Art of Problem Solving Prealgebra Set

Art of Problem Solving Prealgebra Set


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Item #: AOPPRE
Grades: 6-10

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This is an outstanding math program for the math-gifted student. It is rigorous and oriented to the independent problem-solver. The texts are based on the premise that students learn math best by solving problems - lots of problems - and preferably difficult problems that they don't already know how to solve. Most sections, therefore, begin by presenting problems and letting students intuit solutions BEFORE explaining ways to solve them. Even if they find ways to answer the problems, they should read the rest of the section to see if their answer is correct and if theirs is the best or most efficient way to solve that type of problem. Textual instruction, then, is given in the context of these problems, explaining how to best approach and solve them.

Throughout the text there are also special, blue-shaded boxes highlighting key concepts, important things to retain (like formulas), warnings for potential problem-solving pitfalls, side notes, and bogus solutions (these demonstrate misapplications). There are exercises at the end of most sections to see if the student can apply what's been learned. Review problems at the end of each chapter test understanding for that chapter. If a student has trouble with these, he should go back and re-read the chapter. Each chapter ends with a set of Challenge Problems that go beyond the learned material. Successful completion of these sets demonstrates a high degree of mastery.

A unique feature in this series is the hints section at the back of the book. These are intended to give a little help to selected problems, usually the very difficult ones (marked with stars). In this way, students can get a little push in the right direction, but still have to figure out the solution for themselves. The solution manuals do contain complete solutions and explanations to all the exercises, review problems and challenge problems. It is best for students not to access these until they have made several attempts to solve the problems first. I particularly like one of the motivating boxes in the text that coaches, "If at first you don't know how to solve a problem, don't just stare at it. Experiment!". That pretty much sums up the philosophy of the course, encouraging children to take chances, become aggressive problem solvers, and attack problems with confidence. I wonder how far some children would go if they were encouraged this way instead of being spoon fed?

Though this course is used in classroom settings, the texts are student-directed, making them perfect for the independent learner or homeschooler. Students should start the introductory sequence with the Prealgebra book. Afterwards, begin the Introduction to Algebra. Students will be prepared for both the Introduction to Counting and Probability and Introduction to Number Theory courses after completing the first 11 chapters of Algebra. It won't matter whether they do these along with Algebra, put aside Algebra and complete the other two or finish Algebra first and then do them. All of them should be completed prior to the Introduction to Geometry book. If you are coming into this course from another curriculum, you will probably want to take a placement test to decide where to enter this program. Even if your student has finished Algebra 2 elsewhere, you will want to make sure that all of the material from this series has been covered before continuing on to the Intermediate series.

Taken together, these constitute a complete curriculum for outstanding math students in grades 6-10 and one that prepares them for competitions such as MATHCOUNTS and the American Mathematics Competitions. The material is challenging and in-depth; this is not a course for the mathematically faint of heart. If your child loves math, is genuinely math-gifted, or is interested in participating in math competitions, you definitely need to give this one serious consideration.

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Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
Quality and good reviews
PARTHA M on Jun 13, 2021
I'm excited to try this with my "mathy" child after hearing good reviews of AoPS overall, and trying half a year of their elem. program (Beast Academy, level 5A & 5D)
Heather H on Mar 15, 2021
Quality and good reviews
PARTHA M on Jun 13, 2021
want to challenge my kid
suvarna s on Apr 9, 2021
I'm excited to try this with my "mathy" child after hearing good reviews of AoPS overall, and trying half a year of their elem. program (Beast Academy, level 5A & 5D)
Heather H on Mar 15, 2021
Jason C on Sep 12, 2020
My son completed the Beast Academy curriculum, and this is the next level up. Beast Academy has provided a good foundation so we are confident in moving up the the next level for his 7th grade year. We had to start 2 grade levels lower when we embarked on our Beast Academy journey, but it was the right decision as his number-sense is solid.
Anna-Maria P on Aug 17, 2020
friends recommended
Yeechung K on Aug 13, 2020
We wanted a more rigorous math curriculum this year. Giving AoPS a try.
Leanne H on Jul 30, 2020
Have been teaching Singapore Math and this curriculum was mentioned by a fellow homeschooling mother and then recommended by one of your curriculum consultants
User on Jul 17, 2020
My son has been bored with math so I am hoping this program moves at a better pace and is more interesting to him.
Annie K on Jun 17, 2020
Teacher recommended it
Jason L on Jun 9, 2020
I am trying a new math program.
Nichole W on May 4, 2020
6th grade summer boost
Christopher S N on May 3, 2020
My son just completed Singapore Primary Mathematics 6B and this has been recommended as the next step. We're looking forward to it!
Amanda L on Feb 24, 2020
Recommended by other homeschool moms for a child gifted in math. My son will be doing this in 5th grade.
User on Aug 14, 2019
leaving saxon math, looking for a good pre algebra system. 11 yr/old scored well on the pretest for this course. Singapore math seems highly regarded. This will be our first time using.
jeremy b on Aug 5, 2019
friend recommendation
Eric R on Jul 23, 2019
I spoke to a representative at a homeschool convention and she walked me through my options....and we settled on this curriculum because it was concept, based on number sense but presented in a traditional track instead of an integrated track.
Courtney B on Jul 23, 2019
My son will be taking the online class AOPS. Singapore has hopefully prepared him well. On to Art of Problem-Solving!!
Julie Y on Jul 11, 2019
Availability of word problems for practice and assessment; breadth of coverage.
Theresa M on Jul 8, 2019
based off conversations with the curriculum specialists
Ashley S on May 29, 2019
My kid love math.
kabita n on Jan 14, 2019
For homeschooling a gifted math student
Jean Y on Jan 10, 2019
Encouraged by friends to try this math program, as it would be more challenging than Saxon Math.
LILYANA R on Aug 27, 2018
Recommended by teacher for summer work
Maria F on May 25, 2018
AOPS has a reputation for excellence and rigor in math education. Since my child has thrived on Beast Academy materials, I anticipate similar success going forward with AOPS.
Shereen V on Apr 29, 2018
need to help my child with pre Algebra
Delia S on Feb 23, 2018
Well Trained Mind Book
Isabelle L on Jan 29, 2018
recommended by your consultant for users of Primary Mathematics
April J on Dec 6, 2017
for early learning
Manish u on Nov 7, 2017
Laura S on Sep 12, 2017
Have done some research and found this is the only one which will explain concepts.
bonnie y on Jul 3, 2017
My son has finished Singapore Primary Mathematics and we need to move onto pre-algebra, so I'm hoping this will be a good fit.
Cory B on May 6, 2017
Best to learn all the Pre Algebra concepts
SUJATHA S on Apr 26, 2017
My son just finished this course for his 7th grade math. At the end of each section in this book, he watched the correlating videos on the Art of Problem Solving website. The videos are only a fun supplement; full course work is in this book. Humorous, challenging, and makes so much sense for kids who enjoy math and are up for the challenge! Prior to using the Art of Problem solving curriculum, my son would have said he liked math. Now, he would say he LOVES math and he LOVES his math books!
Tammy L on Apr 14, 2017
main math curriculum
Chenwen H on Mar 10, 2017
I have a 6th grader that is burning through pre-algebra. I need a program that goes deeper and harder to slow him down and to fill his need to be challenged.
Jude on Feb 24, 2017
To preview to see if it will be a good fit for my child.
Elizabeth S on Jan 31, 2017
teacher recommended
Yibin Y on Sep 4, 2016
The entire series is a great approach to teaching mathematics!
mary g on Aug 31, 2016
Good book for math
Yuechun C. on Aug 19, 2016
Great challenge to a gifted math student. Make sure you buy the solution manual! I had some problems answering some of the questions with advanced college math under my belt.
Eileen K on Aug 19, 2016
I need a rigorous math program.
Dianna H on May 24, 2016
Looking for a math program that makes my child think harder and truly understand what she's doing. Impressed with what I've read about this program and want to see it in person.
Holly S on Apr 6, 2016
I like the way students are allowed to learn by trying first and are then walked through the solutions step-by-step. I also like the emphasis on teaching why the math works instead of limiting instruction just to how to do it.
Justin N on Mar 4, 2016
I bought this to challenge my child who is very good at math.
Shannon O on Feb 25, 2016
I love the instructor and his free videos. The math is more difficult and requires more thinking, but there are less problems to work through. The student learns by figuring out and application of math rules instead of mindless repetition. They learn how to apply the rules to harder problems and break them down using the rules so the hard problems are doable and not overwhelming.
Summer A on Jan 11, 2016
In-depth math curriculum, well suited to the learner who wants to know more than the basic methods of calculation.
Arwen L on Jan 8, 2016
We have a child that is very gifted in mathematics. This seems to be the only curriculum that will be able to engage her and keep her progressing at her speed.
Jessica S on Oct 17, 2015
Recommended by a friend.
Apis T on Oct 15, 2015
I did extensive research about a prealgebra program. Based on the reviews, and the sample material, I think this might be the best fit for my son.
Patricia on Oct 14, 2015
want to challenge my kid
suvarna s on Apr 9, 2021
Jason C on Sep 12, 2020
My 11 yo son finished Singapore primary math this past year. I'm looking for a prealgebra course to bridge the gap between Singapore math and a typical high school algebra I course. Is this that course? We loved Singapore! Thanks!
A shopper on Jul 23, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Actually, this is probably an excellent choice. I often suggest Art of Problem Solving courses for students completing Primary Math - especially for those who have thrived with it. If you are finishing Primary Math level 6B, your son might be ready for the AOPS Algebra course rather than pre-algebra. There is a placement test at this link (scroll to very bottom):
4.5 / 5.0
2 Reviews
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Rated 5 out of 5
More than mere calculations
I've used this program after Singapore Primary Math with my two older children, and I love how this series really delves into the "why it works" of mathematics. Children who excel at math need challenges like these that force them to think past equations and calculations. That said, while my second kiddo enjoys the material, my oldest merely tolerates the extra work. I think it's a great fit for a rigorous, classical education, and highly recommend the series and informative website.
November 9, 2018
Rated 4 out of 5
LOVE the online teacher
This is a good foundation for pre-algebra, and math theory. This is not a typical "follow the example and do 20 problems" type of book. My 7th grader didn't hate it, but he didn't love it. It involves a lot of thinking and understanding the "whys" I really enjoyed it. We both, however, LOVED the free online videos that went with each and every lesson. The teacher is the best. I love all his math t-shirts. I also loved how each and every problem showed every step of the problem in the answers. I will probably use math mammoth pre-algebra for my next kiddo, but I personally enjoyed learning the theory behind pre-algebra which I had never before been taught.
March 10, 2017
over 5 years ago

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