Blog #7 – WRITING INSTRUCTIONAL MATHEMATICS WORKBOOKS

In 1983 I wrote my first instructional mathematics workbook. It was called, “Number Sense: A Starter’s Kit.” It was written after numerous requests from teachers and parents. The two hundred-page workbook was written in twelve days. As the title implies, the workbook was intended to help teachers, students and parents that had no knowledge of Number Sense. After it was written, my teaching and coaching career, plus a growing family gave me no time to write other workbooks. Although I was having a successful career in teaching and coaching, I felt an obligation to share my knowledge with others outside of the school that I was teaching. Thus, I retired from teaching at McAllen High School in 2005.

Since my retirement in 2005 I have written more than forty workbooks. My plan is to write at least three new workbooks per year. I am even considering using the materials that I am posting in my blogs as a workbook that teachers and parents can use to motivate and prepare their students and children in mathematics. The workbooks that I currently have available on my website can be divided into three categories (Number Sense, Calculator Applications, and Mathematics). Although they can be used to prepare students for competitive mathematics, their content could be used for supplementing the teaching of mathematics. The workbooks could also be used by parents to enhance the mathematics knowledge that their children learn. The workbooks could also unveil the “Magic of Mathematics” to anyone wanting to master the concepts of mathematics. All problems appearing in my workbooks are explained in a step-by-step format. In fact, the workbooks can be thought of as being transcripts for how I teach Number Sense, Calculator Applications, and Mathematics. Concepts are developed from basic to more complex. The Number Sense workbook focuses on explaining shortcuts for solving mathematics problems. The Calculator Applications workbooks teach the efficient use of scientific calculators. Although teachers know how to use a calculator, few actually know how to teach students how to use it efficiently. The Mathematics workbooks discuss mathematics from elementary to calculus. Teachers that master the content of my workbooks will be better teachers. Students that master their content will be better prepared for university mathematics and their careers in the future.

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