kitchen table math, the sequel: the kids are rioting again

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the kids are rioting again

I love Amazon.

Reviews for Glencoe Algebra, the new textbook selected by my own district:

from Sarah, one star:
My name is Sarah and I attend Ridgeway High School located in Memphis, Tn. I am in the 11th garde. I'm taking Alebra II right now, but I remember dealing with that book. It is not a good book. They have pages put in the wrong places. They will tell you to do a problem and you wouldn't know a thing about it, then at the end of the chapter, it will show you everythign about it. I encourage you not to buy this book. I would not waiste my money!!!

from high school math teacher, another one star:
I must agree with the other reviews: this book stinks. It is not organized in a logical order. For instance, in section 1-1 students are expected to translate verbal expressions into algebraic ones. To do this, a student needs to understand order of operations, which isn't introduced until a later chapter. If you are a teacher picking an Algebra 1 book for your students, don't pick this book.

from a reader, one star:
All I have to say is that this "book" was definatly not intended for human use, nor was it written by humans who actually understand the human mind.

from Karim Pluma, one star:
I'm a student from Ridgeway Middle School in Memphis who is curretly taking Algebra 1. All I have to say about the book is that it is INFESTED with those annoying integration chapters that are: poorly made, come in the middle of the other chapters in a very unexpected time. Also, the book is poorly organized and, the worst part, it has some of the most ridiculus problems that NO ONE will figure out on their own. If it wasn't because my Algebra 1 teacher is a wonderful one, my generation would be lost.

from another reader, 2 stars:
This book presents too much material in an unorganized fashion. The sections concentrate on so much extra stuff that the math is difficult to follow. It is unclear what is important and what is not with all the vocabulary and activities and practice problems. I haven't seen later editions but it definitely needs to be cleaned up. It does have lots of real world examples and activities but this is algebra 1 and kids need to learn the basics first. One has to pick and choose what to do with it and that's not what I want.

one star:
....I don't know if what i am saying is making sense but DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK unless you enjoy books with no detailed examples, advanced explanations of concepts you have probably never learned, and boring real world connections. After using this book at my school i checked out a few other books and have found that i really enjoy Algebra when i can actually understand it and apply my skills. I think the book is a major deciding point in a students grades. I think more schools should focus on down to earth, but still informative books and maybe then they would see more effort applied to difficult concepts.

a reader, one star
When I write this review, I am really referring to both volumes of the Algebra 1 series. I am a college engineering student and just completed my fourth calculus course. For the past year I have tried to help my younger brother in his Algebra class because this book didn't help at all. Examples are insufficient and the book and tests are riddled with errors. The teacher had to work out all the problems because there were so many mistakes that he could not trust his answer key....Also students are told to tell the difference between rational and irrational roots by looking at their calculator display. Perhaps if you only use this book as a source for problems, it might be OK. But it is nearly impossible to try and learn something from this book which seems to be fixated on providing pretty graphics instead of relevant examples. My advice: Buy some other Algebra book. It is not possible to put too much effort into the search for a good algebra book because algebra is really the language of science and engineering that needs to become second nature. I haven't seen them myself, but I have heard good things about Algebra 1 by Paul A. Foerster as well as Algebra: Structure and Method by Richard G. Brown, Mary P. Dolciani, Robert H. Sorgenfrey, et. al. You might want to take a look at these books.


That's what I hear, too!

Foerster; Dolciani....those are the algebra greats.

Too bad my kid doesn't get to use one of them in his high-performing school.

And too bad I just blew forty bucks purchasing the wrong Teacher Wraparound Edition. (damn!)

For the record, the wrong Teacher Wraparound Edition is:

Glencoe Algebra 1: Integration, Applications, Connections
Teacher’s Wraparound Edition
ISBN: 0-02-825326-4 Student Edition
ISBN: 0-02-825328-0 Teacher’s Wraparound Edition

info on the Dolciani & Foerster books:

Algebra Structure and Method: Book 1
Richard G. Brown, Mary P. Dolciani, Robert H. Sorgenfrey, William L. Cole 1994
ISBN: 0-395-67608-8
Solution Key:
ISBN: 0-395-67764-5

Algebra 1 Expressions, Equations, and Applications
Paul A. Foerster
Teacher’s Edition
ISBN 0-201-86095-3
Also see:
TE - 0201860953
solution manual - 0201861003

ISBN lollapalooza
good money after bad


Karen A said...

Not to be too snarky, but it looks some of the student commenters could use a bit of help with their spelling.

Redkudu said...

They might be using the Glencoe English books too. :) I've seen them. They are just as bad.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is AndyJoy. I don't know if you remember me--I haven't posted in a long time, but I'm back. Since I last posted, I have actually become a teacher at a medium-sized private Christian school in California.

I'm teaching 6th grade math and two sections of pre-algebra (1 group of 7th graders, 1 group of 8th graders who flunked last year). Both text books are Glencoe and I HATE them for many of the reasons mentioned above. You'll probably be proud to hear that I refuse to do any of the graphing calculator labs in the book. They are 11-13 year olds in pre-algebra, for crying out loud! I don't allow my students to use calculators at all at this point.

I'd like to find out how I can post on this blog, because I think your readers will find my experiences interesting--if I have time to post with all the craziness at school!

le radical galoisien said...

"Glencoe Algebra 1: Integration, Applications, Connections
Teacher’s Wraparound Edition"

I suppose they don't mean that other kind of integration that's more useful in college.

Anonymous said...


In case Catherine misses your comment, just email her about posting. We'd all love to hear your stories.