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Algebra Unplugged
 
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Algebra Unplugged [Kindle Edition]

Jim Loats , Kenn Amdahl
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 17.07
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Review

Algebra Unplugged is unlike any other mathematics text about algebra. Through the use of creative analogies, the authors explain the areas that are often stumbling blocks for students. -- Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School

An excellent and enjoyable book. Worth having several copies around to loan to students. -- The American Mathematical Monthly

It's a remarkable little book by Kenn Amdahl, a poet and former math-phobe and Jim Loats, a math professor. Be advised that Algebra Unplugged does not take the approach that your high school math teacher and textbook took. It certainly answers some basic questions differently. Amdahl and Loats cover pretty much all the topics of first-year algebra and a great deal of earlier math that many kids don't really have a grip on. And they do it all in just 258 pages of remarkably readable and often hilarious text.

Both of my daughters read the book. One, a true math-phobe probably managed to pass algebra in ninth grade as much because of this little book as because of her teacher. My other daughter profited as well, though she's a math lover. Bruce M. Smith, managing editor. -- The Phi Delta Kappan, Feb 1998

Sometimes, despite endless explanations by teachers and dozens of homework assignments, students don't always grasp algebra. Some ask for help, others turn to books, hoping that one will explain things in language they can understand. This may be the book they are looking for. Explanations are short, humorous, and non technical. The authors convinced this reviewer that there is value in sneaking up on a potentially intimidating subject in this way, although I was not so sure at the beginning. -- Appraisal-Science Books for Young Adults

The book contains no exercises. Instead, it simply explains the concepts, vocabulary and strategies of algebra in understandable terms. -- Zentralblatt fuer Didaktic der Mathematik

The innovative author of There Are No Electrons asked math professor Jim Loats to teach him algebra. The result is this wonderful book which explains the basic concepts, vocabulary and strategies of algebra. No exercises, just clear writing, humor and information. -- The Genius Tribe

The volume's easy pace and the use of a game as a metaphor probably will appeal to the casual learner. The book's gentle, conversational, gamelike approach may be sufficient to reach the 'unreachable.' -- Science Books and Films

Product Description

Explains the concepts, strategies and vocabulary of algebra for people who like to understand concepts before they tackle problems. No exercises to complete. This is a book to read the weekend before you start your algebra course, or if you need to refresh your understanding before some test, or if you're struggling in class because you just don't understand what in the heck is going on. Easy reading, conversational style, some mild humor. Homeschoolers love this book. One of only 4 algebra books recommended by Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Math book Aug. 20 2002
Format:Paperback
Best of all the authors explain what it is you're doing when you do algebra. Why doesn't it make sense in the real world? Because it's a game. The conventions may seem arbitrary but the rules are not. The authors multiply things like tenors and pigs and divide them by all kinds of non-mathematical things in order to illustrate the logic of mathematical thinking. They also show that people are thinking algebraically even when they don't know they're doing so. This is a great book if you took algebra a long time ago and are not sure you remember the differences between the various mathematical disciplines. It's also good if you are the type who wants everything explained to you in math, rather than taking it on faith. It won't replace the standard textbook, but it will show you how to use it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, helpful, and very readable book Jan. 18 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My main problem with algebra is that no one ever told me what it really is, besides a bunch of equations. I also couldn't understand why factoring was so important.
I'm happy to report that this book tells you what algebra is for and why factoring is important, and much more, and does do in a way that even the math-challenged can easily grasp. It also reassures the reader by saying that it's okay to need to read and reread the book to get a firm grasp on concepts. It is possibly the only math book I have ever read that didn't make me feel like an idiot, make giant assumptions, or skimp on the explanations. Although I don't think I will ever be close friends with math, this book makes it possible to negotiate an armed truce and (I hope) to succeed in college algebra after 10 years of doing no math more strenuous than balancing my checkbook.
The only drawback to this book is the embarrassing number of typos, but they detract only slightly from the text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC BOOK ON ALGEBRA!!!!!! Sept. 10 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
THIS HAS GOT TO BE ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS ON ALGEBRA CONCEPTS THAT THERE IS ON THE MARKET. I AM OVER 60 YRS. OLD AND WANTED TO STUDY ALGEBRA. I ONLY WISH THERE EXISTED MATH TEACHERS WITH THE ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE CONCEPTS AS CAN THESE GENTELMEN. WOULD GIVE 10 STARS IF POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!
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Format:Paperback
Having made it through college in the 70's without taking a math course, I am now wanting to learn algebra. I took it in high school and I was great at memorizing formulas. I now want to know the basis of math and I started with Algebra.
Algebra Unplugged is the book that I have dreamed of. If I had this in high school I could have gone a long way. Every parent should buy it for their school age children and even read it themselves. It stresses concepts not formulas. It shows you why we do the things we do in algebra.
After having it a week, I was solving polynomial equations on a drink napkin while flying from back east.
Great book! Math teachers - have a bake sale and buy this for all of your students!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Algebra Unplugged April 7 2000
Format:Paperback
As a student who somehow stumbled through algebra, calc and differenial equations I wish that this book had existed when I started out. It revealed "secrets" of algebra to me that would have made my life much easier had I known about it. Have you ever wondered whether algebra is just some game? Read this book to find out the rules.
I couldn't put this book down and ended up finishing it in 3 days. It was a nice easy read with just the right mixture of humor and facts. I suggest that anyone who will take, is taking or has taken an algebra course should read this book. They give you great insight without pounding you on the head with a bunch of homework!
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