Factoring by grouping is one of the trickier skills in Algebra 1. But by using a special form of notation, the double-slash, students can do this skill with greater ease. This post explains how this notation can help students tackle this challenging form of factoring.

# Archive | Tutoring

# How to decrease Algebraic mistakes – Part 4

The double-slash notation comes to the rescue in algebra once again. In this post we learn how this clever notation device helps students combine positive and negative numbers, the trickiest pre-algebra concept of all. Read to find out how you can use this notation to make this concept easier for your students or children.

# How to Decrease Mistakes in Algebra – Part 3

The double-slash helps students for a variety of reasons. This post explains some of the reasons why it works.

# How to Decrease Mistakes in Algebra – Part 2

Algebra is an area of math that leads many students to make mistakes. Using a simple “Double-Slash” mark helps students wall off parts of algebra expressions from other parts, so that they avoid making mistakes. This post and the next several post will help educators learn how to use the “Double-Slash.”

# Invisible Misunderstandings: Square roots of 2 and 3

There are large chunks of mathematical knowledge that we often assume students have down. In fact, they often lack that knowledge. A good example is this: most students I work with have virtually no sense as to the value of the square root of 2 or the square root of 3. This post offers a […]

# Divisibility by 6: How to find out if 6 divides in cleanly

Learning the rules of divisibility helps all students succeed at math. Learning the trick for 6 is really helpful because it is not easy to see if 6 goes in for most people. This trick makes it much easier to tell.

# Everyone Wins When Teachers Listen

As teachers we sometimes miss interesting, candid comments students make. Paying more attention to what students say adds life to our classrooms and highlights interesting ideas. Sometimes the most important thing a teacher can do is listen carefully and reflect back what students are saying. We forget how important this is, but it is helpful […]

# Is Dear Aunt Sally “Batty”?

The phrase Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally may be cute, but it is also quite misleading. It leads students to think that they always need to do multiplication before division, which is wrong. You do whichever operation comes first as you read the expression from left to right

# Tutor Tales — Algebra/Arithmetic Connections

A cool way to help students learn from mistakes they make in algebra.

# Multiplication Trick #5 — Multiply Two-Digit Numbers by 11

There’s a quick and easy trick for multiplying two-digit numbers by 11. Dazzle your friends, amaze your family, begin your career in show-biz … o.k., maybe not show-biz, but still this is a pretty cool trick. Check it out!