I hate my school text book. I'm only in algebra but I want more details

In summary: TI-84" is clearly from a student who doesn't know what they're talking about. In summary, this conversation is about a textbook for Algebra that one person believes is not a strong foundation for higher math courses. They suggest using additional books for more practice and deeper explanations. The conversation also touches on the use of graphing calculators and the importance of reviewing previously learned material.
  • #1
Raizy
107
0
This textbook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0618503080/?tag=pfamazon01-20

I mean check out this one review:

This book made me realize something that I probably didn't before. That is that an applied approach is just simply skimming. That's what this book does, it skims over the concepts of Algebra. This is definitely not a solid foundation and will not benefit you if you need to take Trig., College Algebra or higher math. For instance, graphing is something you do a lot in algebra. This book does not introduce the TI-84 calculator which is essential in today's algebra. I took an intermed. algebra course at one school under this book. Well a few years later I had to retake intermed. algebra because I placed low on the math test and was put back into it at another school. I was surprisingly shocked that I had learned very little with the applied approach. It was as if I was totally new to algebra. If your instructor requests this book for your algebra class, you will not finish that course with a strong enough foundation in intermediate algebra trust me.


I am currently up to Systems of Linear Equations and the part where the Z axis gets introduced on the graphing plane. Soon after it's matrices. Unless I'm pretty slow, I think the book is too shallow with not enough problems to practice on. An applied approach mixed with very little practice problems. Very helpful, right? :rolleyes:

I don't mind buying two books. For example, I could buy Schaum's just for the massive amounts of problems to practice on, and some other book that will explain all the concepts.

Man, I hate learning math with no deeper explanations. For me it has to be, "Go all the way or forget about it". So, are there any recommendations of books or e-books that approach the materials academically? I've got about 6 months to learn all this stuff before Sept. 09 terms start. I'm going for Engineering Technology and then transferring to a university so I really don't want to cheat myself by shallow learning.
 
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  • #2
There are iirc some recommendations on basic algebra books in Mathwonk's thread "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?" in the Academic Guidance forum.

By the way, you really don't have to learn to use a TI-84 to learn math, in my opinion...
 
  • #3
Look for any older Intermediate Algebra book and correlate the sections to study with the topics that your current course reviews. Study using the old book, but do the work from your current course book.

Uman is correct; you do not need to learn to use TI-84 to learn Intermediate Algebra, but it is a nice tool for checking some of your work. Students must learn to solve problems and make graphs without a graphing calculator. Many of us when students did not have such incredible machines as the graphing calculators; we STUDIED and LEARNED the course material.

Don't feel bad if you enroll in Intermediate Algebra in college after taking and passing it in high school; not everyone can retain what they studied after a course ends. You learn the stuff much better when it is repeated (should be very very much better since you would be already familiar with many of the parts of the course).
 
  • #4
symbolipoint said:
Look for any older Intermediate Algebra book and correlate the sections to study with the topics that your current course reviews. Study using the old book, but do the work from your current course book.

Yep, this is exactly what I had in mind. My only minor problem is the table of contents of two books may be named differently so that might take some time trying figure out which is which.

uman said:
There are iirc some recommendations on basic algebra books in Mathwonk's thread "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?" in the Academic Guidance forum.

By the way, you really don't have to learn to use a TI-84 to learn math, in my opinion...

Yep, I will be checking this out too before checking out my amazon cart. Maybe I could even search for a free graphing software.

Here are the three books I'll be buying from Amazon (I might change my mind of course...):

Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers

Schaum's Outline of PreCalculus, 2nd Ed. (Schaum's Outlines)

3,000 Solved Problems in Linear Algebra


symbolipoint said:
]
Don't feel bad if you enroll in Intermediate Algebra in college after taking and passing it in high school; not everyone can retain what they studied after a course ends. You learn the stuff much better when it is repeated (should be very very much better since you would be already familiar with many of the parts of the course).

Actually, this may be the reason why I think the book is bad. Maybe the college's program, "Academic Upgrading", thinks EVERYONE has been out of school for so long that they just needed a refresher. In this case, I guess that book would be good for a skimming review. But... I was the one with 9th grade math when I dropped out.
 
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  • #5
Watch out: "Linear Algebra" is a totally different area of math, the one that has to do with vector spaces, matrices, and linear transformations. It's probably not what you're looking for.
 
  • #6
uman said:
Watch out: "Linear Algebra" is a totally different area of math, the one that has to do with vector spaces, matrices, and linear transformations. It's probably not what you're looking for.

I didn't know that, thanks for announcing. Good thing I couldn't order from amazon :) I got Birth From Numbers and the precalc outline from barnes and noble. I am hoping the Birth From Numbers book will add more meaning to my math learning experience.
 
  • #7
"This book does not introduce the TI-84 calculator which is essential in today's algebra."

I know this is a month old, but in case you're still pondering different books, I wouldn't rely on this review at all. It's very possible that the book is bad, but the vast majority of students who do poorly in class blame the book or teacher and not themselves. The TI-anything is in no way essential to any course.
 

Related to I hate my school text book. I'm only in algebra but I want more details

1. Why do I hate my school textbook?

There could be several reasons for disliking your school textbook. It may not be engaging or easy to understand, it may not align with your learning style, or it may not cover the material in enough detail. It's important to communicate your concerns with your teacher or seek alternative resources to supplement your learning.

2. How can I improve my understanding of algebra beyond my textbook?

There are many ways to enhance your understanding of algebra outside of your textbook. You can watch online tutorials, join a study group, or work on practice problems. You can also reach out to your teacher for additional resources or clarification on difficult concepts.

3. What should I do if I feel like my textbook is holding me back?

If you feel like your textbook is not challenging you enough or holding you back from reaching your full potential, it's important to speak with your teacher. They can provide you with more advanced materials or suggest ways to challenge yourself outside of the textbook.

4. How can I make my textbook more interesting?

There are a few ways to make your textbook more interesting. You can try highlighting or taking notes as you read, breaking up your study sessions into smaller chunks, or finding real-life examples of the concepts in the textbook. You can also try finding a study partner to make learning more interactive and engaging.

5. Is it normal to dislike my school textbook?

It is not uncommon for students to dislike their school textbooks. However, it's important to communicate your concerns and try to find ways to make the material more engaging and understandable. If you continue to struggle with your textbook, it may be helpful to seek alternative resources or speak with your teacher for additional support.

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