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Q&A #19163


Parentheses

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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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