To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Subject: A recommendation or two
Ms. Hughes-Hallett wrote a two-book series called THE MATH WORKSHOP. I believe they were designed to provide texts for non-credit background work for students at prestigious colleges who suddenly discovered they lacked the skills to pursue college level work (i.e. calculus). The first book is ALGEBRA, and the second is ELEMENTARY FUNCTIONS. They are wonderful--beautifully organized, readable, with very challenging problems. They cover almost everything one needs for calculus, but omit many peripheral subjects like sequences and series, statistics, counting theory, and probability (this may be a drawback in light of current "standards" in mathematics). They are wonderful at teaching how to graph functions of a wide variety without recourse to calculator or point-plotting. They also excel on exponents and logs and all aspects of trigonometry (except vectors). These are published by John Wiley. Another alternative is Paul Foerster's Algebra II and Trigonometry. The only drawback is that this book assumes a very strong background in basic algebraic techniques, since the entire focus is on families of functions. It covers too many topics in too great subtlety for the entire book to be completed in one year. But treatment and problems are very good and mastery of this book is sufficient for beginning calculus; it might be considered as the basis of a two-year course for students of normal ability.
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