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This book has been designed to present the material, reinforce major concepts, and test student understanding using a variety of instructional methods and features. The authors had seven objectives in writing this text: 1.) To teach students the language of algebra--how to read, write, speak, and think mathematically (Graphics, examples, and Study Sets throughout text emphasize key phrase and translation); 2.) To use a group of fundamental algebraic concepts as the foundation of the text (introduce equations, variables, problem solving, functions, and graphing in Chapter 1) and constantly reinforce those major concepts of algebra throughout the text (Key Concept feature); 3.) To aid student comprehension and confidence by introducing concepts in one context and revisiting throughout the book in other contexts (coverage of problem solving is one good example); 4.) To gain and keep students' attention through creative applications (See any Applications section in Study Sets), an interactive approach to instruction (Self Checks), and a visually appealing design; 5.) To have top-notch problem sets (purposefully named Study Sets, not Problem or Exercise Sets) that break learning into smaller pieces so that students do not become overwhelmed; 6.) To constantly show how the material being studied can be used to solve real-world problems; 7.) To blend traditional and reform instructional approaches--from vocabulary, practice, and well-defined pedagogy to place an emphasis on problem solving, reasoning, communicating, and technology (Study Sets).
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