Monday, September 06, 2010

Algebra book review "Hot X: Algebra Exposed"

Now that everyone is finally back in school, I have a book review for you guys. For the record, we are starting the 5th week of school here. We've already received the first round of grades and have adjusted priorities as required ;)

Meghan is now a Sophomore in High School, but it seems like 10 years ago that she was taking 6th grade math and asking for help. And I couldn't remember how to do about 20% of it (one day out of five). Back then I found a couple of books by Danica McKellar targeted at Middle School girls that helped both of us figure it out. First book "Math doesn't Suck", second "Kiss My Math". Through middle school and part of Freshman year I was able to keep up with Meghan either by memory, or reviewing one of the books. Of course I made her read them too! Second half of High School Algebra 1, though had me doing a lot more research to remember how to do thing!

Throw into the mix Courtney as a 6th grader last year and we were doing a lot of math in our house!

Danica released another book over the summer "Hot X: Algebra Exposed". This would have been great last year. Between reasonable explanations of FOIL (come on everyone, say it with me! First, Outer, Inner Last!. Anyone else remember their freshman math teacher saying that over and over? Hi Ms. Elias!) Polynomials and graphing, this book is pretty good. While I didn't work through all the problems (that sounds like homework Mom!) I did review each of the sections and it is pretty good.

I even read several of the sections for teenage girls. Many of them are from successful women who struggled with math or school in general and how they succeeded! Probably the best one is Danica ripping on Twilight. From page 26: "And, oh yeah, if a guy says he might hurt you or that he's "dangerous" - seriously, run! ... You are way too smart to let you hormones make important decisions for you, little missy." I think this is great!

As I pointed out with the other two books, even if you have boys, get the books. You can read them and help them (come on, when was the last time you heard FOIL before this review?) or they can. Just tell him you promise not to tell anyone you have them ;-)

And I'm sorry that that FOIL song will be going through your head the rest of the day.

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