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 Discussion: All Topics Topic: Expressions vs Equations Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/99226/

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 Subject: RE: Expressions vs Equations Author: stek Date: Jan 25 2011
On Jan 24 2011, Jimbo wrote:
> I like to
> make the distinction that an equation is like a sentence, it
> contains the verb equal (as a symbol =).

This is indeed important. It's also important to keep in mind that the equal
sign is a very confusing verb for students. We use it to signify a fact about
the symbol on the left (for instance, x = 2), or to indicate a problem to be
solved (3x + 2 = 4x - 5), or to indicate a calculation to be performed (A = 1/2
b*h), or to indicate a relationship between two variables (x^2 + y^2 = 25), or
to indicate a fundamental mathematical truth (sin^2 x + cos^2 x = 1). A pretty
wide variety of meanings for our poor students to understand!

-Stek