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.
And then I work examples like these.
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.