Saturday, February 05, 2011

We Can Drive This Car Too

I shouldn't complain, but I am never happy.  No one was ridiculed or demeaned in this memo.

A number of Geometry teachers have approached me regarding the fact that some students could not solve equations.  These students do not know how to solve equations by transposing.  From now on, please make sure you teach all your students how to transpose when teaching how to solve equations.  If they know the other way, it is fine, but I expect you to teach how to solve equations by transposing to the rest of the students.  Most of these students could not add/subtract signed number, either.  Trying to teach such students how to solve equations by adding or subtracting a term really will not work.
(Last time I checked, adding and subtracting signed numbers was necessary when transposing.  The kids who can't solve an equation, can't transpose either.)
We are in this together.  I know it is my job to remind everyone of their responsibilities.  It is unacceptable for you not to do what I ask you to do particularly if some of your students failed or barely passed last term.
(If only we did all we were told, they would all be passing.)


NYC Educator said...

I don't even know what transposing is. It sounds like one of those Swedish sex operations or something. Is this a new Bloomberg initiative?

Kim Hughey said...

I'm with NYC Educator. What is transposing?

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what transposing is either.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Transposing is when you move one term of an equation to the opposite side by changing the sign. My AP thinks this is a miracle cure for kids who can't solve an equation. Not only is is not he answer, it is very confusing when and if they make it into a higher math class.

Ms. H--you mean Texans don't transpose? You guys are way ahead of us then.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Don't worry--most of the kids have no idea either.

Ricochet said...

I had to look up transposing too. I call it manipulating equations - or isolating a variable. I am struggling with Algebra 2 students who cannot do this - and the science teachers complain all the time that we don't teach this - and yet we do. I think this is the best (most fun) part of algebra - and the kids won't "play" with it enough to know it.

We are being told if we just changed the way we teach, the kids who have failed algebra 1 3 times would pass the state test - so it is obviously us.

Curmudgeon said...

Transposing is the shortcut that students develop after they understand what they are doing.

It should not be the starting method.

Anonymous said...

I have never been a great math student in my whole life, so maybe the question that I am asking is because of me.
Wouldn't the miracle cure actually be to have the students understand the concept of algebraic addition and subtraction signs? If they haven't mastered the lower level concept, how can they move on to the higher level concept?

Anonymous said...

You should see what the elementary students have to do in math with this TERC program that administrators believe to be the answer to learning. The students look at the teachers in dismay with puzzled looks. Same with Everyday Math (elementary) and Impact(middle school). It may explain a lot about the math skills once they get into middle and high schools.