Power Algebra seems good
Date sent: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 10:44:49 EST
Subject: interesting article on new math textbook
Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)
Subj: Math textbook
Date: 97-12-21 17:17:56 EST
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Nathan Crow)
Reply-to: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: SClistserv@lists.acs.ohio-state.edu (Precision Teaching List Serv (E-
mail)), effschprac@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU ('email@example.com')
This math textbook seems to have the right approach.
from the homepage of the author & publisher:
POWER ALGEBRA I
Dear Student & Teacher:
The Required Practice sections in this book are the most
important sections and should be completed daily. The
reason is found in one word-- automaticity. Automaticity is
what the pianist has as his/her fingers flow from one key
to the next. Automaticity is what the basketball player has
as she/he leaves the floor off the proper foot with the
proper fluid motion as the ball just flows into the hoop
time after time. No conscious thought is required from the
pianist, gymnist or balerina. If he/she has to think about
what is next, it is too late--the fine tuning is not there.
If the basketball player has to think about what foot to
come off of, it is too late--the lay-up becomes awkward and
clumsy. Think about the answer to the question "2 + 2". The
word "four" just pops into your head. You no longer have to
think about "2 ducks and 2 ducks give me
........one.......two.......three......four ducks"! This
skill is automated. Our goal is to automate algebraic
skills. Adding like terms, working with exponents, knowing
when to isolate x, etc. are skills that need to be
automated and mastered by all algebra students, not just
the math-inclined students. The continual review in the
Required Practice problems facilitates long term learning.
As authors we have taught algebra out of two different
styles of textbooks. The traditional style of one chapter
at a time (learn/forget, learn/forget,...) has many
drawbacks, expecially for the student who doesn't make the
time to study (practice) enough. The style of textbook
where there is continual review throughout each lesson and
throughout the whole book also has many drawbacks such as
monotony, control of the teacher's curriculum, scheduling
hassles for drop students, etc. We have put together a book
that is more than just a "happy medium". We strongly
believe this is the best possible way to teach algebra to
our students and we honestly believe this is the best book
in the nation to teach from, but there is some " danger
" here. The danger comes when a student does
not put forth a daily conscientious effort on their
homework. The skills build and keep coming at the student.
The hard-working student has success, whereas; even the
brightest math students will stumble at some point if they
are not diligent with their work. DO THE 15 REQUIRED
PRACTICE PROBLEMS DAILY! We have both successfully coached
many sports in the past. We both coached football at
separate schools and we both had linemen that knew how to
block, yet we had them practice blocking everyday. Why?
Because a skill is learned through practice. Because a
skill is maintained through practice. And because a skill
is fine-tuned through practice. Some students don't like
seeing the same type of problem repeatedly just like most
linemen loathe those dreary blocking drills near the end of
the season. But, when the championship is won, all the pain
of the practice is long forgotten. If a student gets tired
of review problems ("yek!, another perimeter problem with
fractions"), have that student work on speed and accuracy.
Let the problems flow like the pianist lets his/her fingers
flow. Do the problem faster and make sure it is just as
accurate. Benjamin Bloom has a beautiful article on
automaticity in Principal magazine (March 1988). All
educators should read this! We believe this book has many
advantages over other algebra textbooks, some of which are
listed on another page . We wish you success in
mastering the most important foundational course in
mathematics--Algebra I. Onward!
Marshall Falgout & Gary Cavender
SPECIFIC INFORMATION PAGES!
1. What led to the writing of Power Algebra I & The
2. THE APPROACH!
3. The Table of Contents!
5. The authors and the future of Power Algebra!
7. Classroom Pilot Program!
8. ORDERING INFORMATION!
POWER ALGEBRA: GATEWAY TO THE HIGHER MATHS & SCIENCES!
Return to Power Algebra homepage.
This page is maintained by Gary Cavender, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDUCATION CONSUMERS CLEARINGHOUSE