Book description
Having trouble understanding algebra? Do algebraic concepts, equations, and logic just make your head spin? We have great news: Head First Algebra is designed for you. Full of engaging stories and practical, realworld explanations, this book will help you learn everything from natural numbers and exponents to solving systems of equations and graphing polynomials.
Along the way, you'll go beyond solving hundreds of repetitive problems, and actually use what you learn to make reallife decisions. Does it make sense to buy two years of insurance on a car that depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot? Can you really afford an XBox 360 and a new iPhone? Learn how to put algebra to work for you, and nail your class exams along the way.
Your time is way too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multisensory learning experience, Head First Algebra uses a visually rich format specifically designed to take advantage of the way your brain really works.
Publisher resources
Table of contents
 Dedication
 Advance Praise for Head First Algebra
 Authors of Algebra
 How to use this Book: Intro

1. What is Algebra?: Solving for unknowns...
 It all started with a big gaming sale
 What does a system really cost?
 Algebra is about solving for unknowns
 Jo’s got more unknowns
 X marks the spot unknown
 Equations are math sentences
 Now SOLVE for the unknown
 So which operation do you use when?
 Jo is ready to accessorize!
 Equation training
 Jo has an awesome setup!
 Math Toolbox

2. (More) Complicated Equations: Taking Algebra on the road
 Paul loves “Pajama Death”
 Always start with what you know
 There’s a COST for each guy
 Replace your words with numbers
 Now solve for g... one step at a time
 ... but you have to keep the equation equal!
 If you follow the rules, you’ll ALWAYS get the right answer
 Whole numbers are usually easier to work with
 A variable can appear in an equation MORE THAN ONE TIME
 Checking your work proves your answer
 What’s a road trip without some girls?
 We need another variable
 A term is a chunk of an algebraic equation
 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox
 3. Rules for Numeric Operations: Follow the rules
 4. Exponent Operations: Podcasts that spread like the plague (that’s a good thing...)

5. Graphing: A picture’s worth 1,000 words
 Edward’s Lawn Mowing needs help...
 Why don’t you just SHOW me the money?
 Now we can LOOK at Ed’s cash pattern
 Graphs show an ENTIRE relationship
 Let’s graph Ed’s equation on the Cartesian Plane
 Ed’s figuring out the SLOPE of lawns
 Linear equations in pointslope form
 How does a point and a slope get you a line?
 Let’s use the pointslope form
 Equations also have a standard form
 The slopeintercept form is EASY to graph
 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox

6. Inequalities: Can’t quite get enough?
 Kathleen really loves football
 The cost of all players can’t be more than $1,000,000
 Inequalities are COMPARISONS
 Inequalities involving some negative number operations need special treatment
 Negative inequalities work BACKWARD
 FLIP the inequality sign with negative multiplication and division
 When you’re working with an inequality and negative multiplication or division...
 You can visualize a solution set on a number line
 Inequalities can have TWO variables
 Use a graph to visualize the solutions to an inequality
 Answers made in the shade
 Are you ready for some football?
 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox

7. Systems of Equations: Know what you don’t know
 A line means infinite solutions
 You can’t have 1 gallons of liquid!
 How does the sparkling equation work?
 The INTERSECTION of the lines solves BOTH linear equations
 Solve multiple unknowns with a SYSTEM of EQUATIONS
 Two kinds of glasses... that’s TWO unknowns
 Let’s solve the glasses problem
 You can substitute substitution for graphing
 f is gone with almost no work
 Manipulate your equations for elimination
 Zach’s party rocks!
 Sometimes two equations aren’t two lines
 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox

8. Expanding Binomials & Factoring: Breaking up is hard to
do
 Math or No Math semiregional masters final
 Who’s right?
 Binomials are groups of two algebraic terms
 The distributive property, revisited
 Simplify binomials with the distributive property
 What about when the signs are the SAME?
 Sometimes there’s just not a pattern...
 FOIL ALWAYS works
 Undistribution is called FACTORING
 Factoring is unmulitplying
 Factor by looking for common terms
 Zero times anything is 0
 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox

9. Quadratic Equations: Getting out of line
 Head First U is at war!
 Jon’s upgrading his technology
 Where does Jon put the catapult?
 You should always factor with a PLAN
 Pi Gamma Delta built a wall!
 9 feet is not a problem
 The quadratic formula
 Frat Wars, part deux
 How can you graph x2?
 A parabola is the shape of a quadratic equation
 Graphing a parabola depends upon the vertex
 Work with the parabola, the SMART way
 The discriminant can help with our graph, too
 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox

10. Functions: Everyone has limits
 Pajama Death TV
 Equations have limits (most of the time)
 The input limits are the domain of the function
 Functions have minimum and maximum outputs
 Algebra is really about relations
 Relations, equations, and functions all go TOGETHER
 Function graphs have LIMITS
 Just before the second episode of Pajama Death TV...
 Graphing reveals the nature of a relation
 Functions pass the vertical line test
 But... what about the REST of the tickets?
 Use the function piece you NEED
 The numbers are in... and?
 Pajama Death’s show was a hit!
 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox
 11. RealWorld Algebra: Solve the world’s problems
 A. Leftovers: The Top Five Things (we didn’t cover)

B. PreAlgebra Review: Build on a solid foundation
 Algebra starts with numbers
 How do you work with negative numbers?
 Addition and subtraction of integers
 Multiplication and division of integers
 Absolute Value
 What absolute value means
 Number sets  all together
 The number sets
 Three ways to split things up
 Decimal’s Anatomy
 Addition and subtraction with decimals
 Decimal multiplication
 Decimal division
 Decimal division training
 Special decimals
 You’re 100% right!
 Working with percents
 Fractions
 Fraction multiplication
 Improper fractions
 More about improper fractions
 Invert a fraction to get its reciprocal
 Adding and subtracting fractions
 Equivalent fractions get you matching denominators
 Use the lowest common denominator for addition
 Fraction addition and subtraction training
 Dividing by one doesn’t change the value
 Reduce fractions by dividing by 1
 Factor trees can eliminate lots of little steps
 Reduce fractions with the factor tree
 Putting it all together  fractions
 Converting decimals to fractions
 Division by Zero doesn’t work
 Sometimes multiplication takes forever!
 How quickly things spread...
 Why does all this matter?
 Index
 About the Authors
 Copyright
Product information
 Title: Head First Algebra
 Author(s):
 Release date: December 2008
 Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
 ISBN: 9780596514860
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