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  #61  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:41 PM
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AlwaysSAI AlwaysSAI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigmagirl2000 View Post
sure. If you have two points (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) just plug them in to m= (y2-y1)/((x2-x1).

That gives you the slope.

Then plug the slope (m) and one of the points you already have into point-slope form of a linear equation:

(y-y1) =m(x-x1)

where m is your slope, y1 is the y-coordinate of one of your points given, and x1 is the x-coordinate of that same point you took y from)

If you feel the need you can simplify to get it in slope-intercept form (y=mx+b), but I personally leave equations in point-slope form and try to get students to do the same.

(yes, I am a nerd. I have a preference for forms of linear equations)
Two things:

-One of my students stayed after school for tutoring yesterday. He shared with me that I made him think he wanted to be a math teacher.

-It makes me so happy, as a math teacher, to see someone who remembers all the gobblety-gook and how to utilize it.

@MC: I never knew your son was on the spectrum (not that you advertise it), but those are some of my favorite students.They have....such a way with words.
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  #62  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:45 PM
sigmagirl2000 sigmagirl2000 is offline
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I remember all this because I too am a math teacher. That probably takes away from the excitement you had of someone knowing this.
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  #63  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigmagirl2000 View Post
I remember all this because I too am a math teacher. That probably takes away from the excitement you had of someone knowing this.
You're right, it does. Here comes the rain onto my parade.
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  #64  
Old 11-18-2011, 11:25 AM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigmagirl2000 View Post
Well that was a few sentence explanation of a larger idea. Let's say your monthly plan is $50. You only get 150 texts a month with your plan.

your equation would be y=.10x+50

(x would be number of texts a month over the 150 you get included in plan. y would be the total amount you have to spend)

If you use less than 150 texts in the month, you only pay the $50. So your first point on the graph would be (0,50).

Now let's say you have a super social teenager, and he decides that "texts are pretty cheap!" and uses 1,000 texts in that one month. That's 850 more texts that you get in your plan. Each additional text over your plan costs .10 (I think that's what I used as a random example in previous post). so 850 texts at .10 each comes out to be $85 in texts. (craziness!)

So if you wanted to graph that point, it would be (850, 135) (the 850 is the number of texts beyond what you get. the 135 is the total cost for the month, the $50 monthly charge + the $85 in texts.

If you plot those two points, connect them with a ruler, and you have your line graphed.

Did that make any more sense or just cause more confusion? (it's hard to explain without writing down or speaking)
The first part made perfect sense to me, though I never would have thought of it in terms of a linear equation. The second part on graphing it, not as much. I think I could figure out how to do it, but to me, it seems like a lot more trouble than it's worth. Frankly, it would never occur to me to want to graph it or to feel the need to. I'd stop at knowing what the numbers are; that would be enough for me.

You see why I'm challenged in telling him how he'll use this later in life -- I don't use it, or I use it without realizing it, and therefore without appreciating the value of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysSAI View Post
@MC: I never knew your son was on the spectrum (not that you advertise it), but those are some of my favorite students.They have....such a way with words.
They certainly do.
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  #65  
Old 11-19-2011, 04:01 PM
John John is offline
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Back in high school I aced math and barely had to work at it. Slept in a lot of those classes but the teachers wouldn't give me a hard time about it since I did so well and almost always had the highest grade, often over 100%. Looking back, I wish they challenged me a lot more or recommended that I take more difficult classes.

I remember classmates asking teachers "what do we need to know this stuff for" with the answer nearly always being something about shopping, usually at the supermarket. The best I could tell my friends at that time was knowing algebra really well helped some in Chemistry class and a lot more in Physics.

When I took Calculus in college is when I started to realize the significance of Algebra. Not an official answer from a professor or anything, this is just the conclusion that I came up with:

Algebra is pretty much the basic building blocks to other forms of mathematics which enable you to solve really interesting and important real-world problems.

Knowing algebra (and trigonometry) enables you to better learn & understand Calculus. With calculus you can solve problems such as determining the strongest geometric shape for a particular structure that needs to handle a specific stress load, determining the weight of an astronaut (or something else) a specific distance from the surface of the Earth or even things like determining the optimal design for a rain gutter so that it has the capacity to handle a specific flow of rainwater runoff from the roof while at the same time minimizing the amount of materials to construct the gutter in order to minimize construction costs. You can't get those answers with algebra alone, afaik, but by learning algebra you can then learn calculus where you are able to solve those types of problems.

If you compare learning math to learning a language...
- Learning letters would be like learning numbers
- Learning to spell words is like learning basic arithmetic
- Learning to write sentences is like learning algebra
- Writing essays might be like solving problems in Calculus
- And then writing books might be like solving larger problems with higher levels of mathematics

Maybe all of that will help with explaining how algebra fits in and what it enables you to build up to in math.
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  #66  
Old 11-19-2011, 05:54 PM
Smile_Awhile Smile_Awhile is offline
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Quote:
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I've edited my statement. This is a first I've heard of folks with recent 4 year degrees that didn't have to take any econ (usually I see people say "I only had to take micro/macro/basic").
I won't have to take econ at all, with an expect graduation date of next May- but I'm also pursuing a BFA, so take that as you will.
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  #67  
Old 11-22-2011, 01:55 AM
christiangirl christiangirl is offline
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My degree is fairly recent (<5 years) and I didn't have to take any econ courses. NIt wasn't required for psych majors.
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  #68  
Old 11-22-2011, 01:36 PM
Psi U MC Vito Psi U MC Vito is offline
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Econ is an option for my current degree, though I think it might have been required at NJIT. I liked it though. It was a break from real math.
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  #69  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:19 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
If you compare learning math to learning a language...
- Learning letters would be like learning numbers
- Learning to spell words is like learning basic arithmetic
- Learning to write sentences is like learning algebra
- Writing essays might be like solving problems in Calculus
- And then writing books might be like solving larger problems with higher levels of mathematics

Maybe all of that will help with explaining how algebra fits in and what it enables you to build up to in math.
A number of people suggested this kind of comparison, and this seems to be the approach that got some traction with son -- the idea that he's still learning the language and that once he has the language down, he can use it creatively. Fingers crossed.

Thanks again for all the ideas, everyone.
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  #70  
Old 11-26-2011, 12:35 AM
melindawarren melindawarren is offline
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Econ is not a requirement at SC for any non-business/econ/math-related degree that I can think of ATM. Then again, math isn't a requirement for a very large number of SC degrees. Science is, though...
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  #71  
Old 11-26-2011, 03:06 AM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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No econ here for my BA (from 2006) in a liberal arts major.

It did have a 6 credit (2 course) math or logic requirement, though. I chose 2 logic courses.

Grad degree #1 (mental health field) -- No math. Just one Statistics course.
Grad degree #2 (education) -- One stats course (already have it) + Teaching Math in Grades K-8 (SPED focus) course. That class isn't ACTUAL math. It's more about the theory BEHIND MATH and instructional strategies for teaching it.

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  #72  
Old 11-26-2011, 09:44 AM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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Using his hobbies, it seems like karate could be used for "story problems" (although there's quite a bit of physics mixed in) because you're looking at doing things like breaking a pile of bricks with your foot or hand based on force expended, angle, etc.

I know it's difficult for him, but he may need, at some point, to grasp "Sometimes we have to do and learn things just to train our brain to work that way." Or, more concretely "School is your job right now and sometimes you have to do what the boss (teacher) wants you to do. When you are older you can pick a job that doesn't require this from you, but this is the job you have right now."

A few other practical applications that I can think of is... you are supposed to have a 5% grade around your house to help prevent basement flooding/foundation damage. That's a slope. The floor in your house has to be less than a certain slope to lay pergo or ceramic tiles properly.

Other random thoughts from this thread: I did not have to take Econ or Math in college at all. My major had so many pre-reqs and major classes that neither was required. My first grad school attempt however required grad Stats so I had to take an undergrad stats class first. My current grad degree requires no math prior but my encryption class does involve a bit of math, I hear. *Not looking forward to that*
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  #73  
Old 11-28-2011, 12:16 PM
AUAZD2001 AUAZD2001 is offline
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If he is interested in history and reading, go to the library (are those around anymore?) and check out books about the history of algebra. Also use his love of reading as an algebra problem. If I can read x pages per hour, and the book I want to read is y pages long, how long will it take me to read it? Algebra is useful when planning ahead to make sure you have enough time to complete tasks.
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  #74  
Old 11-28-2011, 03:39 PM
HQWest HQWest is offline
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OK MC - I know that we are talking about your son, but has anyone seen these?

http://www.amazon.com/Math-Doesnt-Su...2508229&sr=1-5

They are written by Danica McKeller (Winnie from the Wonder Years) and supposed to be really good (provided you are a 13-year-old girl).

I also have to add that I didn't like math and was actually told at one point (in third grade) by a teacher that I would never amount to much because I wasn't very good at it. (Good enough to be in the Honors class, but I struggled to keep up). Anyhow - mom sent the teacher an invite to Commencement when I got my Ph.D.

I actually wish I had taken more math in college, not because I use it every day, but because I have to have an idea of what I am seeing or what other data is presented is reasonable. Is my technical instrument working and or are these computational results reliable?

The example I have that I use all the time is - if there are 3 midterms that will constitute 60% of your grade, but you get to drop the lowest of the three, and the final is worth 40%, how do you figure out what grade you need to make on the final to get an A for the semester?

{90-[(x+y)/2]*.6}/0.4 = Final

Another way to get young MC's attention - he needs to know algebra so that when he is a big hot shot, he can tell if his accountants are telling him the truth or have an idea if his employees are skimming off the top.

ETA: LOL Thought of another one - I need algebra to know if the numbers from the RFM program are legit or if there's been a mistake.

Last edited by HQWest; 11-28-2011 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Addition
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  #75  
Old 11-29-2011, 12:26 AM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Originally Posted by AUAZD2001 View Post
If he is interested in history and reading, go to the library (are those around anymore?) and check out books about the history of algebra. Also use his love of reading as an algebra problem. If I can read x pages per hour, and the book I want to read is y pages long, how long will it take me to read it? Algebra is useful when planning ahead to make sure you have enough time to complete tasks.
This is what I was getting at early in the thread, though. He can easily figure out how long it takes to read the book using the formula you describe as that is pretty basic, which leads to the next question: "I've known how to do that for years, so why do I need to learn all this other stuff?"

As for reading, maybe I should have been a little more specific -- he likes to read fiction. He likes history if it's the history of something he otherwise finds interesting. If mom or I suggest something he might like to read, that's almost a guarantee that he won't read it (welcome to the world of the teen-age boy). So reading a history of algebra just isn't going to happen. (And I can't say I'd disagree -- the mere thought of it makes my eyes glaze over.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HQWest View Post
OK MC - I know that we are talking about your son, but has anyone seen these?

http://www.amazon.com/Math-Doesnt-Su...2508229&sr=1-5

They are written by Danica McKeller (Winnie from the Wonder Years) and supposed to be really good (provided you are a 13-year-old girl).
I've heard they are quite good, but again -- 14-year-old boy.

Quote:
The example I have that I use all the time is - if there are 3 midterms that will constitute 60% of your grade, but you get to drop the lowest of the three, and the final is worth 40%, how do you figure out what grade you need to make on the final to get an A for the semester?

{90-[(x+y)/2]*.6}/0.4 = Final
LOL. I would say that looks like Greek to me, but I can at least make heads or tails out of Greek.

We are seeing some improvement -- slow but sure improvement. Like I said upthread, the idea of thinking of it as learning the basics of the language seemed to get some traction. And frankly, we're finally getting traction with the "because you have to sooner or later, and the sooner you deal with it, the sooner you won't have to take it anymore unless you want to." I think he may (finally) see high school on the horizon and he knows grades will matter then.

Thanks again to all.
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