Next week brings a holiday to the US—the home of the Fave—so the Friday Fave
is taking next week off.
In the meantime, amuse yourself with a little gem that aims to bridge the gap between informal language and formal mathematical representations. At least, at most and the like are notoriously challenging for algebra students to interpret in symbols, even when they can act on these ideas as they appear in everyday life.
(Thanks to Matt Salomone for the fabulous tweet and image.)
The activity the Fave is speaking of is Absolute Value Inequalities on the Number Line. One of a suite of similarly structured activities, this one has students place points on the number line according to given constraints.
We ask students to predict what everyone’s points will look like in the aggregate. We show them what it really looks like, and ask them to verbalize a comparison between the two. We support students in translating these ideas into formal notation. Distance is the absolute value of the difference of the numbers makes more sense when you’ve already been thinking about the distance between numbers on a number line.
So go ahead and play around. The Fave will be back in two weeks’ time.
And while you’re thinking about lines, here are a few more activities on the theme.