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Mathematics and Logic - Skill and Concept Development

with lessons and lesson ideas at many levels. If one site element is not to your liking, try another. Each one is different.

30 pages en Francais || Parents - Help Your Child or Teen Learn
Online Volumes: 1 Elements of Reason || 2 Three Skills For Algebra || 3 Why Slopes Light Calculus Preview or Intro plus Hard Calculus Proofs, decimal-based.
More Lessons &Lesson Ideas: Arithmetic & No. Theory || Time & Date Matters || Algebra Starter Lessons || Geometry - maps, plans, diagrams, complex numbers, trig., & vectors || More Algebra || More Calculus || DC Electric Circuits || 1995-2011 Site Title: Appetizers and Lessons for Mathematics and Reason

Mathematics Concept & Skill Development Lecture Series: Webvideo consolidation of site lessons and lesson ideas in preparation. Price to be determined.

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Are you a careful reader, writer and thinker? Five logic chapters lead to greater precision and comprehension in reading and writing at home, in school, at work and in mathematics.
- 1 versus 2-way implication rules - A different starting point - Writing or introducting the 1-way implication rule IF B THEN A as A IF B may emphasize the difference between it or the latter, and the 2-way implication A IF and ONLY IF B.
- Deductive Chains of Reason - See which implications can and cannot be used together to arrive at more implications or conclusions,
- Mathematical Induction - a light romantic view that becomes serious.
- Responsibility Arguments - his, hers or no one's
- Islands and Divisions of Knowledge - a model for many arts and disciplines including mathematics course design: Different entry points may make learning and teaching easier. Are you ready for them?

Early High School Arithmetic

Deciml Place Value - funny ways to read multidigit decimals forwards and backwards in groups of 3 or 6.
- Decimals for Tutors - lean how to explain or justify operations. Long division of polynomials is easier for student who master long division with decimals.
- Primes Factors - Efficient fraction skills and later studies of polynomials depend on this.
- Fractions + Ratios - See how raising terms to obtain equivalent fractions leads to methods for addition, comparison, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions.
- Arithmetic with units - Skills of value in daily life and in the further study of rates, proportionality constants and computations in science & technology.

Early High School Algebra

What is a Variable? - this entertaining oral & geometric view may be before and besides more formal definitions - is the view mathematically correct?
- Formula Evaluation - Seeing and showing how to do and record steps or intermediate results of multistep methods allows the steps or results to be seen and checked as done or later; and will improve both marks and skill. The format here allows the domino effects of care and the domino effects of mistakes to be seen. It also emphasizes a proper use of the equal sign.
- Solve Linear Eqns with & then without fractional operations on line segments - meet an visual introduction and learn how to present do and record steps in a way that demonstrate skill; learn how to check answers, set the stage for solving word problems by by learning how to solve systems of equations in essentially one unknown, set the stage for solving triangular and general systems of equations algebraically.
- Function notation for Computation Rules - another way of looking at formulas. Does a computation rule, and any rule equivalent to it, define a function?
- Axioms [some] as equivalent Computation Rule view - another way for understanding and explaining axioms.
- Using Formulas Backwards - Most rules, formulas and relations may be used forwards and backwards. Talking about it should lead everyone to expect a backward use alone or plural, after mastery of forward use. Proportionality relations may be use backward first to find a proportionality constant before being used forwards and backwards to solve a problem.

Early High School Geometry

Maps + Plans Use - Measurement use maps, plans and diagrams drawn to scale.
- Coordinates - Use them not only for locating points but also for rotating and translating in the plane.
- What is Similarity - another view of using maps, plans and diagrams drawn to scale in the plane and space. Many human-made objects are similar by design.
- 7 Complex Numbers Appetizer. What is or where is the square root of -1. With rectangular and polar coordinates, see how to add, multiply and reflect points or arrows in the plane. The visual or geometric approach here known in various forms since the 1840s, demystifies the square root of -1 and the associated concept of "imaginary" numbers. Here complex number multiplication illustrates rotation and dilation operations in the plane.
- Geometric Notions with Ruler & Compass Constructions :
1 Initial Concepts & Terms
2 Angle, Vertex & Side Correspondence in Triangles
3 Triangle Isometry/Congruence
4 Side Side Side Method
5 Side Angle Side Method
6 Angle Bisection
7 Angle Side Angle Method
8 Isoceles Triangles
9 Line Segment Bisection
10 From point to line, Drop Perpendicular
11 How Side Side Side Fails
12 How Side Angle Side Fails
13 How Angle Side Angle Fails

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www.whyslopes.com >> Arithmetic and Number Theory Skills >> 8 Arithmetic with Signed Numbers


Arithmetic with signed numbers includes arithmetic with integers, rational numbers (signed fractions) and beyond them, real numbers.

Lesson 1 has just become the last lesson 11. Writing is an iterative affair. In retrospect, being last appears to the best place for it.

Lesson 2 signed and unsigned numbers as coordinates introduces signs as prefixes to provide coordinates along a full number number. This use of signs + and - as prefixes to numbers in service of providing coordinates for a full line provides an initial context and motivation for signed numbers.

Optional Reading: Lesson 3 signed coordinates for maps and planes and Lesson 4 signed coordinates for regions in space describe the further use of signed numbers in pairs or triplets to locate points.

Lesson 5 lengths and signs of numbers. Signed numbers have a sign prefixed to a unsigned part. The latter part may be called its magnitude, absolute value or length of the signed number.

Lesson 6 adding signed numbers introduces methods for adding signed numbers - those with a common signs and those with diferent signs. To add two or several numbers with a common sign, use the slogan prefix the common sign to the sum of their lengths. To add two numbers with unlike signs, prefix the sign of the longest [or largest] to the difference, the longest length minus the shortest length. Lesson 6 describes these methods for adding with words and with algebra, and then gives many, many examples.

Lesson 7 negative and additive inverse for each number IT, identifies its additive inverse - a second number which when added to IT gives a result of zero. People who think algebraically may think x in place of IT. Lesson 7 is preparation for lesson 9. The accompanying slogan for computing a negative or additive is simple: keep the length, but change the sign prefixed to it. In that change, a plus + becomes a minus -, and a minus becomes a plus.

Lesson 8 multiplying signed numbers is based on the slogan, multiple the signs, multiple the lengths to compute the produce of two or more sign numbers. Twenty or so multiplication examples employing integers, proper and improper fractions, and symbols denoting real numbers are given.


The case of signed mixed numbers is not covered here, but they can be rewritten as signed improper fractions. How to multiply mixed numbers without this conversion must wait mastery of the distributive law and perhaps associated column multiplication methods to exploit.

The multiply the lengths, multiply the signs slogan provides a prequel to and slogan and rule multiply the lengths, add the angles for multiplying complex numbers.

Lesson 9 subtracting signed numbers shows how to subtract a number by adding its negative or additive inverse. Multiple examples are given. Those examples are followed by two interpretations of subtraction, the more-than interpretation [i], that the length of the difference between two numbers gives the number of units, one is more than another; and the geometric distance interpretation [ii], that the length of the difference of two numbers gives the distance between two. There-in lies a prequel to the discussion of length calculation along a coordinate line using absolute values.

Lesson 10 dividing signed numbers presents slogan multiply the signs, divide the lengths to say how to divide signed numbers.

Lesson 11 What are real lengths and numbers describes how numbers may describe length and position along straight lines - number lines. It easy to understand the associated use of whole numbers and fractions - proper and improper, but it may come as a surprise that there are points on straight lines whose distance to the origin is not a whole and/or fractional multiple of a unit length. Thus more numbers to describe lengths appear. Thus extra numbers - the irrationals - together with proper and improper fractions form the unsigned real numbers. The latter provide coordinates along a half-line.

Remark: If a number is written without a sign, its sign is deemed to the plus sign. With that convention, the arithmetic operations described below can also be applied to expressions involving a mix of signed and unsigned numbers.

A Nuance

Location of Signs: The use of signs + and - in the super-prefix position, examples +5 and -3,in the introduction of integers appeared in modern mathematics secondary and college education 1967-75 say. But the but was not used in practice with rational numbers given by unsigned fractions (a/b). With the latter, signs were employed as prefixed position but not in the superscript position. In the following lessons, signs appear in prefix position at normal or superscript hieght, or somewhere in between. Whether or not the symbols + and - serve as number signs or as the number operations - here addition and subtraction, or calculating a negative inverse - is usually well indicated by the context, with any ambiguity being harmless. For example -5 may indicate negative 5 - the number - or the calculation of negative inverse of 5, a calculation that has value negative the number.

www.whyslopes.com >> Arithmetic and Number Theory Skills >> 8 Arithmetic with Signed Numbers

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Road Safety Messages for All: When walking on a road, when is it safer to be on the side allowing one to see oncoming traffic?

Play with this [unsigned] Complex Number Java Applet to visually do complex number arithmetic with polar and Cartesian coordinates and with the head-to-tail addition of arrows in the plane. Click and drag complex numbers A and B to change their locations.

Pattern Based Reason

Online Volume 1A, Pattern Based Reason, describes origins, benefits and limits of rule- and pattern-based reason and decisions in society, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Not all is certain. We may strive for objectivity, but not reach it. Online postscripts offer a story-telling view of learning: [ A ] [ B ] [ C ] [ D ] to suggest how we share theory and practice in many fields of knowledge.

Site Reviews

1996 - Magellan, the McKinley Internet Directory:

Mathphobics, this site may ease your fears of the subject, perhaps even help you enjoy it. The tone of the little lessons and "appetizers" on math and logic is unintimidating, sometimes funny and very clear. There are a number of different angles offered, and you do not need to follow any linear lesson plan. Just pick and peck. The site also offers some reflections on teaching, so that teachers can not only use the site as part of their lesson, but also learn from it.

2000 - Waterboro Public Library, home schooling section:

CRITICAL THINKING AND LOGIC ... Articles and sections on topics such as how (and why) to learn mathematics in school; pattern-based reason; finding a number; solving linear equations; painless theorem proving; algebra and beyond; and complex numbers, trigonometry, and vectors. Also section on helping your child learn ... . Lots more!

2001 - Math Forum News Letter 14,

... new sections on Complex Numbers and the Distributive Law for Complex Numbers offer a short way to reach and explain: trigonometry, the Pythagorean theorem,trig formulas for dot- and cross-products, the cosine law,a converse to the Pythagorean Theorem

2002 - NSDL Scout Report for Mathematics, Engineering, Technology -- Volume 1, Number 8

Math resources for both students and teachers are given on this site, spanning the general topics of arithmetic, logic, algebra, calculus, complex numbers, and Euclidean geometry. Lessons and how-tos with clear descriptions of many important concepts provide a good foundation for high school and college level mathematics. There are sample problems that can help students prepare for exams, or teachers can make their own assignments based on the problems. Everything presented on the site is not only educational, but interesting as well. There is certainly plenty of material; however, it is somewhat poorly organized. This does not take away from the quality of the information, though.

2005 - The NSDL Scout Report for Mathematics Engineering and Technology -- Volume 4, Number 4

... section Solving Linear Equations ... offers lesson ideas for teaching linear equations in high school or college. The approach uses stick diagrams to solve linear equations because they "provide a concrete or visual context for many of the rules or patterns for solving equations, a context that may develop equation solving skills and confidence." The idea is to build up student confidence in problem solving before presenting any formal algebraic statement of the rule and patterns for solving equations. ...

Senior High School Geometry

- Euclidean Geometry - See how chains of reason appears in and besides geometric constructions.
- Complex Numbers - Learn how rectangular and polar coordinates may be used for adding, multiplying and reflecting points in the plane, in a manner known since the 1840s for representing and demystifying "imaginary" numbers, and in a manner that provides a quicker, mathematically correct, path for defining "circular" trigonometric functions for all angles, not just acute ones, and easily obtaining their properties. Students of vectors in the plane may appreciate the complex number development of trig-formulas for dot- and cross-products.
Lines-Slopes [I] - Take I & take II respectively assume no knowledge and some knowledge of the tangent function in trigonometry.

Calculus Starter Lessons

Why study slopes - this fall 1983 calculus appetizer shone in many classes at the start of calculus. It could also be given after the intro of slopes to introduce function maxima and minima at the ends of closed intervals.
- Why Factor Polynomials - Online Chapter 2 to 7 offer a light introduction function maxima and minima while indicating why we calculate derivatives or slopes to linear and nonlinear curves y =f(x)
- Arithmetic Exercises with hints of algebra. - Answers are given. If there are many differences between your answers and those online, hire a tutor, one has done very well in a full year of calculus to correct your work. You may be worse than you think.

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