Elementary Algebra (Jacobs)

Now published by Master Books, Harold Jacobs' Elementary Algebra is the same thorough algebra course it has always been. This course is the equivalent of Algebra 1 and covers the basic algebraic concepts from a review of operations and functions through quadratic equations and number sequences. The chapters are Fundamental Operations, Functions and Graphs, Integers, Rational Numbers, Equations in One Variable, Equations in Two Variables, Simultaneous Equations, Exponents, Polynomials, Factoring, Fractions, Square Roots, Quadratic Equations, Real Numbers, Fractional Equations, Inequalities and Number Sentences this is the same chapter sequence as found in the previous edition of this text. A midterm and final review are included in the text as well.

Master Books assures us that there have been no changes in content even the problems in the exercises have remained the same. If you are familiar with the older text, one thing you will miss is some of the cartoons; however, some were kept in the text to add to the readability and a bit of humor never hurts. Although Master Books is a Christian company, this text doesn't include any Christian content.

Lessons in the Student Textbook begin with concepts, and Mr. Jacobs makes sure you understand the "why" before tackling the "how." The text's thorough explanation bite-size amounts of information make this a very popular program for understandability. There are still four sets of exercises in each lesson Set I reviews ideas from previous lessons for that continual review; Set II and Set III practice concepts taught in the lesson (Set III exercises are found in the teacher guide more on this in a bit); Set IV can be optional or be used for extra credit these offer challenge problems that go beyond the lesson. Answers to Set II exercises can be found in the back of the student book, which allows the student to self-grade, if you would like.

The Solutions Manual is just what the title states – this book offers the solutions for all of the exercises and chapter reviews. It does not offer test solutions.

The Teacher Guide offers a suggested daily lesson schedule that allows you to finish the course in one academic year – 180 lessons. Worksheets for the Set III exercises are found in the teacher guide. These are optional for those students who might need more practice. Tests for use at the end of each chapter are also included. There are four different versions of each test that are labeled A, B, C, and D. Problems are similar in each test and cover the concepts of that chapter. There is some variation in the numbers used in the different tests. The question might say, “Use the property named to write another expression equivalent to x(x+8) in test A. However, in test B, it says, “Use the property named to write another expression equivalent to x(x+3) or in Test C, x(x-6). Tests are one page, front and back, and the number of problems varies by chapter. A midyear and final exam are also included (just one version of each): 80 problems each and 4 pages in length. Answers to the tests are included in the back of the teacher guide – not solutions, just answers.

Harold Jacobs’ math courses have a long-standing reputation for thorough explanations and it is nice to see them back on the market! ~ Donna




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