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Discussion: All Topics in Algebra
Topic: Algebra Textbook Recommendation

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Subject:   RE: Algebra Textbook Recommendation
Author: lanius
Date: Jul 3 2007

>Do you have any experience with Saxon Math?  I am having
> trouble finding any kind of concensus on what would be a good
> curriculum for middle school math.  Our students are not strong in
> math, but the incoming 7th grade is testing much higher than the
> incoming 8th grade (according to our benchmarks; our state test
> results aren't in yet).

I have only used Saxon math when tutoring students who were having difficulty. I
was NOT supporting Saxon math generally in my post. (If you haven't already,
please read the whole conversation to understand my point.) My recommendation
was for a specific use where a student had to pretty much learn

My experiences with it were prety negative.  I don't like the non-concept
building presentation approach or the sequence that the concepts are presented.
However, I am constantly amazed at the religious fervor with which folks either
defend or condemn Saxon texts.

Bottom line, I wouldn't recommend my district purchase them, but could a
talented teacher use the text effectively? Of course.

I can understand the frustration of parents who are using the new books. Take a
look at this.
Funny and sad.

I have looking at the government clearing
> house WhatWorks  (I can get you the URL if you're interested) and
> they give good marks to Saxon Math.  That's the only "credentials" I
> have found so far for any middle school math curriculum.

> On Jun 15 2007, db wrote:
> I agree with Kenny that
> Discovering
> Algebra is a great text, so is
> the McDougal
> Littell text.  As a
> professional, I would not choose
> Saxon.
> However, for do-it-
> yourselfers, with limited access to help,
> I would choose Saxon.
> Yes, it is just procedure.  My experience
> is
> that NO ONE reads
> the text and both Key Curriculum Press
> (Discovering Algebra) and
> McDougal would require a mature student
> > willing the read the 2, 3
> or more pages of each lesson.  Saxon
> has
> one page with examples
> and lots of practice.  Learning
> algebra on
> your own is tough.  I
> am not a betting woman, but I
> would bet that
> less than 10% of
> students learning algebra on
> their own with
> occassional guidance
> (as I understand the
> situation) would read
> either Discovering
> Algebra or McDougal.
> Please let me iterate,
> Discovering
> Algebra or McDougal would
> be my books of choice if I
> were
> teaching a class.  Saxon would
> be my first choice, bar none, if
> advising students learning on
> their own.

Respectfully, db

> > Jun 15 2007, gerirose
> wrote:
> On Jun 14 2007, Kenny C wrote:
> I
> work in a high
> school
> continuation program, where students
> need
> to
> be
> able to learn as
> much as they can from their
> textbooks.
> They can
> come in and get
> help, but it is not a
> teacher
> directed classroom
> situation.
> Please give me
> recommendations
> of what Algebra texts you
> feel
> would be
> most helpful for
> students in this situation.  Thanks!

> you want your
> students, even on their own, to learn more than
> > procedure but
> also ways of thinking about algebra and
> mathematics, I
> recommend
> Discovering Algebra.  Although it may
> > seem to be a non-
> traditional and need a little more help
> from
> you, your students will
> > end up with a solid foundation
> with
> which to continue their
> studies,
> geri a-n

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