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Light Speed Algebra: The Powers & Functions of Algebra Review by Courtney Larson

Cerebellum Corporation
1661 Tennessee Street, Suite 3D
San Francisco, CA 94107

Light Speed Algebra: The Powers & Functions of Algebra is a DVD released by Cerebellum Corporation. It includes a 55-minute DVD and a digital workbook on CD-ROM. It is intended for high school students.

Light Speed Algebra: The Powers & Functions of Algebra is divided into two segments: "Foundations of Algebra" and "Functions," though you can pick various chapters individually without having to watch the entire segment. The chapters in the "Foundations of Algebra" segment are: "What is Algebra, Anyway?" "Kinds of Numbers," "Order of Operations," "The Rules of Exponents," "Properties of Operations," and "Using Variables." The chapters in the "Functions of Algebra" segments are: "Cost Functions," "Input and Output," "Scatterplots and Trendlines," "Data, Equations, and Graphs," and "Domain and Range."

The segments are hosted by a band of quirky and spunky guys and girls who appear to be college age. They throw some humor into the lessons and show all problems on the screen. My oldest son, who is just beginning algebra, thought the DVD was a little strange, but he enjoyed their explanations anyway.

There are two digital workbooks included, one for each segment. The digital workbooks include the script from the DVD, graphic organizers for notes, and a couple of worksheets with answer keys.

I think the content of Light Speed Algebra: The Powers & Functions of Algebra is good, and I can see myself pulling it off the shelf to help teach, or simply reinforce, beginning algebra skills. The segments are quirky and fast paced with a bit of humor thrown in, which is great for keeping the student's attention. However, the content of the digital workbook is dismal. I think it would be very helpful if there were more than a handful of worksheets given for practice. Overall, though, I think Light Speed Algebra: The Powers & Functions of Algebra is a good product, and I'd recommend it as a handy supplement to other math programs.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2011