Nix the Tricks discusses the pitfalls of some mathematical shortcuts and their impact on understanding

17 12 2013

Nix the Tricks is a recently released PDF which discusses seven categories of shortcuts many teachers of Mathematics employ in their attempt to cover the crowded curriculum and have students manipulate as many strategies as possible. Tina Cardone discusses the impact of these shortcuts on understanding and offers her alternatives.
One which strikes a chord with me is the mnemonic FOIL for expanding pairs of binomial brackets. She claims the rigidity of the method compromises the understanding that the expansion can be done in any order. She suggests every term by every term as an alternative. This is how I have always approached the situation
Closing comments in the document are to “Ask questions, join debates and make suggestions at or share and discuss with your colleagues.”
Enjoy the document.





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