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Topic: even more on neg*neg
Replies: 13   Last Post: May 5, 1996 5:10 PM

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W Gary Martin

Posts: 80
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: even more on neg*neg
Posted: Apr 4, 1996 2:34 PM
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At 12:07 PM 4/4/96, Alfred Barron (908) 704-4102 wrote:
> I think that the real block is on the concept of a negative
> number. Intuition must be built on and reflect concrete
> experience: temperatures below zero, car slowing down (deaccel-
> eration), loss of $, etc.. Even formal extention of the number
> line helps.


I agree! I have seen high school students who have completed Algebra and
can multiply integers (at least procedurally)... BUT argue forcefully
against the existence of negative numbers in geometry. For example, when
doing coordinates, "How can you move less than 0 units? If you move at all,
then it is more than 0." Ditto when doing dilations with negative scale
factors. It seems to be a real conceptual struggle for some students.

W. Gary Martin
Curriculum Research and Development Group
University of Hawaii

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