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Monthly Archives: May 2009
Notes on Operations – Unary Minus
“Unary minus” is the name for the symbol in , which looks like a minus, but isn’t a subtraction of two quantities. This simplelooking thing is associated with lots of confusion in middle school math. We’re all familiar with “” … Continue reading
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Tagged denominations, extending patterns, models, naming, representations
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Problems in Algebra – part 2
In this series on common mistakes made by students in middle school mathematics, let’s look at this one: Problem: Simplify Jessica’s response: . We can agree that this is wrong, and we can probably tell the student what to do … Continue reading
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Tagged math class, models, naming, representations, unlearning
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Problems in Algebra – part 1
On the heels of the series of posts on multiplication, I’d like to look at particular problem areas in middle school mathematics that show up year after year. Kids make mistakes or have difficulties, each in their own unique way, … Continue reading
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What is Multiplication – part XI
We’re arrived at the eleventh installment of this series, and it would be worth asking whether we have arrived at any conclusions yet about what multiplication really is. We’ve seen multiple manifestations of the idea of multiplication, and it would … Continue reading
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Tagged denominations, extending patterns, models, naming, representations, unlearning
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