Q&A #3626

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Math Frustration, Puberty

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From: Loyd <Loydlin@aol.com>
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

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

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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