Teacher2Teacher Q&A #19621

Developing understanding in high school math

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From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 05, 2008 at 16:12:31
Subject: Re: Developing understanding in high school math

I applaud you for being so concerned with your friend's understanding of math. Memorized procedures don't do much good in real life without it. I'd suggest trying to find some real problem or situation that models the concepts you are trying to teach. People need something to connect the symbols of algebra to, if they are to create any meaning from it. There are lots of sources of good problems on the web. Check out these: http://mathforum.org/pow/other.html http://www.stfx.ca/special/mathproblems/ http://www.pasd.wednet.edu/school/mathwasl/ Of course, my own favorite source of problems is our own Problems of the Week: http://mathforum.org/pow/ You can get a free 21-day trial account if you'd like to give it a test drive. Regarding the example you gave, pq^2+p = p*(q^2+1), have you tried substituting actual numerical values for the variables as a way to demonstrate the validity of that property? Use a couple of small whole numbers for p and q. -Claire, for the T2T service

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