Category Archives: Algebra

Teaching the Derivative Function to Grade 10

Most Grade 10 syllabus do not yet include the concept and calculation of derivative. At this level, the study of function which started in Year 7 and Year 8 on linear function is simply extended to investigating other function classes such as polynomial function to which linear and quadratics belong, the exponential function and its… Read More »

Application of the Discriminant

The discriminant of a quadratic equation, ax2 + bx + c = 0 is D = b2 – 4ac. If D>0, the quadratic equation has two distinct roots; if D<0, then the equation has no real roots; and, if D=0, the we have two equal roots. Let’s apply it in the following problem. What is… Read More »

Types of Problem Solving Tasks

The phrase ‘problem solving’ has different meanings in mathematics education. Even its role in mathematics teaching and learning is not clear cut. Some view problem solving as an end in itself. Others see it as starting point for learning. Nevertheless, here are some of the types of problem solving tasks we would see in textbooks… Read More »

When is it algebra and when is it arithmetic?

In the post Algebra vs Arithmetic, I distinguished between arithmetic and algebra by arguing that it has nothing to do with the use of letters. That algebra is about letters and arithmetic is about numbers is an oversimplified view of algebra and can create misconceptions. Here are more ways of characterizing algebra. The following excerpts… Read More »

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