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Topic:  Absolute Value Problem Display 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/612/ 
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Subject:  Absolute Value Problem Display 
Author:  Julee 
Date:  Apr 8 2004 
This applet made me think about absolute value problems in a way that I had not
considered before. Often I have presented students with the distance definition
of absolute values but when we actually went to solve equations the visual
representation often fell by the wayside.
This applet explores minimizing an absolute value function by looking at a
visual display and then goes on to show the relationship of the picture to the
algebra that one would do on paper. In my opinion the visual was convincing
enough to be able to do away with the paper and pencil algebra, powerful
indeed.
However, for this impact to be achieved on students I believe that students will
need to explore more different examples in order to be able to make the
generalization that I made. I would like to use a similar more interactive
applet if using this with students.
Also there is a problem with the display of the applet. Part of the
instructions seem to be hidden behind the applet. I was able to use it
regardless but it would be nice if we could read all of the text.
Julee
 
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