Q&A #19163


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From: Jeanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 17, 2007 at 04:03:45
Subject: Re: Parentheses

Hi Leanne, The expression, (3x - 5) + 1, is read, "the quantity, 3x - 5, plus 1." When I am teaching students how to read fairly simple expressions like these, I do what I call "dramatic" readings. I sometimes even use arm gestures. (More on the arm gestures in a bit.) "the quantity" --> {pause} --> "3x - 5" --> {pause} --> "+ 1". I say, "3x - 5" fairly quickly. To emphasize that the parentheses identify a quantity, I use arm gestures as I say the expression out loud. While facing my students, I say: "the quantity" --> {pause #1}--> "3x - 5" --> {pause #2} --> "+ 1." During {pause #1} I "draw" a big open parenthesis in the air with my right arm. During {pause #2} I "draw" a big close parenthesis in the air with my left arm. I sometimes even have my class do the arm movements with me during a choral reading of a couple of expressions. For fun we read expressions that contain several sets of parentheses like (2x-1)*(x+3)*(5x+7). Saying, "the quantity" and using pauses, conveys a mathematical meaning. Saying "open/left parenthesis" etc. emphasizes how to write the expression instead of a mathematical property. Hope this helps. -Jeanne, for the T2T service

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