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Suggestions for teaching AofPS Intro to Alg.

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I have purchased the AofPS Intro to Algebra set and plan to begin it soon with my 12 yo son. I sat down earlier this afternoon and read through the introduction and first chapter to get a feel for the text.


What is the best way to teach this course? Should I even teach it? Or should I give the book to my son and tell him to start working his way through it? The text seems to be written directly to the student; I think he could read and work through it on his own. However, I would miss the daily interaction with both him and the math (:)). We enjoy figuring out problems together.


For those of you have completed this course, what is the best way to approach it? Any suggestions or hints for a family just starting out with the AofPS series? I really, really like what I see in this text and would like to use it to its best advantage.


For what its worth, my ds has completed the first 11 chapters in Jacobs, so he has a good start in Algebra. We would probably use AofPS as a supplement unless we found it to be even more worthwhile than Jacobs.


Thank you,


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My DD did AoPS Intro to Algebra last year, DS is doing it currently.

We just have them work their way through the book. It does not require a teacher, it is written so that a student can work independently.

My kids occasionally get stuck on problems or have questions about a concept - so they ask us. I recommend getting the solution manual which explains how to work the problems in detail, this would help, especially on teh challenge problems.

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When we use AoPS books, I just let the kid have at it. As you say, the books are written to the student.


I'm not entirely left out, though. If the kid gets stuck on a problem, I can help nudge him in the right direction using the solutions book. I'll say things like, "What can you tell me about X?" or "What if you tried Ceva's Theorem here?"


The AoPS boards are also really valuable. Every problem has been analyzed half to death by these kids, and your student can always post questions. I've found that the AoPSers, as they call themselves, are very supportive of one another, even as they're competitive with each other. The "For the Win" game lets the kids compete head to head, which can be useful.


Also, you might check out Mr. Rusczyk's videos on the AoPS site. They're really helpful (and quite entertaining).

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I've always handed the books directly over to my students & they love it that way. They really are written directly to the student. In fact, I think your student would miss out on the "investigate-it-first-on-your-own" aspect of AoPS if a teacher were to present the material directly (though it could be done).


If I don't want to miss out on the fun, lol, I just go through the texts myself. Actually it works well that way, because I make a note of any problems that I think they might find difficult or need to discuss more with me later. Sometimes we'd have fun trying to attack a challenge set problem together, or comparing the different methods we used to solve one.


Yes, definitely buy the solutions manuals. They contain very detailed worked-out solutions to all the problems in the texts.



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I thank all of you for your help. After looking at the book more closely over the weekend, I think my son is going to really enjoy it. No endless repetition of problems in this text! LOL! We should start it Wednesday.


And I'm going to take a look at those videos. Haven't had a chance, yet.


Thanks again!


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