Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Problems with Starting Homework?

Here's a tip that I use for any job that I continue to put off (procrastinate about). Set a timer for 5, 10 or 15 minutes. You can do anything (even Algebra work) for those periods of time. Sit down and get started. When the timer goes off, stop all work and rest your brain for 10-15 minutes. If there's still more to do, set the timer again and go again. Continue this until you have completed that homework.

Don't forget that there are answers in the back of most books. Checking those answers to see if you are on the right track should not be considered cheating. I encourage my students to check those answers. This will help boost your confidence if you are getting the problems right. It will also encourage you to look back over notes, examples in the textbook, etc. if you are getting the answers incorrect.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Algebra Games On-line

Hey guys! I'm trying to find some good online games for my Algebra classes. I found the following site and it looked like it might be interesting. Let me know what you think.

Ever Wonder About Dividing by Zero?

If you've ever wondered why you can't divide by zero, here is an explanation that uses what you learned in elementary school to help you understand this concept.

In elementary school, you learned that division is just multiplication fact families in an alternate order. In other words, 6/3 = 2 because 2 x 3 = 6.

We can use fact families to find out about dividing by zero.

0/7 = ?? The answer is 0, because 0 x 7 = 0.

What about 7/0? If you put this in your calculator, you'll get an error. Why?

Well, if we use fact families, 7/0 = ?? What number can you multiply by 0 to get 7? There isn't any number. So the answer is undefined.

Now you may be wondering about 0/0? The calculator still gives you an error. Shouldn't it have given you a 1 or maybe a 0? Isn't 7/7 =1? And 2/2=1?

Let's try fact families again to see what the answer should be. 0/0 = ??

What number multiplied by 0 = 0? Well, every number would work wouldn't it, so the answer is indeterminate. You can't determine what the answer should be.

Hopefully, this explanation has helped to clear up division by zero and why is doesn't work.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Blog Created

I've created this new blog to help answer some of those tricky algebra questions that high school students have. I will be including articles that seem to give lots of students trouble. I currently teach Algebra I and have been doing so for several years. I'd like to provide assistance to those who need it so here goes! Welcome and please visit often.