Materials Evaluation

Jesse Pratt
ED 484
Materials Evaluation: Larson, R., & Boswell, L. (2007). Geometry. Evanston, IL.
McDougal Littell.
The book I chose to evaluate is a geometry book for grades 9-12. The book is
organized very well in many ways. At the beginning of the book it has the table of
contents. The table of contents can be very helpful for ELL students. He is a way to help
them get a basic understanding of what each chapter is going to have in it, as well as
the page numbers of each topic. Also it provides highlights of each chapter at the
bottom of the page, and small examples of problems that will be related towards the
topic of the chapter. If the ELL student looks at this before the class starts they can
become more prepared for the content that will be discussed in class. The first chapter
is about the essentials of geometry. So the book starts off with the basics of geometry
and then works towards harder material that hopefully will be easier because of the
basic knowledge learned.
As a teacher there are several tools that they can use to help make sure that the
ELL students have a better understanding. At the beginning of each chapter, there are
prerequisite skills short review questions. The teacher can use these questions to make
sure that the ELL student understands the material. Part of the practice question uses
already written out sentences with fill in the blanks. This is an excellent method for
helping ELL students who know the vocabulary, but might have a difficult time with
sentence structure, this way their answers are more to do with their knowledge of the
content rather than the use of sentence structure.
The book gives key concepts and vocabulary words and the definitions, however
for some ELL students understanding these definitions can be difficult. An example of a
vocabulary word that a teacher might need to help an ELL student is the word plane. If
an ELL student already has the word plane know for an airplane, then it might be
difficult for them to read that and understand it as another definition. One way the book
tries to help with this is by having pictures next to the words and their definitions.
Another way that the book tries to help students to get a better understanding is that it
has interactive website that has “animated geometry.” This website would be an
excellent way for teachers to show the students pictures of the content words and to
have better moving pictures that would be easier to see and get a better understanding
of the word. Also they have another online site that is called home tutor. This can be an
extremely helpful tool if the student has questions when they are at home and can’t
figure out the problem.
One problem that I feel that the book has, is that it could be difficult to
have authentic assessments is some areas. Some of the word questions in the book are
worded weirdly, and can be rather difficult for an ELL student. As a teacher I would
suggest talking to your ELL student and making sure that they fully understand what the
word problems are saying, and if they are having a hard time, you could rewrite the
problem so that the student is able to understand. Also if the teacher notices that the
student does all the math correctly, but it seems that they might have just
misunderstood what the question was asking, I would give them back the assignment
and talk to them about the question and work with them to have another chance at
answering it correctly. Another thing that can be helpful to the students is at the back of
the book it has an answer key for all of the odd numbered questions, and a student can
use that to work backwards and understand how to get the answer for that question,
and use it for the even numbered questions.
My favorite part of this book is at the back of it, there is a Contents of
Student Resources section. This has many helpful tools not just for ELL students, but
for all students in general. There is a skills review handbook that not only gives
examples and practices of important topics, but it also gives review definitions and
formulas. It has many other skills that are important to review and are very helpful for
mathematics. There is a Problem Solving Plan and Strategies section. This is very
helpful to explain to students how they should start out planning on solving the
problems. It is an excellent tool for when you are struggling coming up with a plan. Also
the back of the book gives extra practice problems for the chapters that the students
can use as extra practice. There are also examples of problems that are showing how
to answer the problem with step by step to get the answer.
One helpful tool for Spanish speaking learners is that the book has an EnglishSpanish Glossary. This will be very helpful for a Spanish ELL that knows most of the
content words in Spanish, but have no idea what the words are in English. As a teacher
if you have a student who speaks another language I would recommend trying to search
for a glossary like this one in that language online. Overall I feel that this book does an
alright job in having tools that will be helpful for ELL students.