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The chapters cover the broad topics in this order: Whole Numbers, including the basic arithmetical functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), was well as basics of exponents and rounding; Fractions, including the basic arithmetical functions as well as beginning to deal with mixed numbers and order of operations; Decimals, including the basic arithmetical functions as well as continuing with order of operations and decimal/fraction conversions; Ratio and proportion ideas; Percentages theoretical and applied; Basic Measurements and conversions of units between British/American units and metric standards; Geometry at the most basic level of shapes and arithmetical formulas dealing with those shapes for area, perimeter, etc.; Statistics at a very elementary level, such as reading charts and graphs, histograms, and the three concepts of mean, median and mode; Signed and special numbers, including the negative numbers, as well as scientific notation; and finally a brief introduction to Algebra, which introduces the basic concepts of variables, like terms, and equations.
Each of the chapters deals with things in a mathematical as well as an 'English' way - explaining in words the concepts and operations being carried out in the numbers. Each section of each chapter covers only a few key concepts, with enough problems for solving that reinforce the principles thoroughly. Each section also as word problems (story problems) to test the real-world applicability of the numerical/mathematical concepts being presented, so when students ask (as they always do and shall), 'When am I ever going to use this?' there are examples drawn from typical situations.
Tobey and Slater have also worked to make various connections with geometry, graphs and charts, tables, as well as internet resources to provide the most up-to-date and useful text. There are specific problems along the way that assume the use of calculators (as most of real-life mathematics now involves calculators).
The book's design is interesting from a graphic-design standpoint, but from the standpoint of clarity to the students, the pages are a bit `busy'. While I appreciate the need to reduce the number of pages in an effort to keep the costs down (text-book prices are typically higher than popular-book prices, and this text is no exception), more white space on the pages would probably help the accessibility and make it a little less intimidating.
This book serves as a good foundation for students to proceed at our college forward into Beginning Algebra (another book by Tobey and Slater on this topic is used for the next-level course), and then further into Intermediate Algebra and beyond.
This edition contains the answers, but do be advised, these are the simple answers, and not worked out with all the steps. There is a student solutions manual that contains these.