Hope you all are well. This week was back to school for my college students. The form below is from the end of class Monday (our very first virtual class!)
Our college, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, has professors post midterm grades. These grades do not go on transcripts but allow for transparency between teachers and students. I spent much of the planning time for Monday’s lesson and Wednesday’s exam focused on the student experience and creating modules within the 85 minutes.
On Wednesday the midterm for my College Algebra students was a blend of Delta Math and a Google Form. I chatted with students in real time and held virtual office hours.
I extended the Delta Math due date til Friday morning and also created a non Delta Math assignment on a Word document to provide students with a choice. At this point in time, helping students complete assignments is not as important as building community and agency for our students.
Most students thought 12/0 was 0 but it’s undefined!!
You cannot divide by 0: when counting by zeros…when will you get to 12? NEVER!!
Helping students with homework can be easier with examples rather than rules.
10 times as much as vs. 1/10 of can be clarified by using better numbers:
so we chose 6 as our better number
6 is 10 times as much as 0.6 and 1/10 of 60
Now we know how to answer each column by comparing it to our easy example of 6!!
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP7 Look for and make use of structure.
Once we see how 6 worked with 0.6 and 60, we can extend that idea to the harder decimal numbers given.
So how much is 12/0? Go here to ask Google’s calculator: Google Calculator
Google says Infinity
Now try the calculator from Web 2.0 Calculator
Web 2.0 says “Error: Divide by 0”
Desmos says “Infinity”
went through a lot of online calculators until I found this: http://www.calculator-tab.com/. It says error and also says division by zero is not defined
Wolfram Alpha says “complex infinity”
Try your cell phone calculator(s) and post any other interesting answers here by leaving a comment…this student meant to write Undefined but wrote something super close 🙂
This 4th grade student did know how to get the answer but fell for the good wrong answer because she forgot about the first number in Jill’s pattern. This is a Fencepost mistake (for example, for a 100 foot fence with posts every 10 feet, you need 11 fence posts!).
We can improve Math scores and enjoyment of Math by helping people to notice details.