
Preparing for Algebra: By Building the Concepts, Preliminary Edition, 1/e
Martha Haehl, Maple Woods Community College
Published November, 1997 by Prentice Hall Engineering/Science/Mathematics
Copyright 1998, 430 pp.
Paper
ISBN 0136088783

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Prealgebra (Basic Math with very Early Algebra)Mathematics

This text provides material for an instructor who wants to integrate
the topics of arithmetic and algebra. It introduces topics with discovery,
handson exercises that allow students to put their learning into
action. Estimation skills and number sense are emphasized as students
collect and analyze data that allow them to write reports. The text
has a balanced approach; skills are taught with concepts, while technology
is integrated with paper and pencil processes. Many of the applications
involve real data, requiring students to interpret information given
to them in written, chart or graph form.
Basic topics are introduced with cooperative student discovery
exercises.
 These discovery exercises provide activities and applications
that allow the student see the concepts they are learning in action.
 Coins and bills are used to introduce place value and
increase understanding of arithmetic processes of whole and decimal
numbers.
 Students learn to work with slopes by first measuring
physical objects. These objects provide a basis for understanding
the concept behind graphing. Rather than learning to graph first,
and then working on “applicaiton problems,” students begin
with the application and then learn to graph by drawing a diagram
of a ramp.
The use of manipulatives help students see the relevance
of mathematics.
 To study fractions as well as linear units, students
make a ruler from a nonstandard unit. They then put squares together
to discover the area and perimeter formulas while learning about square
versus linear units. These rectangles and squares are used as a means
to introduce factoring. In a geometric context, they are also introduced
to the concept of a variable.
Emphasis on estimation skills, number sense and “Reasonableness
of answers:”
 Students learn to estimate and to use a calculator as
they practice the skills in the text.
 Students are taught and encouraged to use visual techniques
for estimation and roundingoff in arithmetic problems.
Applications use real data in applications that involve
multiple tasks projects in which students collect and analyze data.
 Students get a better understanding of how math is used
outside of the classroom.
Quantitative literacy is emphasized.
 Students see how math is relevant to the understanding
of current issues.
 Students are asked to interpret quantitative information
from articles about current issues.
 Students interpret current data given in charts and graphs.
Students learn to use scientific calculators effectively.
1. Arithmetic of Whole and Decimal Numbers, the Money Model.
2. Signed Numbers Bean Arithmetic, Checkbook Arithmetic, and the Number Line.
3. Linear and Square Units, Factors, Geometry.
4. Fractions.
5. Ratios, Proportions, Unit Conversions and Rates.
6. Percentages.
7. Statistical Information, Pie and Bar Charts, and Other Graphical Data.
8. Floor Plans and Other Summary Exercises.
Appendix I. Names of the Numbers.
Appendix II. Math FactsAddition and Times Tables.
Appendix III. String Operationsthe Calculator and Fractions.
Index.
