Here you will see students as young as 4 and 5 years old doing algebra and "advanced" math, without ever knowing it's supposed to be hard.
You are invited to learn how to use this method...

## Wednesday, June 29, 2011

### 3rd Power Algebra? It's Just Complex Counting.

Here is an excerpt from a lesson where we played around with some third degree algebra made rectangles and counted the sides.

You can see from the vid we are in the drawing stage, but we still get out manipulatives so we can get a solid handle on what we are doing which is counting. We start off with all positive expressions and basically factor them. Then we move on to expressions with negative coefficients and do division too. When you are first starting out just doing one problem can take up 15 minutes or more...but then as the understanding increases it will go faster and faster.

The way to increase understanding is not to do the same thing over and over again just using symbols and changing the problems, the way to get them to "get it" is to start in the concrete move to drawings and increase the degree of difficulty gradually as concepts are understood and mastered. This also shows how important neat writing is...lol...sloppy symbols can make the difference between an A and a B, or worse a C and an F. Also, for those with a password you will see on the follow up vids on the Advanced Algebra Page. Password costs all of 3 bucks or \$12 for a year pass. Buck a month is hard to beat.

You will note sometimes I say one thing and mean another in these vids when I read the problems and say "x-squared" instead of "x to the third" and so on. I watched one vid where I did it over and over again...but eventually I say it right. Painful for me to watch.

Problems like x3-4x2+x+6/x-2 take a long time just to say but they are quite instructive. They are also intimidating to some students who find them confusing and scary just because of all the symbols, but once we get into it and it becomes familiar, they see that actually it's pretty easy...just have to count and keep track. Here we are going over the positive ones:

As usual I forget to turn the camera on until we've done a lot of them. Remember always start in the concrete, use three period lessons and make sure drawing is part of the lesson too, don't just use symbols.

Here we see that base x also has place value and answer the question "why do they go where they go?"...you'll see this on the next video look for "P2 Crewton Ramone and Syd Play with the 3rd Powers" on the Advanced Algebra page. Scroll down to the part that covers 3rd and 4th power.