This input regarding math curriculum is to alert those of you who may not know about them to some “classic” texts that anyone considering changes in their secondary math texts should consider. Math is not my field, but our math teachers have used both Mathematics: A Human Endeavor (third edition) and Geometry (2nd edition) for years at our school. The former opens students’ eyes to the world of mathematical thinking. The second does an excellent job of introducing geometrical thinking while using real-world connections and applications in a way that engages even the less “mathematical” students. You’ll need to do your own research on reading reviews and availability of these texts. Older editions are available, along with student workbooks, test books, teacher guides, answer keys, and some instructional DVD’s.
Key to these books is their author: Harold Jacobs. His successful math teaching experience has given him extraordinary ability to write math texts that do justice to the subject while engaging with the way students learn. No curriculum is perfect–anyone who is an expert in a field will disagree with some approach that another uses in teaching a subject–but Jacob’s texts have earned high acclaim. He also has an Algebra I text that we have not used; I assume its style is similar to the other two and that it would be good.
For those interested, here are a few links to get you started.
See the “Harold Jacobs” page on Amazon:
Review of 3rd edition Geometry:
Introduction to Geometry on publisher’s page (apparently some of these texts are now marketed by Master Books under New Leaf.)
Link to Jacobs’ texts and ancillary material on Masterbooks site:
An engaging clip by a math teacher who shares some ideas about how his teaching career was influenced by Jacob’s Mathematics text.
If anyone out there has experience teaching with Jacobs’ texts, it would be good to hear from you.