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Q&A #870


Algebra Texbooks

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From: ---
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Dec 02, 1998 at 13:38:11
Subject: Algebra Texbooks

This past year our family moved from Minnesota to Massachuetts. My son
Gabe is currently in the 7th grade. Last year, in sixth grade, he entered
what the district called "a 7th grade accelerated math program". This was
two months into the school year after being misplaced into a lower level
math. it is a long story so I will skip the details. 

Gabe successfully completed the 7th grade course (in sixth grade) along with 
additional weekly assignments. I mention weekly assignments because rather 
than covering the 7th grade text at a level of 1-3 (the higher the number the 
more in depth concepts are covered), the weekly went into the text material 
at a level about 4-5. The instructor was excellent. He required not only the 
problems be fully written out, but a verbal explanation next to the problem. 
My son struggled at first. Somehow, one day, verbally writing explanations to 
the problems clicked, and Gabe understood from that day forward what was 
required of him.

I know as a parent and watching his progress, he still has some holes from
the lower level of math he missed in 6th grade, especially since he
completely skipped the 6th grade book. The problem we are having now is where
do we go from here and how do we get there. He is now is a small private
parochial school which is willing to work with him. Unfortunately, this is
not panning out. 

He is working in a seventh grade text, which is supposed to be a pre-algebra 
book, and is no different than the sixth grade text he would have had. I have 
compared books. I know he is thoroughly bored and is skating along. The 
principle gave me an Algebra book along with the teacher addition to home 
school him. The Algebra book is called, "Algebra I" by Dolciani, Swanson, 
Graham put out by the Houghton Mifflin Company out of Boston. The 7th grade 
text he used last year was Math "Transitions" from the University of Chicago 
School Math Project. The question again is, where do I go from here? I would 
appreciate comment on the Algebra text (my gut feeling says this is not one 
of the best to teach him from). Perhaps some suggestions on texts would be 
helpful.

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