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Algebra question

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This year I tried the Chalkdust Algebra book and dvds, and found that it moved too fast for my dd. I ended up having to drop down and have my dd repeat pre-algebra, again the Chalk dust course. We made it through, but it was more difficult by the time she got to the last 2 sections.


I understand that the Chalkdust books are college texts.


I have been reading some about Lial's texts and they seem like they might be a better fit for my dd.


So my question is, are they also college texts or are high school texts. Do they move a little slower, or explain more thoroughly?

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I never used Chalkdust, but I do have a Lial Precalc textbook.


I believe they are high school texts. You can get the Digital Video Components along with the book if you want, but they aren't necessarily needed. I feel they explain pretty well and show great examples so I have never used the Video Component. I use MUS as my main math curriculum and then use Lial to reinforce but Lial could definitely be a stand alone course. They have about 80 questions per section and all the odd-numbered answers are in the back. You can get the teacher manual, but I think they just fully explain the odd-numbered questions. I might be wrong though, they may give the even-numbered answers as well.


I like MUS because it is based on video, just like Chalkdust but so much cheaper. I have never used the Lial video component before, but lots of people told me to wait until I needed them to order them because usually they aren't needed.

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The Lial texts are community college texts--but they are in a very different format than CD. For me, format makes a huge difference. The publisher (Pearson) has honored several requests to 'market' this program to high schools... so occasionally you might come across a used copy with 'high school' on the cover---it will be the EXACT same text on the inside--just a cover change for the high school market.


The main difference in programs is that the Lial text was designed for independent learning--the WHOLE lesson is presented in the student text. The CD text (Larson) was designed to be used 'with a teacher presenting the lesson'... so the examples in the text are not as detailed.


Another difference is that the Lial program does not introduce graphing calculators until Pre-Calc. I have my Lial Algebra students use a 'step-down' calculator like the TI30Xii series that has a multi-line display and the parenthesis feature.. for about $15 it is all the 'calculator' they will need until Pre-Calc (I agree with Margaret Lial the main author--I prefer my Algebra students learn how to graph manually--so they understand WHY the graphing calculator can be used as a tool--and NOT a method.)


Because the Lial series is a popular community college text, older editions are EASY to find at great prices.


Please feel free to ask any questions.



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thanks, that is good to know about the calculator. That is one of my pet peeves.


Jann, with the Lial program being set up for independent learning, can it still be taught? We found the best way for my dd to understand math was for me to give her a math lecture. The reason Chalkdust didn't work for that was lack of interaction. She might already get something and he is giving 10 examples on it. Or she might not get it, and he shows a very brief example and moves on. With me giving the lecture, I could give the examples based on what she needed.


Even with me doing that, Chalk dust moved too quickly. Does Lials move slower or break the lessons into smaller chunks? If they don't, is it possible to break the lesson into smaller chunks on your own?

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Yes, the texts are set up from independent learners---BUT most Jr high, high school students rather NOT learn directly from texts--they need some sort of auditory reinforcement.


I use the Lial texts with my online classes. I TEACH the lessons--but I also teach the students HOW to use a Math text book. I will refer to the examples in the text at least once per lesson...


Because the Lial texts are set up for block scheduling, one lesson covers 2 days of homework--assigning just the ODDS. I allow 2 days for the chapter reviews because I assign ALL of the problems (reserving the Mixed Review section for optional extra practice). Occasionally I will skip the first few odd problems (matching or partial problem type)--and I also omit the questions that require 'writing' ('explain...').


To break the lesson into smaller chunks you can divide it according to example (the problems are marked in the homework section)---or you can teach the first half of the examples then assign the corresponding homework the next day complete the lesson/examples and the homework.


I think Lial moves at a slower pace--but most of this is just format/organization.. the texts will cover the same essential concepts.

Edited by Jann in TX
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