Top 10 Algebra Mistakes
Date: 05/23/98 at 21:03:41 From: Jesse Subject: Top 10 algebra mistakes Dear Dr. Math, I am doing a survey and want to know what you think are the top 10 mistakes that are made in algebra. Thanks, Jesse
Date: 05/24/98 at 18:07:00 From: Doctor Dawn Subject: Re: Top 10 algebra mistakes Hi Jesse, This sounds like an interesting survey. I'm actually curious to know what the other math doctors and other math teachers think. My top ten list of algebra mistakes are 1. Arithmetic errors (example: 2+3 does not = 6) 2. Copy errors within the problem (such as forgetting to bring a negative sign down to the next line) 3. Forgetting to distribute the negative 2x * -4(3x-3) does not = 2x -12x-12 4. Factoring out the negative incorrectly. -5y-15 does not = -5(y-3) 5. Reducing rational expressions by "canceling" incorrectly 4y + 8 8 ------ does not = --- 4y + 3 3 6. Forgetting to distribute all terms when multiplying binomials (that is, forgetting the Outside and Inside terms when using the FOIL method) (3y+2)(2y+1) does not = 6y^2 + 2 7. Trying to factor the sum of squares. y^2 + 9 does not = y+3 8. Forgetting "whatever you do to the left, you must do to the right" when solving equations. 9. In word problems, not clearly identifying and defining the variable(s). 10. In word problems, not translating the English into the correct "Math language." Thanks for asking and good luck. Doctor Dawn, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Date: 05/24/98 at 18:08:47 From: Doctor Sonya Subject: Re: Top 10 algebra mistakes Hi Jessie. In addition to what Dr. Dawn wrote, I would add: Not checking your work when you're done. Have fun with your survey. -Doctor Sonya, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Date: 05/24/98 at 19:56:36 From: Jesse Hodgson Subject: Thanks Thank you very much for responding to my question so quickly Dr. Dawn and Dr. Math. You have been a big help!
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