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Algebra 1 - what to use?


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My older child was made for AOPS, so she’s been using it since prealgebra and is swimming along through the books, loving it. 

My next two kids are in 8th and 9th grades. They are both working through Math Mammoth 7 right now - The 8th grader will probably finish by January and be ready for Algebra 1. He’s a strong math student, but not very interested in the work of a program like AOPS. What are good choices to challenge him?

My 9th grader is less confident in math, and really doesn’t like it (despite having a good math sense and doing pretty well; has some test anxiety). She’ll probably finish MM7 toward the end of 9th grade, and then what do I use for her for Algebra 1? I want her to get a good math education through high school, but I want to also interest her in math, have her see the “real” side of math. I want her to succeed and not feel frustrated or overwhelmed. What would work for her?

I know these are two totally different scenarios; any advice would be appreciated!

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I haven’t used it yet but based on recommendations here, I went with Jacobs Algebra. I previewed the videos and they are funny and informative. Dr. Callahan’s daughter is the teacher which will be a big deal for my dd even though that is something she would never say out loud. KWIM?

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My oldest used Jacobs Elementary Algebra and did well with it. My youngest preferred the looks of CLE Algebra (the new textbook) so that is what I used with him. Both are very good programs, though after teaching both I can say that I prefer CLE.

My middle has struggled with math, but she is finding success with Teaching Textbooks algebra.

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I used CLE algebra 1 with one and Jacobs with the other. I preferred to teach with CLE, and I think that might follow MM well in terms of style. It would also possibly be less stressful than some other programs. I think the incremental nature cuts down on frustration and discouragement. 

I (finally) landed on A Fresh Approach for Algebra 2 with one of mine, and I really like it too. It may be a good option. But the test stress in that program might be higher than CLE tests would be. CLE just seemed to set the student up for success.  

Edited by sbgrace
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On 9/15/2020 at 2:50 PM, Clear Creek said:

My oldest used Jacobs Elementary Algebra and did well with it. My youngest preferred the looks of CLE Algebra (the new textbook) so that is what I used with him. Both are very good programs, though after teaching both I can say that I prefer CLE.

My middle has struggled with math, but she is finding success with Teaching Textbooks algebra.

Can you explain what you like better about CLE?  I used CLE for Algebra for my dd last year and am currently using Jacobs for Geometry.  I love Jacobs so much that I am considering purchasing his Algebra for my ds next year, but I do already own CLE (and he currently uses CLE for arithmetic).  We were very successful with CLE, but I also love the variety of problems in Jacob and the interesting/ practical way lessons are introduced.

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29 minutes ago, ALB said:

Can you explain what you like better about CLE?  I used CLE for Algebra for my dd last year and am currently using Jacobs for Geometry.  I love Jacobs so much that I am considering purchasing his Algebra for my ds next year, but I do already own CLE (and he currently uses CLE for arithmetic).  We were very successful with CLE, but I also love the variety of problems in Jacob and the interesting/ practical way lessons are introduced.

I thought that CLE did a better job of breaking instruction on new concepts down into smaller steps. I also really appreciated having a solutions manual with fully worked solutions. It was much easier to find where my son went wrong in a problem when I could compare the answers to each worked out step in the book instead of having to work the problem myself until I saw where the problem was (which I had to do when my oldest did algebra with Jacobs). I also felt that there were a lot more word problems in CLE.

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Derek Owens is working well for my current 9th grade son who is not really a Math kid. I like that he can self-pace and really take the time to learn it. I also have been very impressed with the feedback. For example, on a problem set that my son did poorly on, Mr. Owens sent extra help to make sure he got it and then had him redo that homework. Which gives him the chance to improve his grade but also focuses on mastery rather than just getting through it. He’s taking longer than a year to do it and I also like that he max you pay for is 9 months, no matter how long it takes to do. 

I’m considering using him for my daughter who will likely get to Algebra next year in 7th grade. She’s a strong Math student but is not at all going to want to do AOPS (I also have an older kid who is a senior and who has self-taught himself with AOPS all the way through). She can do Math but it’s not really her thing. DO seems like it might be a good fit her. 

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