A Fraction Survey – A Teaching Tool That Worked

When we get to rational expressions in intermediate algebra classes, I have my students fill out this survey.

Rational Expression Survey

I let the students work for five minutes or so and then we discuss the answers.  There are a lot of enlightened oh’s and ah’s.  From then on in class I need only remind them that “canceling” only works with factors.  I conclude the survey by discussing the necessity of distinguishing between adding and multiplying and more generally the necessity of  looking  carefully at all algebra problems.

I don’t think I do this type of exercise often enough.  By “this type of exercise” I mean a set of questions that force my students to review what they know in a compare and contrast format.  I am going to try this method for other concepts.  I will be publishing the worksheets  as I develop them.


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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