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 pre-algebra and algebra in a clear, fun and approachable manner: functions, algebraic properties and linear equations.
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Algebra is destined to be regarded as a subject that many, if not most, students regard as agonizing, and trying to make it entertaining seems hopeless. But the Standard Deviants, young performers who use skits, bad jokes, horrendous puns, and flashy graphics to make serious academic subjects memorable, succeed in making both pre-algebra and algebra easier to grasp than anyone would have reason to expect. The two DVDs in this package take a generally irreverent approach, but the actual academic material has been reviewed by an academic panel, so what's presented on the screen is solid math, even if the young actors and actresses are taking part in parodies of movies and TV shows while they are providing the lessons. The DVDs move progressively through the lessons, and each section, for instance on factors or algebraic properties, will be followed by a review and a quiz that the student can take or skip. The general idea behind Standard Deviants programs is that no joke is too bad to use if it makes the material being expressed memorable, and so the mnemonic devices, and the flashy graphics which accompany the lessons, should combine to help a student coping with the challenges of algebra to get a much better handle on the subject. --Robert J. McNamara
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