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Q&A #1530


Factoring out -1 in algebraic expressions

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 07, 1999 at 20:14:01
Subject: Re: Factoring out -1 in algebraic expressions

Marielouise had great suggestions! I always go back to basic arithmetic facts
before I try to get my students to abstract to algebraic ones!

Anyway, consider allowing the students to replace what I call "algebraic
opposites" with -1, rather than factoring it out. If I see (2x - 1)/(1 - 2x)
since BOTH signs are opposite for the denominator compared with the
numerator their quotient is -1.

 -Claudia, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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