In Algebra students worked through a few multi-step equations then took a concept test. One good discussion we had in every class was how to interpret -(x + 3). When I was in school teachers always approached this as a “ghost” negative. Today I took a different approach that went something like this:
T: What does negative actually mean?
S: Put a sign in-front of the number
T: Can you be a little more specific?
S: 5 turns into -5
T: Anything else you can use to describe the difference between 5 and -5?
S: They are opposite.
T: So what does -(x + 3) mean?
S: The opposite of x + 3
In Geometry the class is in a limbo. Some students are totally killing the concept tests while others still need more work. Monday will probably be a pick-up-the-pieces-day. We started inductive reasoning today, which is really something I have been doing since day 1 because of visual patterns;
Today I asked students if a variety of statements were Always, Sometimes, or Never true. I think this is a good habit of mind to develop; thinking of counter examples and the truth behind conjectures. I want to try and find something with a little more scaffolding. I feel like I have just been jumping off the deep end with Geometry and taking advantage of the fact that it is a honors class.