## Good Explanation Boxes for Different Learning Styles

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009Have you ever looked at the explanation box in your math book and just felt more confused than you did before?

*Words:* “For any real numbers a and b, if a^2=b, then a is a square root of b.”

Huh? I can tease the definition apart if I slow my reading speed down to about one mile per hour. But usually things make sense to me a lot faster if I see an example.

*Example:* “Since 5^2 =25, 5 is a square root of 25.”

Phew… so much better!

What I like about Glencoe Mathematics Algebra 2 book is that it includes both kinds of explanations in the explanation box—Words, Example, and when appropriate, Symbols and/or a Model. I love how this maximizes the chances that students can see the kind of explanation that makes sense to their own brain!

For example, I was working with a student from a very progressive high school, but her Algebra 2 book only had verbal explanations, with no symbols or examples. We pulled out the Glencoe book and found the “explanation box” for the concept we were discussing, and it made SO much more sense to her than just the words did.

This book doesn’t go as far as to include examples for tactile or kinesthetic learners (like Math U See does) but it’s definitely a step in the right direction!

Disclaimer: The sequencing in this book has been confusing to many students, so it’s not perfect.

Related Posts: The Best Algebra Book In the World?

I am SO excited about Math U See!

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[…] first few weeks of school. Also, after the school year began, when appropriate, we’d consult an alternative textbook for explanations better suited to her learning […]