Scott Foresman UCSMP Algebra Reviews

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Maria Yagley

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, September 24, 2002
  • Grades Used: 7+
  • Dates used: 2001-2002 School Year
UCSMP ALGEBRA is an EXCELLENT Algebra program...

Other Algebra programs and Saxon (in particular) focus almost entirely on memorizing the process of getting to the right answer. They spend very little time explaining the mathematical theory, relating it to real world situations or expressing the concept graphically. After having seen these other Algebra programs I can see why so many college students hit the proverbial brick wall in Calculus because of their poor understanding of Algebraic concepts.

UCSMP focuses its teaching on the mathematical concepts of Algebra while it teaches the process of solving the equations. Yes, it is a more challenging math program and students who are still in a very concrete stage of learning, (those who have good rote learning skills yet are not very conceptual), maybe more likely to find it confusing. But for students, who are ready, this program will do a wonderful job preparing them for higher math. The concepts are very clearly explained with lots and lots of graphs and examples. It is set up in a very mathematically logical and organized manner. With each chapter slowly gaining in complexity and difficulty. When my son was done with this program he not only knew how to manipulate algebraic equations to get the right answers, he also knew when to apply the specific concepts in real life situations. In addition he could look at an equation and easily identify what it would likely look like graphed.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, March 3, 2002
  • Grades Used: 6-8
  • Dates used: Fall 2001
I used this for two months and then decided that we were going to drop it. I'd like to echo the previous poster's comments about the illogical sequencing of the material, etc. Also, this curriculum is replete with political correctness... All kinds of liberal agenda issues can be found in every chapter, in word problems, in additional projects... [13 words removed by ed.] No BC or AD anywhere of course. Lots of multiculturalism, feminism, several pictures of the Clintons, tons of irrelevant snippets on the margins, etc.

I've tried to sell these books on ebay twice and had not a single bidder, I don't blame them. I'll have to put them in the garbage can!

Patrick E McBurnette

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, February 26, 2002
  • Grades Used: 8
  • Dates used: 2000-2002
The Chicago math project textbook sucks. My daughter who is very bright has learned to hate math, there is no logic to the sequence of lessons, nor is there any consistently increasing difficulty, nor is there any relevance in the lessons. I have to spend hours every week re-teaching what they really meant. Sad.

Blair Spearman

  • Reviewed on Monday, July 30, 2001
  • Grades Used: 7-9
  • Dates used: Aug. 2000-June 2001
We highly recommend this textbook, because my son used this book virtually by himself. There was plenty of review without being tedious as we found Saxon to be. It is designed for the student to read and use by himself without lectures. Only when there is difficulty is the student to go to another student or to the teacher. The answer key was excellent in showing how the problem was to be done so that I could tell if my son were doing it correctly even if he got the correct answer. I liked this text much better than Saxon, which my son used for several years after using Miquon and Math-U-See. (I liked Math-U-See for lower grades, but I felt that a student needs to be able to read a math textbook by high school.) Math vocabulary is taught as well as thinking skills. Saxon taught algorithms which is good, but one needs to be able to expand their use by doing problems that go beyond the algorithms, which I felt Saxon did not do.

My son also enjoyed the book very much because it was challenging, and he didn't have to wait on me to work with him. The sidebars gave interesting information that caught his attention. Those plus the color format could be distracting for some, but for my son it enhanced his attention to the material.

The only real complaint I have is the politically correct stance of some information and questions, but this was a minor problem.