The Standard Deviants: Algebra Adventure
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Required study by high schools and colleges, algebra has been a notorious stumbling block for students. Without a solid foundation in algebra, however, you cannot expect to do well in more advanced math and science courses, such as calculus, physics and chemistry. Suitable for students of all ages, this DVD presents the three basic principles of algebra in a clear, fun and approachable manner: functions, algebraic properties and linear equations.
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We received the Algebra 2-pack on Friday, and I played it on Saturday evening to watch it on my own. It caught my sons attention from the other room because they make a parody of Indiana Jones Adventure to explain the power of X and algebraic concepts. He came into the family room on his own to lay on the couch and start watching this with me. My son has never seen an Indiana Jones mmovie, but it didn't matter. Due to his young age, he was captivated by the video, and laughing throughout. He told me that he never thought learning algebra could be so much fun. 8 PM came and it was his bedtime, he didn't want to stop watching the video.
I think for young quick learners, the video is entertaining, and they do make learning math more fun. That is a pretty tall order since math is usually so boring. As an engineer I liked math because I was so good at it, but still, I could never really say it was fun, or taught in a fun way. The humor in this video is immature, but it works for young ones. For an eighth grader it may be a bit ridiculous, but still, it does break up a subject that can be boring for most children. I still think there is value in the video for middle school kids and older. While they may not find the humor as funny, it teaches the concepts in a different way than a school teacher might. From what I have seen so far, the information is accurate and good.
If your child is advanced in math like ours, this is a no brainer - buy it as soon as he is ready for it, or do like me and buy when the price is so good! Even if I didn't get such a discounted price for this video 2-pack, I would still be very happy making the purchase for my family.
If the latter, then I highly recommend this DVD. If not, I don't. Who is this DVD aimed at? Apparently the people who believe that Algebra is inherently scary and intimidating and requires lots of spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. Unfortunately, with this set, you don't get sugar, you get saccharine, and not enough medicine to cure the illness!
This set looks like it was pieced together with bits of scotch tape, with 1 to 2 min. segments cut together with other 1 to 2 min. segments, none of them really gelling.
Unfortunately, at the end of this travesty, you are going to come out very ignorant about algebra, which is not going to be to your benefit at test time! Now THAT'S scary!
If you really want to learn algebra, Google "great courses" algebra Sellers, and get this set when it goes on sale, usually for $79. Professor Sellers is a master teacher, and when you are finished watching his set you will really understand algebra at a very deep level.
Much more expensive, but the cost of ignorance is a lot more expensive.