Why Head First Algebra?

By Tracey Pilone
February 9, 2009 | Comments: 3

Let's just be honest here - Head First Algebra is a whole new direction - it's a long way from Java and Software Development, right? The truth is, Algebra is one of those subjects that just confuses people. You may be taking it for the first time in school, learning it on your own, or trying to help your own kid - it's hard for everyone.

There are three big reasons that Algebra needs to be taken on Head First:


  1. Algebra is important.
  2. It may not seem that way when the most boring teacher in the world is teaching it - but Algebra is everywhere. And knowing it helps you in the real world every day - buying cars, figuring out sale prices on clothes, and making any kind of financial decision.

  3. Algebra is hard.
  4. Let's face it - this stuff is confusing. When did a letter work like a number, anyway? It all seems pretty abstract and if you can't get grounded, it's useless.

  5. Algebra is the tipping point!
  6. When you start working with Algebra, you move into a whole new arena of math. It turns out that all of the adding, multiplying, and fractions you did before is just what you need to really get going. Algebra is where math goes from crunching numbers to being about logic, problem solving, and thinking. Algebra problems also become significantly more complex which means that they model the REAL WORLD!

If you can't get past Algebra, you are cut off from all of higher math: Geometry, Calculus, Algebra 2, Trigonometry and beyond.

What does that get you?
You have no interest in Geometry you say? What about putting carpet on the floor in your house or painting a wall? To figure out how much carpet or paint to buy you need to figure out area.

Who cares about Statistics? Every medicine you take tells you the statistics on the odds of your arm falling off if you take it. After Stats, you'll know that if there's 1 in 2 chance of that you should change medicine.

Calculus? That's pretty high level, maybe you won't use it. Unless you'd like a career in any of the following areas:

salary_chart.jpg


But why does that mean it should be a Head First book? There are lots of Algebra books out there.

That's true. But did you ever notice that with most textbooks you skip the part that explains the concept and just do the exercises? The teacher explains the ideas and the book is just for practice, right?

Not anymore - Algebra is Head First.


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3 Comments

You need higher match in Sociology, too. Nobody graduates with a sociology degree without at least one course in stats.

Ostensibly, you need Algebra in order to get a Computer Science degree. I hear that might interest folks around these here parts. ;-)

See, the thing is most people I know had no issue whatsoever with algebra. Now trig on the other hand was a killer. Is there a head first trig book in the works? I'd definitely buy it.

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