Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Excellent Resource Book

I wrote about this resource a while ago, but I wanted to come back to it since I've just had a chance to scratch the surface of looking at this resource book and doing its problems. The book I bought called Graphic Algebra is absolutely fantastic! I plan to use it with my most advanced 8th-graders as a tool to encourage them to think critically about algebra and to gain familiarity with the graphing calculator at their own pace. From now on, any time it does not make sense for me to start a new skill or topic with them, while the others in the class still need some more time to wrap up their practice, I am going to point them at pages xeroxed from this book. I think it's better this way, because this book is systematic and intentional in the way that it sequences its tasks, which my onesie, twosie on-the-spot differentiation tasks cannot accomplish.

I sat down and made the answer key for the first 7 pages (involving linear functions only), and noticed that even the equations aren't totally easy to write (a good challenge for those higher level kids). Once they put the functions into the calculator, in order to navigate to the answers, they will still need to figure out how to zoom, trace, adjust table settings, and scroll through the table of values on the graphing calculator.

It's really wonderful! The topics in the book actually go hand-in-hand with what we're learning in class. First the book goes through some analysis of linear functions and related linear functions, and then immediately after, the second topic in the book is going to be linear regression.

I AM SO HAPPY!! It is actually excellent (and well-scaffolded*) material that I don't have to modify before giving to the kids. What a gem!

*Previously, when I was skimming through the book, I had thought the scaffolding was a bit too much. But now that I actually sat down to do the problems, I don't think so. That opinion could change when I move further into the book, but so far I like what I see.


  1. Is it worth purchasing the book if I don't have graphing calculators but DO have a lab where all kids can be on GeoGebra? Or would I have to modify the instructions too much for each activity? The book sounds really ideal for me.

  2. All of my Algebra 1 kids have the graphing calculator (yay!)... I just emailed my department head to see if we have any money to buy stuff. But I may get it on my own if she says no. Just because I trust your judgement! :)


  3. My book came today! Can't wait to go through it :)

  4. yay! Let me know if you like it. My kids are just starting on it now...