Sunday, November 29, 2015

More than one way to learn. I mean divide.

Happy Thanksgiving "break"!

I just spent 4+ hours grading quizzes that I gave last week on Polynomial Operations. They turned out pretty good, so I was happy. A lot of the mistakes were predictable (subtracting with negatives is always such a problem!), and the kids did well with the division of polynomials.

Some surprisingly so, especially considering the uproar that division caused in class. It helped that I told the kids to use whatever method "worked" for them. This student used long division for one problem (and messed up some subtraction) and "the box" for another. Can you see that she actually did it twice because she wasn't sure of the decimals?  I guess the second time through convinced her.

The day before the quiz I showed the kids what would happen if you did synthetic division when there's a leading coefficient...

While I had told them that they "couldn't" use synthetic because of the leading coefficient, once I showed this type of example several kids saw the relationship in the answers. The correct answer (via long division) is twice the other, though the remainder is the same.

It was kind of neat to see that several kids took advantage of this and used synthetic division on the quiz, then divided out that leading coefficient from their answer.

Saw this the other day from @dmarain:



It amazes me that people think that there's only one way to do so many types of problems. Is it arrogance? Fear of not being the sole ownership of the learning? So sad.

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