## Monday, December 5, 2011

### Open Precalculus Textbook

I am almost through my first semester using the following open source Precalculus textbook:

It covered all of the topics that I needed without supplementation and the students liked its readability... and of course the cost. I especially liked the continuing coverage of inequalities and heavy use of sign charts throughout. The pdf is well produced and easy to navigate using the linked TOC. Buying a printed copy was easy and the quality was good -- the Trigonometry portion is printed separately.

I will definitely use it again and I recommend it to anyone teaching this course.

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## Saturday, December 3, 2011

### Sample Algebra Test Questions

Sample exam questions for Elementary Algebra chapters 1 - 7. These are pdf files stored in google docs.

Ch. 1 - Real Numbers and Their Operations
Ch. 2 - Linear Equations and Inequalities
Ch. 3 - Graphing Lines
Ch. 4 - Solving Linear Systems
Ch. 5 - Polynomials and Their Operations
Ch. 6 - Factoring and Solving by Factoring
Ch. 7 - Rational Expressions and Equations

You can use these to study for the final exam.

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## Friday, December 2, 2011

### Solving Rational Equations in Beginning Algebra

A thorough explanation for solving rational equations can be read for free in the Elementary Algebra textbook that is available on the Flat World Knowledge website:

Also, you can click on the following rational equation to watch a video solution.

The basic steps for solving these equations are as follows:

Step 1: Factor all denominators and determine the LCD.
Step 2: Identify the restrictions.
Step 3: Multiply both sides of the equation by the LCD. Distribute carefully and then simplify.
Step 4: Solve the resulting equation.
Step 5: Check for extraneous solutions.

The complete solution is presented below:

Basically, we multiply both sides of the equation by the LCD as a means to clear the fractions.  This introduces the possibility for extraneous solutions and so we must check our answers.  Look for more Chapter 7 videos here.

## Thursday, December 1, 2011

### Elementary Algebra (Ch. 9) Solving Quadratic Equations and Graphing Parabolas

Elementary Algebra is an open textbook that is available to read for free on the flatworld knowledge website. Chapter 9 gives an introduction to solving general quadratic equations and graphing quadratic functions. In addition, complex numbers and complex solutions are covered.

9.1 Extracting Square Roots
9.2 Completing the Square
9.4 Guidelines for Solving Quadratic Equations and Applications
9.5 Graphing Parabolas
9.6 Introduction to Complex Numbers and Complex Solutions

You will find a complete review exercise section and a practice test.

9.7 Review Exercises and Sample Exam

Feel free to copy and paste the links found here and post them in your LMS. Links to all of the chapters can be found by clicking the Elementary Algebra course button at the top of this page.

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## Tuesday, November 29, 2011

### Tuition and Fees

 Image by Inniebear via Flickr
In my area (Central California) the tuition and fees associated with full time education are as follows:

1. Community College - $36 per unit...$864 per year.
2. State College - $6,263 per year. 3. State University -$13,070 per year.
4. Private University - \$25,236 per year.

Of course there are many more considerations involved when choosing. My suggestion is to begin at a local community college, choose a major that fits your interests (do not be afraid to change it), and become as involved as possible.  Also, go full time and live at home as long as you can while you do it. See a counselor.

Most of all... take your time and enjoy your college years!

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## Monday, November 28, 2011

### Elementary Algebra (Ch. 8) Radical Expressions and Equations

Elementary Algebra is an open textbook that is available to read for free on the flatworld knowledge website. Chapter 8 gives an introduction to radical expressions and equations.

8.2 Simplifying Radical Expressions
8.4 Multiplying and Dividing Radical Expressions
8.5 Rational Exponents
8.6 Solving Radical Equations

You will find a complete review exercise section and a practice test.

8.7 Review Exercises and Sample Exam

Feel free to copy and paste the links found here and post them in your LMS. Links to all of the chapters can be found by clicking the Elementary Algebra course button at the top of this page.

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## Friday, November 25, 2011

### Elementary Algebra (Ch. 7) Rational Expressions and Equations

Elementary Algebra is an open textbook that is available to read for free on the flatworld knowledge website. Chapter 7 gives an introduction to rational expressions (algebraic fractions) and rational equations.  In addition to word problems involving uniform motion there is a complete treatment of direct and inverse variation.

7.1 Simplifying Rational Expressions
7.2 Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions
7.3 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions
7.4 Complex Fractions
7.5 Solving Rational Equations
7.6 Applications of Rational Equations
7.7 Variation

You will find a complete review exercise section and a practice test.

7.8 Review Exercises and Sample Exam

Feel free to copy and paste the links found here and post them in your LMS. Links to all of the chapters can be found by clicking the Elementary Algebra course button at the top of this page.

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## Tuesday, November 22, 2011

### Elementary Algebra (Ch. 6) Factoring and Solving by Factoring

Elementary Algebra is an open textbook that is available to read for free on the flatworld knowledge website. Chapter 6 is an introduction to factoring and solving by factoring. In section 6.5 you will find general guidelines for factoring and steps for using factoring to solve certain quadratic equations.

You will find a complete review exercise section and a practice test.

6.8 Review Exercises and Sample Exam

Feel free to copy and paste the links found here and post them in your LMS. Links to all of the chapters can be found by clicking the Elementary Algebra course button at the top of this page.

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## Sunday, November 20, 2011

### Visually Searchable Algebra Videos

Students: A visually searchable database of elementary algebra problems. Click on a problem you are interested in and you will be redirected to a video solution on YouTube.

These Elementary Algebra videos accompany and complement the open textbook found on the flat world knowledge website... which is FREE to read online: [ www.flatWorldKnowledge.com ]

Instructors: Feel free to copy-and-paste these links into your LMS -- it works quite well in a content item within blackboard.

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## Saturday, November 19, 2011

### Elementary Algebra (Ch. 5) Polynomials and Their Operations

Elementary Algebra is an open textbook that is available to read for free on the flatworld knowledge website. Chapter 5 is an introduction polynomials and their operations. In this chapter we cover the rules of exponents, the arithmetic operations, and scientific notation.

5.1 Rules of Exponents (Integer Exponents)
5.2 Introduction to Polynomials and Evaluating
5.3 Adding and Subtracting Polynomials
5.4 Multiplying Polynomials and Special Products
5.5 Dividing Polynomials
5.6 Negative Exponents and Scientific Notation

You will find a complete review exercise section and a practice test.

5.7 Review Exercises and Sample Exam

Feel free to copy and paste the links found here and post them in your LMS. Links to all of the chapters can be found by clicking the Elementary Algebra course button at the top of this page.

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### Video Examples of Solving Quadratic Equations and Graphing Parabolas

All of the "Try This!" problems in the open textbook Elementary Algebra have been solved and are available for free on YouTube. Click on the problems below to view the videos found in chapter 9.

Solving Quadratic Equations and Graphing Parabolas

For further updates please feel free to circle the Elementary Algebra Google+ page for this book.
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### Video Examples of Radical Expressions and Equations

All of the "Try This!" problems in the open textbook Elementary Algebra have been solved and are available for free on YouTube. Click on the problems below to view the videos found in chapter 8.

Radical Expressions and Equations

For further updates please feel free to circle the Elementary Algebra Google+ page for this book.
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## Friday, November 18, 2011

### Video Examples of Solving Linear Systems

All of the "Try This!" problems in the open textbook Elementary Algebra have been solved and are available for free on YouTube. Click on the problems below to view the videos found in chapter 4.

Solving Linear Systems

For further updates please feel free to circle the Elementary Algebra Google+ page for this book.
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