Q&A #3626

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Math Frustration, Puberty

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From: Loyd

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005030416:47:21
Subject: Re: Failing Algeba II, almost

Algebra II has lots of material now that was not taught until college a few years ago. Such things as matrices, linear programming, statistics, probability etc. are now introduced in the early grades and to my mind just dilutes what used to be known as algebra. All that material is important in many occupations, but much of it is not used until later in life and I think some of it is prematurely taught. I would first concentrate on the backbone of algebra which one can find in what used to be known as College Algebra. Find out if your student is weak in those concepts or the newer ones recently added to algebra such as matrices, statistics, linear programming. probability etc. One of the my kids algebra teachers said the biggest weakness that algebra students have was fractions. Many of them really can't handle "Unlike fractions." Many students have problems with word problems. I certainly didn't learn to do these in an algebra class. I learned by checking out books in the library and working each type many times. I worked the examples. Here is another thing you can do. Go to the Virginia web site and search for the released Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and try taking one of those tests yourself and let your son also take it and also the algebra I test. These tests are in PDF format and have great graphics. The answers are there and an analysis of the type ofproblems involved. You should get an idea of your sons strengths and weaknesses. There are several years of released tests there.

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