kitchen table math, the sequel: math dad writes textbook

Friday, July 27, 2007

math dad writes textbook

Some parents pitch in with homework when kids get bad grades in math. Nicholas Aggor literally wrote the book.

The Riverview engineer was so distressed when sons Samuel, 14, and Joshua, 13, brought home bad marks, he took it upon himself to rewrite their textbooks chapter by chapter.

Four years later, they are in advanced classes and the Ghana native's pet project has become a passion that's produced a math curriculum for grades kindergarten to nine -- 14 books in all. And soon, it may not be just his kids whose grades are improving.


[C]urriculum director Paula Daniels said she wants copies by September for parents as a tutoring guide.


"There's step-by-step instruction -- if the kids don't get the concept from the teacher, they can just about teach themselves," said Shelley Zulewski, a math teacher at Riverview's Seitz Middle School, where Aggor's books will be the sole text for 10th-grade geometry and a supplement to other grades.


The key to his texts, Holloway said, is that children can understand them. Aggor uses marbles, board games, sports and other examples kids understand to explain math concepts.

And he brings together the best of old-fashioned arithmetic and the "new math" concepts that baffle many parents, according to Holloway.


"It's all broken down to where it's not all a bunch of mumbo jumbo that kids can't figure out ... It's a meeting of both thoughts of education, the old school of 'just do this and you can balance your checkbook,' and the new way of exploring and understanding it."


John Bruwer of Brownstown Township said he gave a copy of Aggor's book to his 13-year-old, Darron, out of desperation last spring. Even though Bruwer is an engineer, he had trouble helping his son with his eighth-grade math homework from Patrick Henry Middle School in the Woodhaven-Brownstown School District.

"Darron would come home from school, just having gone through a chapter, and would really struggle," said Bruwer, a statistical problem-solving coach with Chrysler Corp. "I'd have to really read through it to make sure I could explain it to him.

"(Aggor's book) took the fear away of understanding math," Bruwer said. "He became more relaxed and more self-reliant -- he'll try the examples on his own. Basically, I was cut out of the equation."

Dad's math book makes the grade
via Gadfly

I'd love to take a look at these books. I bet they're good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good grief! It's 2007 and folks are out writing their own math textbooks and curriculum. Did the work of Saxon, Kumon, Singapore, and DI fall down the memory hole?