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15 Oct 2005 - 00:08

## problems freshmen at Waukesha County Tech can't do

Notice that all of these questions involve fractions. Fractions & percents.

I remember being shocked when Carolyn first told me that the barrier to college kids succeeding in algebra was fractions. I had no idea. Then Bernie told me the same thing, and since then every math professor I've ever talked to has said, 'Students can't do fractions.'

Of course, this made sense, since at the point where I met Carolyn I had recently discovered I couldn't do fractions, either.

That's not quite right.

I could do fractions.

I couldn't teach them.

Waukesha County Tech is short for Waukesha County Technical College. These are college freshmen we're talking about.

source:
Journal Sentinal 10-6-2003

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Look here for syntax help.

I can't do number 1. What does : mean?

-- KtmGuest - 16 Oct 2005

"I can't do number 1. What does : mean?"

It's a proportion. Rewrite as a/b = c/d, then cross-multiply.

-- CharlesH - 16 Oct 2005

Thank you. x = 4.

Reminds me of my first algebra test, where it turned out the teacher had forgotten to cover what ab meant. (Taught us a.b for multiplication).

-- KtmGuest - 18 Oct 2005

Oh that's funny!

Teacher forgot to teach ab!

The Singapore books all use colons for ratios, which may have been the first time I saw that notation.

-- CatherineJohnson - 18 Oct 2005

WebLogForm
Title: problems freshmen at Waukesha County Tech can't do
TopicType: WebLog
SubjectArea: CollegeMath, FractionsDecimalsAndPercents
LogDate: 200510142005