Sunday, July 5, 2009

Musing - Building Blocks

This week, I was reminded pretty strongly of one of the keystones of math, especially Algebra. What I mean is that Algebra is like building blocks - you have to have a firm foundation. It does no good to understand the newest concepts if you have not mastered earlier concepts.

I was reminded of this because of a student I've been working with this summer. He has struggled with Algebra for a long time. He's picked up some of it, and in other areas he's weak.

He understands how to deal with rational equations, up to the point where earlier concepts such as distributing a negative or solving a quadratic come into play. So, he knows the NEW skill, but needs to shore up the OLD skill.

Other than throwing more work at him, and drilling him on these old skills, I'm at a loss on what to do to help him. Any ideas?

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