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Topic: Formulas

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Subject:   RE: Formulas
Author: Mathman
Date: Mar 6 2005
On Mar  6 2005, justnick wrote:
> My opinion on this subject is that more time is needed for students
> to truly grasp a new concept. Saxon is a good example of what I call
> "speed learning." There just is not enough time or work spent on one
> lesson before going on to the next lesson. Repitition is the best
> way to learn. I don't think that students are afraid of letters,
> they just need to be used many different ways.

Agreed, agreed.  However, teachers can not make the time that is not there.
What is needed is a change in curriculum.  Students have difficulty in some part
at least because too many topics are covered only partly.  The new philosophy
appears to be that a glance is enough, with "review" some time in the future, as
needed.  There is no simple solution.  Lunch time tutorials or small homework
assignments would still leave some in the lurch.  Perhaps the plain truth is
that there are always those who will have difficulty, just as there are those
who have difficulty with differential equations, and those who have difficulty
playing a musical instrument.

When teaching [I'm retired ... :-)], I ignored textbooks for material and made
up my own by and large, starting off with the simplest and beating that to death
before adding another sequential step.  Also, I didn't try to cover all, leading
into fairly complex formulas, but a smaller part really well.  I also firmly
believed in the transposition which kept written work to a minimum, and which is
also used in later study.  Although "do the same to both sides" is certainly the
basis for explanation, it is not the way to keep it simple as students see items
travelling back and forth across an equals sign, or, later, an inequality. Some
call it "Drill and kill'.  I called it practice ...and it worked by and


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