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S/O Lial's BCM or Lial's Pre-Algebra for pre-algebra?

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Until Matryoska mentioned it in a thread below, I always thought BCM was *the* recommendation for Lial's for pre-algebra; I didn't even know Lial's had a pre-algebra!


I don't know much about upper level math, but I do have BCM here and thought it looked like quite a bit of review.


So which one is generally the better choice? (More specifically, for a non-mathy dc, but one who I do want to have prepared well!)

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Originally Posted by HappyGrace viewpost.gif

Until Matryoska mentioned it in a thread below, I always thought BCM was *the* recommendation for Lial's for pre-algebra; I didn't even know Lial's had a pre-algebra!


I don't know much about upper level math, but I do have BCM here and thought it looked like quite a bit of review.


So which one is generally the better choice? (More specifically, for a non-mathy dc, but one who I do want to have prepared well!)

Jann seems to really prefer the BCM, and she's much more of a math teaching expert than I - this is my first time teaching this level of math, adn she's been doing it for years. So, consider the source. :tongue_smilie: But after having my dd dutifuly slog through the first three chapters of BCM (Whole numbers; multiplying/dividing fractions; adding/subtracting fractions), and looking ahead to negative numbers (the big hole in Singapore) not being introduced till the second to last chapter, I finally went and looked at the Pre-Algebra to see if there was any difference. I'd heard it moved "a little more quickly"... I honestly have a hard time thinking that any kid that's gotten through Singapore 6b would have to do that much review of basic math (and my dd also did LOF through Pre-Algebra/Bio). I found a 3rd edition of the Pre-Algebra "like new" for $8 plus shipping - seemed worth trying out (the TOC is from 4th edition - I'm guessing they're not much different??).


Jann says either book will prepare one well for Algebra, so I think which book is better depends on your student. I like that she'll get a lot more practice with negative numbers over the year with the PreAlg - I think she'll need that. I kind of miss the chapter on geometry, but I could always have her do that chapter in the BCM, or actually use the Patty Paper Geometry program I bought... :)


I do also have the Key to Algebra books, which she likes - I'll have her do some of those for extra explanation.


Here are the TOCs:



Chapter 1 Whole Numbers

1.1 Reading and Writing Whole Numbers

1.2 Adding Whole Numbers

1.3 Subtracting Whole Numbers

1.4 Multiplying Whole Numbers

1.5 Dividing Whole Numbers

1.6 Long Division

1.7 Rounding Whole Numbers

1.8 Exponents, Roots, and Order of Operations

1.9 Reading Pictographs, Bar Graphs, and Line Graphs

1.10 Solving Application Problems


Chapter 2 Multiplying and Dividing Fractions

2.1 Basics of Fractions

2.2 Mixed Numbers

2.3 Factors

2.4 Writing a Fraction in Lowest Terms

2.5 Multiplying Fractions

2.6 Applications of Multiplication

2.7 Dividing Fractions

2.8 Multiplying and Dividing Mixed Numbers


Chapter 3 Adding and Subtracting Fractions

3.1 Adding and Subtracting Like Fractions

3.2 Least Common Multiples

3.3 Adding and Subtracting Unlike Fractions

3.4 Adding and Subtracting Mixed Numbers

3.5 Order Relations and the Order of Operations


Chapter 4 Decimals

4.1 Reading and Writing Decimals

4.2 Rounding Decimals

4.3 Adding and Subtracting Decimals

4.4 Multiplying Decimals

4.5 Dividing Decimals

4.6 Writing Fractions as Decimals


Chapter 5 Ratio and Proportion

5.1 Ratios

5.2 Rates

5.3 Proportions

5.4 Solving Proportions

5.5 Solving Application Problems with Proportions


Chapter 6 Percent

6.1 Basics of Percent

6.2 Percents and Fractions

6.3 Using the Percent Proportion and Identifying the Components in a Percent Problem

6.4 Using Proportions to Solve Percent Problems

6.5 Using the Percent Equation

6.6 Solving Application Problems with Percent

6.7 Simple Interest

6.8 Compound Interest


Chapter 7 Measurement

7.1 Problem Solving with English Measurement

7.2 The Metric System–Length

7.3 The Metric System–Capacity and Weight (Mass)

7.4 Problem Solving with Metric Measurement

7.5 Metric—English Conversions and Temperature


Chapter 8 Geometry

8.1 Basic Geometric Terms

8.2 Angles and Their Relationships

8.3 Rectangles and Squares

8.4 Parallelograms and Trapezoids

8.5 Triangles

8.6 Circles

8.7 Volume

8.8 Pythagorean Theorem

8.9 Similar Triangles


Chapter 9 Basic Algebra

9.1 Signed Numbers

9.2 Adding and Subtracting Signed Numbers

9.3 Multiplying and Dividing Signed Numbers

9.4 Order of Operations

9.5 Evaluating Expressions and Formulas

9.6 Solving Equations

9.7 Solving Equations with Several Steps

9.8 Using Equations to Solve Application Problems


Chapter 10 Statistics

10.1 Circle Graphs

10.2 Bar Graphs and Line Graphs

10.3 Frequency Distributions and Histograms

10.4 Mean, Median, and Mode




1. Introduction to Algebra: Integers

1.1 Place Value

1.2 Introduction to Signed Numbers

1.3 Adding Integers

1.4 Subtracting Integers

1.5 Problem Solving: Rounding and Estimating

1.6 Multiplying Integers

1.7 Dividing Integers

1.8 Exponents and Order of Operations


2. Understanding Variables and Solving Equations

2.1 Introduction to Variables

2.2 Simplifying Expressions

2.3 Solving Equations Using Addition

2.4 Solving Equations Using Division

2.5 Solving Equations with Several Steps


3. Solving Application Problems

3.1 Problem Solving: Perimeter

3.2 Problem Solving: Area

3.3 Solving Application Problems with One Unknown Quantity

3.4 Solving Application Problems with Two Unknown Quantities


4. Rational Numbers: Positive and Negative Fractions

4.1 Introduction to Signed Fractions

4.2 Writing Fractions in Lowest Terms

4.3 Multiplying and Dividing Signed Fractions

4.4 Adding and Subtracting Signed Fractions

4.5 Problem Solving: Mixed Numbers and Estimating

4.6 Exponents, Order of Operations, and Complex Fractions

4.7 Problem Solving: Equations Containing Fractions

4.8 Geometry Applications: Area and Volume


5. Rational Numbers: Positive and Negative Decimals

5.1 Reading and Writing Decimal Numbers

5.2 Rounding Decimal Numbers

5.3 Adding and Subtracting Signed Decimal Numbers

5.4 Multiplying Signed Decimal Numbers

5.5 Dividing Signed Decimal Numbers

5.6 Fractions and Decimals

5.7 Problem Solving with Statistics: Mean, Median, and Mode

5.8 Geometry Applications: Pythagorean Theorem and Square Roots

5.9 Problem Solving: Equations Containing Decimals

5.10 Geometry Applications: Circles, Cylinders, and Surface Area


6. Ratio, Proportion, and Line/Angle/Triangle Relationships

6.1 Ratios

6.2 Rates

6.3 Proportions

6.4 Problem Solving with Proportions

6.5 Geometry: Lines and Angles

6.6 Geometry Applications: Congruent and Similar Triangles


7. Percent

7.1 The Basics of Percent

7.2 The Percent Proportion

7.3 The Percent Equation

7.4 Problem Solving with Percent

7.5 Consumer Applications: Sales Tax, Tips, Discounts, and Simple Interest


8. Measurement

8.1 Problem Solving with U.S. Customary Measurement

8.2 The Metric System-Length

8.3 The Metric System-Capacity and Weight (Mass)

8.4 Problem Solving with Metric Measurements

8.5 Metric-U.S. Customary Conversions and Temperature


9. Graphs

9.1 Problem Solving with Tables and Pictographs

9.2 Reading and Constructing Circle Graphs

9.3 Bar Graphs and Line Graphs

9.4 The Rectangular Coordinate System

9.5 Introduction to Graphing Linear Equations


10. Exponents and Polynomials

10.1 The Product Rule and Power Rules for Exponents

10.2 Integer Exponents and the Quotient Rule

10.3 An Application of Exponents: Scientific Notation

10.4 Adding and Subtracting Polynomials

10.5 Multiplying Polynomials: An Introduction

Edited by matroyshka
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Wow, Matroyshka, that's really helpful, thank you!


There really is a huge difference in what they cover. I'm NO expert, but I am having trouble seeing how they are even comparable? The BCM seems like a lot of review. As I looked at my copy of BCM, I remember thinking that dd, even though she is no math whiz, is covering a bunch of this in CLE 5th grade (although BCM does extend the difficulty somewhat.)


I know nothing about pre-algebra. Would the BCM or the Pre-Algebra be more like a "typical" pre-algebra course?

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  • 5 months later...
Guest kwiley

Here are some links I think may be useful. You can look through a good part of each book to see the differences. (Although I still have not decided which one to use for 7th grade math :001_smile:) BCM looks a lot like Horizons 6 grade to me, but the prealgebra looks quite a bit more difficult!

Any input would be appreciated. :bigear:


Basic College Math:






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One problem is I have not found the answer book yet. But I have not tried very hard.


The ISBNs for all the other elements you can get to go with a given Lial's book are right on the back cover. If you look up the Solutions Guide by its ISBN number, you should be able to find it easily.


I haven't felt the need for anything beyond the Student text and the Solutions Guide.

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  • 4 months later...

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