Solving Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities

I have a way of organizing the steps for solving absolute value equations and inequalities  that I thought was simple, straight-forward and easy to explain.  (I am still trying to do a better job on this topic.  See this post for another take.) After preparing the students using the “field trip” that  I describe in this post, I produce  and explain  diagram as show below.

Solving Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities - Diagram

And then I work examples like these.

Solving Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities - Examples

As I prepared these images for this post and for my students I was struck by how hard it was to capture the dynamic unfolding of the solving process in a static picture.  My initial idea was to produce something along the lines of “Proofs without Words“.  Instead there are  the notes written in thin digital ink strewn about.  To generalize I think math instruction involves a large amount of modeling process steps with lots of verbal commentary that doesn’t get written on the white board.  If I want to make a really useful learning aid for my students I will need to learn one of those programs that record voice-overs. I intend to do so.

I also learned that I need to reorganize this blog and my class moodle pages to make information easier for students to find.

Get PDF versions of the diagrams Solving Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities – PDF.

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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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One Response to Solving Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities

  1. Pingback: Inequalities with Absolute Value « Mr White's Algebra I

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