
Prealgebra, 1/e
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.
Paper
ISBN 0132609363

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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.
 Helps students determine where to begin the problemsolving
process, and plan subsequent problem solving steps. Ex. Pg. 345
Equations—Introduces equations—and a method
for solving them—early, in the presentation on addition; then
uses the same approach in the sections on subtraction, multiplication,
and division.
 Shows students how to translate mathematical equations
to English phrases (questions) and then to use arithmetic facts to
answer those questions. Ex. Pg. 481
An emphasis on study skills learning activities.
 Addresses different learning styles and modes
of learning and systematically develops and reinforces specific
strategies and techniques—starting in Ch. 1. Ex. Pg. 236
Integration of algebra concepts and rules with those
of arithmetic—Views 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.
 Enables students to see and understand that the rules
of algebra are an extension of arithmetic. Ex. Pg. 432433
Spiral Approach—Introduces basic algebraic
concepts using whole numbers—then reintroduces them with signed
numbers, then decimals, and finally fractions.
 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.
Emphasis on “understanding” mathematics—Explains
why—instead of an emphasis on rules, algorithms, and formulas.
Incorporates examples and patterns to motivate concepts. Includes
methods and algorithms which prepare for algebraic operations.
 Provides students with a conceptual understanding
of how numbers work—beforeteaching them algorithms.
The same successful pedagogy as other Tobey/Slater
math texts—Developing Your Study Skills; Extra Practice—Examples
and Exercises; To Think About; Chapter Organizers; Practice Quizzes;
Pretests.
 Provides students with a variety of opportunities
for practice and review. Ex. Pg. 411419
Patient writing style and tone.
 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. 276277
Reallife 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
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.
