In this assignment I have chosen to look at chapter 2 of the McDougall Littell Algebra 1 textbook that is currently being used at Reading High School. The text is very well-organized and provides a solid framework for delivering instruction in an algebra 1 course. Concepts are presented in a straightforward manner and there many examples and exercises that can be used to build student understanding. The text is also available in an on-line format which is particularly helpful for direct instruction.
The text is structured in a way that allows differentiation of the material that is being covered. Tasks are provided for most of the levels of understanding. Higher order skills can be developed for many of the topics covered in the text. Students who need reinforcement of lower level thinking skills are also provided with ample opportunity to strengthen their understanding.
The biggest problem I have encountered in the past two years as an ESL teacher is the aversion to any textbook by my students. Although many students can function at a conversational level they struggle when asked to read anything that is written in English. Math textbooks are notoriously difficult for ESL students and as a rule they avoid them like the plague. This makes delivering instruction that is tied to a text an interesting proposition. Although I believe that the McDougal-Littell text is an excellent textbook it is still are resource that is largely ignored by the ESL students at Reading High.
Here is my screen cast for this assignment: