Algebra: Themes, Tools, Concepts (ATTC) is an algebra textbook I co-authored in the early 90's. It was ground-breaking in some ways, and includes many extraordinarily effective approaches to the teaching of algebra. In fact, ATTC features powerful lessons on many parts of secondary school math, which are used by teachers in grades 7 to 12.
On the other hand, ATTC is not particularly easy to use as a textbook, and never became a best-seller. Thus, the publisher decided to declare it out of print, and the copyright reverted to the authors. It is now available absolutely free, right here, for your non-commercial use.
On This Site
- What are Themes, Tools, and Concepts? (Teachers' Edition front matter)
- The whole book, downloadable in its entirety, by chapter, or by lesson
- The whole book on line, digitized by Google, in color and searchable
- The Teacher's Edition, in color and searchable
- Additional Notes
- Index to selected topics and tools
- Additional Teacher Resources
- The book makes extensive use of the Lab Gear manipulatives.
- Predictably, ATTC was controversial. Read my response to a critic.
- I revised some lessons from ATTC, and included them in Geometry Labs.
- Jen Coté wrote a paper: ATTC Through a Deweyian Lens.
Buying the Book
I believe the hard-copy version of ATTC can still be ordered from McGraw-Hill by calling (800) 648-2970. (Don't look for it on their Web site or in their catalogs, as its status is "going out of print".) Please let me know if you have trouble getting a hold of it.
What to ask for: "Algebra Student Book" ISBN 1-56107-251-6
The Teachers' Edition is only available on this site. See the link above.
Here are some of the best lessons from ATTC, mostly in PDF format. Some are revised.
- "In Addition..."
- Three problems
- The "McNuggets Problem"
- Building Block Numbers
- Interpreting Graphs
- The Bicycle Trip | Follow-up
- In the Lab
- Weight vs. Age
- not from ATTC: Comparing Cell Phone Plans
- Constant Sums, Constant Products
- (More on this last topic.)
- Function Diagrams
- Nine Function Diagrams
- The Focus
- Representing Linear Functions
- (More on this subject, including animated diagrams.)
- An Introduction