the gap between arithmetic and algebra. Blair, Tobey, and Slater use
an innovative, integrated arithmetic/algebra approach that
develops algebraic skills using small steps, spirals topics
throughout, emphasizes that algebra rules are just an extension
of arithmetic, and teaches students the specific study skills necessary
to accommodate their individual learning styles including skills
for translating the language of mathematics into plain English.
A Mathematics Blueprint for Problem Solving.
EquationsIntroduces equationsand a method
for solving themearly, in the presentation on addition; then
uses the same approach in the sections on subtraction, multiplication,
- Helps students determine where to begin the problem-solving
process, and plan subsequent problem solving steps. Ex. Pg. 345
An emphasis on study skills learning activities.
- Shows students how to translate mathematical equations
to English phrases (questions) and then to use arithmetic facts to
answer those questions. Ex. Pg. 481
Integration of algebra concepts and rules with those
of arithmeticViews algebra not as an abstract topic with a
new set of rules, but as a natural extension of arithmetic,
e.g., rules for adding decimal numbers (2.3 + 6.6) and decimal
variables (2.3x + 6.9x) are taught simultaneously.
- Addresses different learning styles and modes
of learning and systematically develops and reinforces specific
strategies and techniquesstarting in Ch. 1. Ex. Pg. 236
Spiral ApproachIntroduces basic algebraic
concepts using whole numbersthen re-introduces them with signed
numbers, then decimals, and finally fractions.
- Enables students to see and understand that the rules
of algebra are an extension of arithmetic. Ex. Pg. 432-433
Emphasis on understanding mathematicsExplains
whyinstead of an emphasis on rules, algorithms, and formulas.
Incorporates examples and patterns to motivate concepts. Includes
methods and algorithms which prepare for algebraic operations.
- Students can initially focus on the basic concept
using a familiar set of whole numbers. Reinforcement and review of
concepts allow students to build up to more complex applications.
The same successful pedagogy as other Tobey/Slater
math textsDeveloping Your Study Skills; Extra PracticeExamples
and Exercises; To Think About; Chapter Organizers; Practice Quizzes;
- Provides students with a conceptual understanding
of how numbers workbeforeteaching them algorithms.
Patient writing style and tone.
- Provides students with a variety of opportunities
for practice and review. Ex. Pg. 411-419
Real-life examples help students understand what
they are learning and why they are learning it. Blair/Tobey/Slater
asked students What would you like to learn more about with your
math skill? Putting your skills to work boxes are the
result of this student input. Ex. Pg. 107
- Carefully addresses students who have math anxiety;
those who've struggled with previous arithmetic courses; who learn
at a slower pace; who haven't studied math in years; who still feel
uncomfortable with math concepts; and those struggling in elementary
algebra. Ex. Pg. 276-277
1. Addition and Subtraction of Whole Number Expressions.
2. Multiplication and division of Whole Number Expressions.
3. Signed Numbers.
4. Fractions, Ratio and Proportion.
5. Operations on Fractional Expressions.
6. Equations and Polynomials.
7. Decimals and Percents.
8. Graphing and Statistics.
9. Measurement and Geometric Figures.