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Junievicz, Alex Kelly H.S.
To re-invent the wheel in a manner so that there is:
1. Transfer from other knowledge of the student;
2. Minimal relationship to previous math;
3. Conventions of Minus used in business.
To get the student to realize the rules of signs without
the turn-off that he/she may have gotten previously.
Dice One red, and one black for each student
Before class give several students the play money, and IOUs. After
attendance take a loan from one of the students and have that student
take a loan from another.
On the overhead list each student's holdings. Have the beginning
balance and the transactions using the brackets to stand for negative--
(but using the terms owned, and owed, the accountants use debits as
+[owned] and ( ) for -[Owed]--By having the students borrow from each
other to give the teacher the money there will be a negative number--
the student owes more money. A sub objective could be to balance the
student's own check book.
For practice problems have the students make their own by rolling
the dice. The black being + and the red being -. Thus they will have
random problems especially suited for the slower student since the
numbers will be less than 7, and not zero. This can later lead to some
motivation for statistics and surely will delight some of the gamblers
in the class.
Since this approach was thought of in the SMILE program and not
tested in the actual classroom I am presenting it as an alternative for
the slower classes, possibly a support class. I have used the text
book method, then, for the students still having trouble, passed out
the rules to rote memorize, and, while working with the individual
student invoked a loan approach (borrow, and "paid" so as to end up
with money owed). Maybe starting with this approach we can work around
the students' inconsistency of minus, and negative.