Day 17: Always, Sometimes, Never

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.

day17All in all this week was very productive; especially since it was homecoming.

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