The shortlist for my algebra 2 book study

I’ve been brainstorming about the book(s) that I want to read with my algebra 2 students next year. I plan on integrating them into the class as I would a standard. Having never done any serious reading in my classes before, I have a lot to learn. Ideally, right now I’d like to read one during the fall semester and one in spring. To make for a good balance, maybe I could select one nonfiction and one fiction. Here are the options I’m considering right now. It’a subject to change based on further reading, suggestions, and a major problem: there are no authors of color on this list.

0.Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos This is the most obvious choice for me. I read it a few years back and remember being impressed with the accessibility of the mathematical ideas and it’s overall readability. Ironically, a few students mentioned to me at the start of the year that they read parts of it during a program last summer. Plus, I recently attended a talk by Paulos at Math for America that I think encouraged me even more to bring this book I to my classroom.

1.Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil. I read this two years ago. It’s timely and relevant. Centered around popular culture and things like social media and search engines, I think the kids could get into it.

2. Weaponized Lies by Daniel J. Levitin. I came across this book recently, and while this is on my to-read stack, it shows a lot of promise. I’m excited to dig into it in the next couple of weeks and pass judgment.

3. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. Joel Bezzare has done a lot of work in his classroom around this book. I haven’t read it yet, but last year I did read the other book that he wrote a curriculum for, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. On the surface, The Housekeeper seems to be a tad more appropriate and interesting for my algebra 2 students. I look forward to reading it — and potentially stealing Joel’s curriculum!


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