Project 2061
Algebra Textbooks
A Standards-Based Evaluation

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Background Information

TITLE Focus on Algebra
Authors: Randall I. Charles, Alba González Thompson, Trudy Hammal Garland, Stephen E. Moresh, Kathy A. Ross.
Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman
Edition: 1998
Subject Area: Algebra
Grade Level/Format: This textbook is appropriate for students in grades 7-12. It consists of 10 chapters.
Time Frame: This textbook is designed as a one-year comprehensive course or a one-year core course taking 170 days to complete, as a core block course taking 85 days to complete, or as a two-year standard course taking 340 days to complete.
Main Topics:
  • Data and Relationships
  • Patterns, Change, and Expressions
  • Introducing Functions
  • Solving Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Analyzing Linear Functions and Their Graphs
  • Systems of Equations and Inequalities
  • Lines and Distance
  • Polynomials
  • Quadratic Functions and Equations
  • Functions and the Structure of Algebra
Activities: In a typical chapter, students begin by reading probing questions related to the topic of the chapter. They also read a biographical note in which an individual describes how math has affected his or her career. Next the students read what they will learn in the different sections of the chapter and answer questions related to each section in an activity called Getting Ready. In each section (referred to as a Superlesson), students (1) read about a real-life situation that relates to the math topic; (2) read a Connect statement that gives insight into what knowledge students should have been exposed to in this area and what activities to expect in the present lesson along with supporting commentary and explanations; (3) complete the Explore section of the lesson, which includes demonstrations, discussion questions, examples, Try It questions (problems relating to concepts or skills), and reflect questions (questions that allow students the opportunity to explain the concept or skill presently being introduced); (4) apply the new concepts/skills in exercise problems; and (5) complete self-assessment problems. At the end of each chapter, students review concepts with applications and connections, and complete a self-evaluation and a test including a performance task.
Assessment: Assessments include traditional and alternative assessment. Traditional assessments include tests (chapter tests, mid-year and end-of-year tests, and standardized formats), practice exercises, quizzes, chapter assessments, AWSMTest software, and challenging questions in Try It sections. Alternative assessments include embedded, performance, portfolio, and self-assessment.
Cost: Student edition: $47.47
Teacher's edition: $67.47
CREDIBILITY Following are references for reports on Focus on Algebra. Please check the web site for further information about additional evaluations and reviews.
NCTM Standards Analysis: American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2000). Algebra textbooks: A standards-based evaluation. Washington, D.C.: Author.
WEB SITE: Not available


Copyright © 2002 American Association for the Advancement of Science