Whether a mathematical notation is a variable, parameter, or constant depends on what you mean by it. If you intend to represent the value of a quantity whose measure varies within a situation, then you are using that notation as a variable. If you intend to represent the value of a quantity whose measure is the…

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In Part 1 of this series of posts about what makes algebra difficult, I discuss the multiple meanings of equal sign learners has deal with to make sense of the subject. With the changing meaning of equal sign and equations comes the changing meaning of the letter symbols. Teachers would oftentimes introduce algebra by telling…

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Didn’t we say in our algebra class that in the grades they study about numbers and so now they will be studying letters instead? Didn’t we say that in algebra we now use x instead of box (in 3 + ___ = 15, we now write 3 + x = 15)? And isn’t it that…

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