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Topic: Teaching Algebra
Replies: 25   Last Post: May 10, 2000 2:26 PM

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Barron, Alfred [PRI]

Posts: 200
Registered: 12/3/04
RE: Teaching Algebra
Posted: May 8, 2000 1:46 PM
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Yes, let's make our own shareware text !

Actually that idea crossed my mind more than once in the
past few months. There are currently a fair number of well
written math texts on the web, mostly at their author's site.
However, all of these are for advanced material.

My original concern was finding some good worksheets for
my son. Failing to find any after a "fair" search of the 'net,
except for publisher's advertisements and sample material -
I constructed my own in WORD. Actually they look like the
"real" thing (his quote), excepting for the absence of printed
illustrations (but then I can draw well.)

After I produced a few of these, mostly for test-prep & review,
it occured to me that I essentially had an electronic file for
a 3rd grade math booklet - one that would normally go for
$11.95 at the education resource section of one of the local
book stores. And quite frankly, most of those review booklets
tend to imitate each other. Nothing really exciting.

So how about an algebra 1 text for starts ?

Let me propose a challenge: we create several variants of a text
book, work book, and supporting materials. Or maybe, several
variants of diffrent topics. I think that would leave room to cover
most people's philosophies. Each could do their own thing.

Certainly all of us have our favorites. So let's clone them.

What we need is a scaffolding of topics. In my opinion, the
California Standards are the best point to start with. They can
be build up or trimmed down, depending on what you think
should be emphasized and how. I chose the Cal Standards
since they're the simplest and most complete on the web.
Canonical ? Now you may not agree with them*. Fine, but we
all need a common reference point, and I can think of no other.

This leaves a lot of room for creativity.

So what do we think ?

Ok, maybe you don't want to do an algebra book. Then how about
a geometry book or a 3rd grade math book ? The point is to produce
something. Besides I KNOW a lot of you have already posted your
little notes for all to see.

Let's pool our resources and create the first online algebra book.
It would be a major challenge to the big four publishers.

Now, are YOU up to the challenge ?

Al Barron
Metuchen, NJ

* I like NJ's math standards.

> Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 09:36:11 -0700
> From: "Deirdre Collins" <dcollins@victor.cc.ca.us>
> Subject: Re: Teaching Algebra


> reading, too. And most of them are poor, so charging them $80 for
> a worthless book is cruel and wicked.

< yes, I strongly agree !!!>

> Yet, the reps tell me that no one but me every complains about the
> price, weight, or unrealistic reading levels of any of these books.
> Perhaps the solution to this is to use the Internet to create "shareware"
> books that would be free to download and then each instructor could
> stomize the book to suit his/her students.

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