Algebra for Everyone: In-Service Handbook by Edgar L. Edwards

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By Edgar L. Edwards

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A major reason that students continue in mathematics or avoid it is their perception of how good they are at mathematics (Armstrong and Kahl 1979). If they believe that they have ability in mathematics, then they are likely to continue to study mathematics. Students who believe they lack mathematical ability tend to drop out of mathematics. Teachers should take every opportunity to give positive reinforcement to students. Whenever students are successful, they should receive the message that they were successful because they applied themselves and that if they continue to apply themselves, they can expect more success.

We should want nothing less for students of algebra than having the power and flexibility to confront situations and use the power of mathematics to construct ways to understand the situation better. 34 ENHANCING rm; MArNrENANcE or= skirts 35 The enhancement and maintenance of skills in algebra will be discussed from two perspectives• situating algebra in contexts that give meaning to concepts and procedures and the connections among them; and •developing and maintaining skills in the language, symbols, and syntax of algebra.

The only concem would be to make them of interest and make certain that students deal with the confusion caused by the translations. For example, consider these two written statements: (a) the number of males is two times the number of females; and (b) there were twice as many males as females. Once students make the translation M = 2F, they should be required to test the statement with examples that fit the criteria. Discussing problems orally. Not much discussion of mathematics takes place in the classrooms in this country.

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