Errata in Practical Algebra

Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Here is a list of errata in Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide (3rd edition) by Bobson Wong, Larisa Bukalov, and Steve Slavin. To report an error, fill out the form at

p. 246 (noted by Nicole Myers)
Example 8.16 should read Calculate (9x3 − 49x + 40) ÷ (3x + 8), not Calculate (9x3 − 49x + 40) ÷ (3x + 4).

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"Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide" Released

Published: Friday, April 8, 2022

My latest book with Larisa Bukalov, Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide (3rd edition), was released today. From the back cover:

In the newly revised Third Edition of Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guidea team of award-winning math teachers delivers an accessible roadmap for learning algebra. Completely revised to align with the math standards used in many states, this edition provides an overview of such topics as linear and quadratic equations, ratios and proportions, functions, statistics, word problems, and modeling. It also briefly reviews pre-algebra, including arithmetic and fractions.

With over 500 images and tables, 200 model examples, and almost 1,500 exercises with answers, this book has concrete strategies that help diverse students to succeed. It also describes techniques for avoiding common student errors and technology tips that apply no matter what device is being used.

Practical Algebra is perfect for high school and college students, adults returning to school, and lifelong students who want to refresh their understanding of algebra. Readers will come away with better test scores and greater mathematical confidence.

Practical Algebra is a go-to guide for all learners of algebra, and the educators and parents who support them. What sets this book apart from other guides is its deliberate use of accessible language and well thought out visuals to illuminate concepts, and the vital inclusion of vignettes highlighting the often-omitted multicultural origins of mathematics.”

—Sendy S. Keenan, Math for America Master Teacher

Practical Algebra provides easy-to-understand explanations of material typically taught and learned in algebra 1. It's ideal for parents who need a quick refresher in order to help their child as well as for others who need a quick explanation.”

—Kevin Dykema, Mathematics Teacher, Mattawan Consolidated Schools

The book is available on Amazon at

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Interview on Learning Unlocked Podcast

Published: Monday, April 26, 2021

On the Learning Unlocked podcast, host Brit Bingold and I talk about motivating students, culturally responsive teaching, homework, and other topics from my book The Math Teacher's Toolbox: Hundreds of Practical Ideas to Support Your Students (Jossey-Bass, 2020). The podcast is here:

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Using Math for Project-Based Learning

Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

In an article for Education Week that came out today, my colleague Larisa Bukalov and I wrote how we use project-based learning in our math classes. As math teachers ourselves, we know firsthand the pressure we face to teach the many procedural skills that are emphasized in local and state standards. Many math teachers believe they don’t have time to incorporate projects. They also feel that projects are better suited for social studies or science. We think of project-based learning as a way for students to learn how to make connections and solve problems – skills that are usually emphasized in a math class. In this article, we also discuss the importance of asking open-ended questions and ways that technology can be used to ask them. 

The article is adapted from our chapter on project-based learning in The Math Teacher's Toolbox: Hundreds of Practical Ideas to Support Your Students (Jossey-Bass, 2020). The complete text of the article is here: .

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Using Online Whiteboards for High School Math

Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Imagine if you could ask a question in class and immediately get a response from every student. Understanding what students are thinking is one of the greatest challenges for experienced math teachers. In an article for Edutopia, my co-author Larisa Bukalov and I discuss ways that we can better grasp a student’s thought process in math class by using online whiteboards — web-based tools that enable students to write or type content that teachers can instantly see and share. We are particularly fond of Desmos because it allows students to create and manipulate animations. 

Even when we resume teaching in person, we plan to continue using them. Online whiteboards can reduce the need to make copies, cut out cards, and prepare other handouts. Being able to see all students’ work simultaneously helps us quickly identify who’s struggling so that we can walk over to help them.

The full article is here:

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