Math for Trades: Volume 1

This Open Educational Resource Book it covers whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages in trade professions.

Chad Flinn
Mark Overgaard
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Publication Year
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Instructional Material
Number of Pages

The Math for Trades: Volume 1 textbook is an open source textbook, freely available online.  Math for Trades: Volume 1 introduces the building blocks for math which will ready students for more advanced math needed to continue their trades education.  The book includes whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents, all contextualized to different trades, thereby also introducing relevant vocabulary and scenarios. The material is presented from a trades perspective with easy-to-understand examples and video explanations accompanying questions. Each lesson includes practice questions and quizzes to reinforce learning. There are additional Practice Tests included in the last section of the book.  Lastly, practice questions answers are provided so that students can check and revisit material, as needed.

The access page includes instructions for students on how to access and use this text book.  Users can read the book online or download it in PDF, eReader and Kindle versions.

What the experts say

This Open Educational Resource Book it covers whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages in a very procedural method. Many of the problem sets are given in a context that most adults will understand. A book that can be used in Adult Education Mathematics Classes for additional practice has three strengths. First, the approach into each topic is written with friendly language, putting students at ease. For math phobic individuals, this approach might be preferable. Second, many topics were first presented visually to begin to develop some conceptual understanding of topics. Third, the assessment questions were, for the most part, very trade related and required some higher order thinking skills.

In introducing a concept, the text provided visual models in an attempt to address conceptual understanding. It would be helpful to follow-up that up with questions where students could show a representation of what was happening in a problem. There is also little effort to show visually fraction or percent operations. No number lines, no estimating, no thinking about what the processes meant and when to use them. Rather the text is heavy into procedures with no underlying connection to why these procedures work. Procedural skill and fluency are more than just memorizing steps. They are understanding deeply what it means, for instance, when you divide by a fraction. Instead the student is presented with more procedures and little or no connection to models or why the procedure worked. 

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