Q&A #133

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Searching for Textbooks for Algebra II

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From: n.couturie <nancycouturie@worldnet.att.net>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 1998063002:21:16
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

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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