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Elementary Algebra Hardcover – January 1, 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0716710479 ISBN-10: 0716710471 Edition: 0th

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Elementary Algebra
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 876 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716710471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716710479
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 36 customer reviews
Test scores are way up and math is fun again.
Rebecca G. Watson
Harold R. Jacob's text is a lively and clearly written introduction to elementary algebra.
N. F. Taussig
It is easy to follow and gives great examples.
kelly d verbal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

206 of 207 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a kinder, gentler approach to first year algebra. Harold Jacobs actually writes math texts that are fun to read.
The sequence of this book is a little different than most algebra books. Jacobs starts off with one of those "Think of a number" puzzles, and shows with diagrams how it works, and then translates it into algebraic notation. This is the point of algebra: How do you say with numbers what you can diagram? This leads quite naturally into Cartesian coordinates and a discussion of some basic functions. Exponents, polynomials, factoring and quadratic equations follows a full treatment of linear equations and systems.
I use this book with homeschooled students, because they can actually take it home and study it. The homework problems come in four sets. Set I is review problems. Set II applies to the lesson and has all the answers in the back of the book. Set III is similar to Set II problems, but does not have the answers in the book. Set IV is some logic puzzles and brain teasers for students who love math. Answers to sets other than Set II are in the teacher's guide to Elementary Algebra, along with some wonderful extra material and teaching suggestions. Amazon, why don't you carry the transparencies for this text?
I highly recommend both this and Harold Jacob's text on Geometry, a good, old-fashioned approach to Euclidean geometry and proofs. Enjoy! Really.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca G. Watson on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I began using this book to teach my own children after using Saxon Algebra I and II. I was amazed to discover that Jacobs covers ALL the algrbra from both Saxon Algrbra books in only one book and in much more simple language. (No Geometry is covered in Jacobs Algebra-- but Jacobs Geometry covers it more completely that Saxon.) Each lesson starts with a comic strip or interesting picture and builds the lesson on the comics. After one year with Jacobs my children understand how to find the formulas they need and why problems are solved the way the are. Problems that were complex with Saxon are explained simply and visually with Jacobs. Test scores are way up and math is fun again.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The question last summer was, "What next, for a younger child who's mastered all pre-algebra mathematics?" Was it too soon for algebra? And could a parent who hadn't seen algebra in the last twenty years help the child cope? We ordered Harold R. Jacobs' text, encouraged by reviews mentioning self-study, and began work in the fall, prepared to stop any time if the child found it difficult or stressful. Quite the contrary, it was mentally very stimulating -- the lessons took us carefully from familiar arithmetic concepts to equivalent algebraic content, and presented each new subject one very manageable bit at a time. It was exciting to watch skills developing, and to see the child's enjoyment and growing sense of competence. The little cartoons and often-intriguing Set IV exercises added fun and interest throughout, and made it easier to keep going, especially during those mid-school-year doldrums. This book was perfectly suited to our schedule, which allowed only three lessons per week, after school -- we needed only about half an hour per lesson at first, then near the end, about an hour and a half. We're looking forward to Jacobs' Geometry book next year!
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Baldwin on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
At the time I started homeschooling my sixth grader last year, I was completely math-phobic. I had forgotten every bit of algebra I ever learned (and any math I did learn in high school, more than 20 years ago, was just barely learned at that). My now seventh grade son and I are learning algebra together with Harold Jacobs's Elementary Algebra book.

This is really an exceptional self-study guide. We will read a chapter, then independently try to solve the problem sets given. We then compare our answers. If our answers don't agree, I will either explain to him how I solved a problem that he got stuck on, or vice versa.

The delightful thing about this book is that I am learning to enjoy a subject I always thought I detested. Harold Jacobs makes everything clear, comprehensible, meaningful and often humorous. I am learning that I am not left-brain impaired, as I've thought I was ever since second grade, and actually look forward to my algebra time with my son! My son, too, has overcome his own math phobia, and become a math lover. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I homeschool my kids & have taught them through geometry so far, including Algebra I for two of them, using the Saxon series, which we've liked for the most part, but haven't liked as much for the later grades than for the earlier (say through about 7-6). I've started with the third child using Jacobs instead, since he seems to present many topics in a more understandable way, at least a more visual way. He also structures the problem set in each lesson exclusively to deal with the topics of that lesson, rather than using a spiral review method or other method that presents problems from lots of previous lessons. This makes for more concentrated treatment of the lesson at hand, which the third child likes more. Jacobs's method of presenting is, as I said, more visual, with helpful diagrams and graphs that illustrate the point of a lesson. My favorite is his use of a two-dimensional matrix to illustrate multiplication, and later division, of polynomials. The step by step addition of information to the matrix illustrates the steps and the concepts of polynomial multiplication and division quite well. I'm looking forward to using this book with this child and having it available for the others for reference on topics on which they need refreshers.
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