kitchen table math, the sequel: how to teach algebra really, really fast

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

how to teach algebra really, really fast

Friday 9-21-2007: first word problems assigned for homework ever

Friday 9-21-2007 - Thursday 9-27-2007 - cover in class:
  • number word problems
  • consecutive integer word problems
  • distance word problems (two trains, etc.)
  • coin word problems
  • age word problems
Friday 9-28-2007 test on consecutive integer problems & motion problems

et voilĂ !


Anonymous said...

Gracious! I've spent an entire week on trying to get my kid to know when and where and how to apply the distributive law mechanically to a bucket of symbols.

Catherine Johnson said...

These kids "learned" that in a day, back in 6th grade.

Catherine Johnson said...

Then the parents and tutors spent the rest of the year reteaching it.

Catherine Johnson said...

We're still working on it, although C. is pretty much there.

Now that he's solving more complicated equations with embedded distributions (how does one put that?) he's probably making more mistakes.

His main problem, though, is distributing a negative sign.

Needless to say, the kids were given no practice on these individual skills, EVER.

They were "taught" the distributive property in one class hour, then they were sent forth to apply their knowledge.

Anonymous said...

"embedded distributions"

I don't know what that is. I'm guessing it means that the terms have common factors which aren't instantly obvious to the student.

Rudbeckia Hirta said...

Anonymous said...

d=rt problems explained with video clips. Excellent!

Anonymous said...


I am very grateful for this source:

It's the one place that explains the nettlesome DRT problem where the distance is unknown as in this problem:

C. walked to Alfie School of Excellence with Major Qualifications at an average speed of 3 mph and ran back in horror along the same route at 5 mph. If his total traveling time was one hour, what was the total number of miles in the round trip?

The problem I had was accounting for the traveling time in the equation setup since it obviously doesn't split equally between the two segements traveled.

I've solved this now to my greatest satisfaction.

3t = 5(1-t)

t = 5/8

3t = 15/8 (one segment)

Since there are two segment, double!

Viva KTM!