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Book Reviews

Review of Intermediate Algebra: A Just-in-Time Approach

Editorial review
This number-one selling reform book presents an effective, reform approach to traditional algebra curriculum. The first edition has gained a strong following among instructors who find that Kaseberg's use of guided discovery and problem-solving facilitates learning new concepts and strengthens skill retention. In the second edition, Kaseberg's informal, interactive style makes algebra accessible to students while maintaining rigorous mathematical accuracy. In this revised and re-designed second edition, Kaseberg has doubled the number of skill-building exercises and reorganized some topics into a more conventional sequence. To reduce preparation time for course leaders, and facilitate use by adjuncts, the "new" Instructor's Resource Manual accompanies the second edition. The manual provides a structured lesson and group-activity worksheet for each section in the textbook; incorporates materials from the textbook with supplemental projects and activities; suggests core homework assignments; and furnishes guided-discussion question to use in recitations. This resource serves to bridge the gap between traditional pedagogy and a reform approach.

Reviewed by Linda Schofield, from Edmunds, Maine-USA
Having been a home economics major in High School 27 years ago, the last thing I needed in my struggle with college was assistance from Ms Kaseberg! This book is needlessly confusing, unorganized, and a poor showing for Ms Kasegerg's 30 years of experience. The chapters deal with various topics, but the exercises at the end of each chapter seem to have nothing to do with the material covered. The book's goal of teaching problem solving skills has failed miserably. The student is left with a different set of problems than were discussed in the chapter and with no clue as to where to start in solving them. Problem solving skills may have been overlooked or minimized in mathematics education thus far, but this book does not address the tools needed to solve problems--it simply leaves the reader lost in an algebraic vacuum without a compass. To make matters worse, after using this book as a trial for Algebra II (which was a dismal failure), the Math committee at my university decided to inflict equal torture on Algebra I students the very next semester. Publication of this book is bad enough, but it is a sad state of affairs when such a product is actually adopted as a teaching tool. I was in grammer school during the 'New Math' fiasco of the late 60's, and I view this approach with similar contempt. My mathematical and problem solving abilities seemed useless when trying to make sense of this text book. Publications like this will succeed only in making those of us who love working with numbers begin to hate it instead. In short, this text book is a rip off--don't buy it OR take a course that uses it. Have mercy on us Ms Kaseberg; your 'Just-In-Time Approach' will be the death of mathematics!

Reviewed by Linda Schofield (linfield@nemaine.com), from Edmunds, Maine USA
Having been a home economics major in High School 27 years ago, the last thing I needed in my struggle with college was assistance from Ms Kaseberg! This book is needlessly confusing, unorganized, and a poor showing for Ms Kasegerg's 30 years of experience. The chapters deal with various topics, but the exercises at the end of each chapter seem to have nothing to do with the material covered. The book's goal of teaching problem solving skills has failed miserably. The student is left with a different set of problems than were discussed in the chapter and with no clue as to where to start in solving them. Problem solving skills may have been overlooked or minimized, but this book does not address the tools needed to solve problems, it simply leaves the reader lost in an algebraic vacuum without a compass. In short, the voice from Maine thinks the book was as big a rip off as the voices from Nevada. To make matters worse, after using this book as a trial for Algebra II (which was a dismal failure), the Math committee at my community college decided to inflict equal torture on Algebra I students the very next semester. Publication of this book is bad enough, but it is a sad state of affairs when such a product is actually adopted as a teaching tool. I was in grammer school during the "New Math" fiasco of the late 60's, and I view this approach with similar contempt. My mathematical and problem solving abilities seemed useless when trying to make sense of this text book. Publications like this will succeed only in making those of us who love working with numbers begin to hate it instead. Have mercy on us Ms Kaseberg; your "Just-In-Time Approach" will be the death of mathematics!

Reviewed by a reader, from Reno, NV
This is by far the worst Algebra text book that I have ever seen. The text is very unclear and the author seems to be very unknowledgeable in her field. There are no explanations to how she came up with the answers that she got and that makes me question if they are correct. There are no instructions available, even to the instructors. This book is a waste of not only money, but time also and I am ashamed that the math department at TMCC in Reno actually approved it.

Reviewed by karin@aci.net, from Reno, Nevada
I had to buy this book for my Algebra class at Truckee Meadows Community College. It is by far the worst book I've ever had. The author

Review of Beginning and Intermediate Algebra with Graphing Calculators: An Integrated Approach

Editorial review
A college textbook which works toward retaining the efficiencies afforded by combining beginning and intermediate algebra, and avoiding the pitfalls, e.g. getting too difficult too fast and neglecting to include enough beginning algebra so that students who transfer to another college during the year know the basics. The first six chapters provide a full course in beginning algebra, after which intermediate topics are introduced. A quick review of basic topics is provided for those who begin in the second half of the book. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review of Explorations in Beginning & Intermediate Algebra Using the TI-82/83 With Integrated Appendix Notes for the TI-85/86

Editorial review
This user-friendly workbook improves both student understanding and retention of algebra concepts through a series of activities and guided explorations using the graphing calculator. An ideal supplement for any beginning or intermediate algebra course, EXPLORATIONS IN BEGINNING AND INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA, SECOND EDITION is an ideal tool for integrating technology without sacrificing content. By clearly & succinctly teaching keystrokes, class time is devoted to investigations instead of how to use a graphing calculator.

Review of Active Arithmetic and Algebra: Activities for Prealgebra and Beginning Algebra

Editorial review
This activities manual includes a variety of approaches to learning mathematical concepts. Sixteen activities, including puzzles, games, data collection, graphing, and writing activities are included.

Review of Intermediate Algebra

Editorial review
A text for college students who need an algebra course that bridges the gap between elementary algebra and the more advanced courses in precalculus mathematics, covering intermediate algebra topics. Algebraic ideas are developed in logical sequence in an easy-to-read manner without excessive formalism. Concepts are developed through examples and problem solving. Includes chapter summaries, problems, and chapter and cumulative tests, with answers. This sixth edition contains word problems, coverage of all real numbers, incorporation of a graphing approach, and earlier introduction of the graphing calculator. The authors are affiliated with Seminole Community College. -- Copyright © 1999 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR All rights reserved Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Reviewed by a reader, from Dayton, Ohio
This book offers everything a college algebra textbook should offer. Very well written and concise explanations. Highly recommended.

Review of Elementary and Intermediate Algebra

Editorial review
This text uses a blend of the traditional and the reform instructional approaches to teach students how to read, write, speak, and think mathematically using the language of algebra. The first seven chapters provide a complete course in elementary algebra, introducing the standard beginning topics at a pace that allows for developing a strong conceptual foundation. Chapter 8 is a transitional chapter that extends these topics to the intermediate level. Chapters 9-14 comprise a complete course in intermediate algebra.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Review of The Learning Equation: Elementary Algebra Version 2.0

Editorial review
A book/CD-ROM package for a college elementary algebra courses, offering 65 90-minute lessons. Each lesson consists of seven components, and includes opening problems in a real-world context, a tutorial with hints and tips, examples, problems and questions, and self-checks. The workbook includes perforated pages. Three CD-ROMs contain interactive, multimedia courseware which can run on Windows and Macintosh platforms on a stand-alone computer, over a LAN, and over the Internet.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Review of The Learning Equation: Intermediate Algebra Student Workbook: Version 2.0

Editorial review
A book/CD-ROM package, containing 64 90-minute lessons covering the college elementary algebra curriculum. Application problems are drawn from disciplines such as business, entertainment, and science. Three CD-ROMs contain interactive, multimedia courseware which can run on Windows and Macintosh platforms on a stand-alone computer, over a LAN, and over the Internet.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Review of The Learning Equation: Elementary and Intermediate Algebra Combined Student Workbook: Version 2.0

Editorial review
The Learning Equation(tm) (TLE) is interactive, multimedia courseware for developmental mathematics, covering subjects from basic mathematics/arithmetic through intermediate algebra. TLE is available to users in the form of a workbook (the Student Workbook), plus the complete software product on CD. This makes TLE ideal for anytime, anywhere learning. There is an accompanying Instructor's Resource Manual (IRM) for each course product containing information to help instructors implement TLE into their curriculum.


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