Time for a ride! Holidays at the desk…

Posted on January 19, 2015

I *did* get a video done explaining those negative problems that ALEKS has that knock the students out. There are things I like about ALEKS — this isn’t one of them. -45

Let’s put the most confusing elements of integer addition and subtraction all together, and then *add* a bit of language complexity. Students have to figure out the result of adding an amount to a negative number, which is either more or less negative than the number is positive.

So it’s confusing because it’s an addition problem where you subtract, but it’s not totally transferable because it’s always a positive plus a negative.

Then we have the “how much lower” problems where… oh, just to add one more little thing to comprehend — if I say “how much lower is -45 than -15,” you’d better subtract *from* -15 because they’re asking for a difference so the answer is always positive (and no, the explanation doesn’t really do it justice).

But first, a bike ride! It’s 40 degrees out there and the snow is in the shady parts, only…