- Series: Holt McDougal Larson Algebra 2
- Hardcover: 1106 pages
- Publisher: McDougal Littell; 1 edition (2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618595414
- ISBN-13: 978-0618595419
- Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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McDougal Littell Algebra 2 (Holt McDougal Larson Algebra 2) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Just like Larson's Algebra 1 book, I admire Algebra 2 for its peerless instructional design. Just like Algebra 1, it is obvious that the designers of Algebra 2 employed a systems approach to (1) meticulously identify all of the knowledge and skills required in an Algebra 2 course; (2) translate these into learning objectives for the course; (3) systematically identify course prerequisites (the starting point for the course); (4) specify final course outcome (the end point for the course); (5) sequence and repeat training to optimize learning and retention; and (6) design evaluation measures to ensure that each student has met the course objectives.
Algebra 2 is written at a higher cognitive level than Algebra 1. In addition to systematically developing higher math skills, Algebra 2 develops the student's abilities to use graphs and calculators. This book does an excellent job of developing student skills and knowledge for every identified objective.
For what it covers, this book is excellent. I personally feel that the course is too easy. However, I bow to the wisdom of instructional designers who have taught this material to large, diverse audiences and have consulted with active math teachers and school administrators. Having said that, I would prefer a more challenging treatment of the subject matter (perhaps include "honors" problems and rigorous mathematical proofs).
Math experts often find it difficult (or impossible) to teach math to beginners, because they have forgotten all the little steps required to gain mastery of the subject matter. This textbook brilliantly breaks the subject matter down into to small "chunks" (small enough to grasp in a few minutes at a time) then optimally sequences and integrates those "chunks" for effective learning. All along the way, student mastery of prerequisite learning is reviewed, retested, and systematically integrated with new learning.
I like the way the textbook includes calculator operations, without abandoning the need to perform calculations by hand or in the head. The book is very effective in getting students to think about problems visually, including the creation and use of graphs and problem diagrams. I like how it gets students used to the idea of creating graphs similar to those one can produce in a spreadsheet program. There is an excellent Glossary in the back of the book.
The examples and problems in the book are very good. Examples and problems systematically build from simple, short problems that ensure basic skills have been acquired to more difficult problems that integrate prior learning and apply multiple skills. The application problems are pretty good - - - many of them do a good job of steering the math from the abstract to the concrete.
The textbook is one of the very best I have ever seen at presenting information in a way that maximizes attention, memory, and understanding (the presentation reminds me of InfoMapping®). Information is presented in small, organized batches - - - small enough that the average student can keep focused on the specific topic under discussion (most folks can only keep five to seven objects in mind at any one time). Such a batch is clearly delimited (grouped under a colored header or inside of an example box or with a right-margin annotation), and seldom splits across a page.
The book includes (in the back) answers to only selected problems. I wish this book provided the answers to all of the problems, or (as is done customarily) all of the odd numbered problems.