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Terabith

Algebra for summer school?

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My current seventh grader will be doing algebra 1 next year in public.  She has an assortment of learning disabilities.  Dyscalculia might be among them.  Honestly not sure.  She doesn’t have a strong Pre-Algebra foundation.  But....for a wide variety of reasons, she needs to do algebra 1 in public school next year in eighth.  She is very bright.  It’s possible she may be like my husband and really understand math for the first time starting in upper level.  My husband thinks this will be the case.  I have worked with her more, and I am much less optimistic about that.  I want to try to front load as much algebra instruction as we can this summer.   My first thought was Math U See.  My second thought was Key to Algebra, which looks ridiculously simple but might be just the thing.  Anxiety and frustration are big issues.  My other thought was Jacobs.  Less incremental but the humor might help.  I haven’t taught her math in long enough that I don’t have a great handle on what she knows versus doesn’t know.  

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Can you ask what they will use at her school next year?

Do you know how they select kids for Algebra I?

Do you know what she has covered in school?

With Common Core, ime they are covering different topics and in a different order, and you might look at using different chapters of Algebra stuff that is not Common Core, depending on what she has already covered.  

You might also decide to review, that might be just as helpful as front-loading, or maybe a mix.  

My 8th grader is in regular Common Core math, but he is covering a lot of Algebra topics.  

I look on Khan Academy, they list the units and what is covered in them.   

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I’m planning on having him do some kind of math review this summer before he starts Algebra I, but I have no idea right now.  

I am thinking maybe Khan Academy.  

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 For Jacobs, the first 1/3 of the book is pre-algebra. 

I was thinking maybe Real World Algebra by Zaccaro might meet your needs. 

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Well talk with some math tutors here on the boards, but usually what trips people up with algebra is fractions. I would play games                                             Family Math : The Middle School Years, Algebraic Reasoning and Number Sense [Paperback] [1998] (Author) Virginia Thompson, Karen Mayfield-Ingram, Ann Humphrey Williams                                      and make sure she's strong on fractions and let it go. Worst that happens is she repeats algebra in 9th. The school can figure that out.

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Can you find out the publisher the school uses for algebra and then plan to complete the prealgebra curriculum from that publisher? Then she can get used to the format as well. Train/teach her how to check her answers in the back of the book. Students need to mark a problem then go back to the lesson, review, and then rework the problem. Most kids just mark it wrong or just erase the wrong answer and write the correct one. 

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1 hour ago, lmrich said:

Can you find out the publisher the school uses for algebra and then plan to complete the prealgebra curriculum from that publisher?

I really like that suggestion!

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The school doesn’t use textbooks for algebra.  And Virginia doesn’t use common core.  It is its own thing.  They pick kids for eighth grade algebra based on their scores on seventh grade math test.  A LOT of kids took algebra in seventh, not the gifted kids.  Only algebra classes offered at high school are remedial, and they are chock full of behavior problems.  Cat would tune out instantly.  The teachers are also....not the good teachers. No textbooks at any level in the system so I have no idea what has been covered or what will be covered.  (Also, no homework or problem sets.  Math instruction in the district is a joke.)

Edited by Terabith

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Check out Teachers Pay Teachers - All Things Algebra curriculum - it is pricey but you can order units and the Teacher Appreciation Sale is this week. It is my favorite curriculum, but you need to teach it; it is not written to the student. 

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1 hour ago, lmrich said:

Check out Teachers Pay Teachers - All Things Algebra curriculum - it is pricey but you can order units and the Teacher Appreciation Sale is this week. It is my favorite curriculum, but you need to teach it; it is not written to the student. 

I'll just bite here and ask what you were using *before* that. And are you saying buy the $500 curriculum package? What components are you using? 

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Yeah...I'm not buying that.  That's way more money than we're spending on this endeavor.  I fully intend to teach her; she is NOT a kid that you can just hand a book and expect to learn.  But, this is strictly for enrichment.  Not paying $500 for it.  

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I tutor local ps kids, and while generalization is impractical, "most" of what "most" of them are missing in algebra could have  been prevented by a solid pre-algebra course. My favorite one is Houghton's regular old basic textbook (called Dolciani here on WTM, for one of the authors). 

Locally, a lot of our kids' math struggles are compounded or even 100% caused by the "online math" approach, AKA no textbook. Most of my tutoring kids respond very well to a real math textbook, backwards as that seems to our local school boards. 

/off soap box,  with apologies

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5 hours ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

Locally, a lot of our kids' math struggles are compounded or even 100% caused by the "online math" approach, AKA no textbook. Most of my tutoring kids respond very well to a real math textbook,

Yes Yes Yes! I tutor math and I COMPLETELY agree.  Get a book or a workbook and avoid any and all online programs.  I even have students with enough metacognition to be able to tell me that it is the online environment that has led them into the mess they are in. 

I will join your soap box.

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I talked to my son yesterday and he wants a textbook, so it’s nice for me to see that recommended!

He says he is using Khan Academy some at school, and sometimes he accidentally presses enter while he is putting in his answer, and it is really frustrating to him.  So he said he would rather have a textbook.

 

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I did not buy the $500 algebra, but I have purchased some of the units. They are closer to $20. I also like her flip books and some of the games. I have used her prealgebra and algebra 2. Luckily, I bought both when they were not finished yet, so the author offered them at a discount plus the 30% off sale so it was worth for me. And I use them in my tutoring job. The author does a very nice job scaffolding the lessons so the student gradually tackles more challenging problems, but only after the concept is learned. She has great test review for each unit which also helps build confidence before a test. 

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The basic McDougal-Littell Pre-Algebra is a solid text, and a used copy should cost about $5.

https://www.amazon.com/McDougal-Littell-Pre-Algebra-Student-2005/dp/0618250034/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3AFLJDUDED2DN&keywords=mcdougal+littell+prealgebra&qid=1557233480&s=gateway&sprefix=Mcdougal+litte%2Caps%2C159&sr=8-1

Maybe, support whatever text you are using with Hands on Equations and MUS blocks for integer math practice.  James Tanton’s website is also very good.

http://www.jamestanton.com/

Lial’s Introductory Algebra, 8th Ed is my favorite Algebra program.

https://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Algebra-8th-Margaret-Lial/dp/0321292243/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Lials+8th+edition+introductory+algebra&qid=1557233910&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spell

There is also an algebraic thinking game for the iPad called DragonBox that might be helpful.

https://dragonbox.com/products

 

Edited by Heathermomster
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