The distributive property can befuddle and confuse the best algebra students. This post explains a way to teach the distributive property that breaks the process down into “baby steps.” Using this process, many students lose their sense of being overwhelmed and succeed at the process.

# Tag Archives: Algebraic Expressions

# How to Decrease Algebraic Mistakes – Part 5

Combining like terms confuses many students. But by using a special notation, the double-slash, students get a visual aid that helps them combine like terms with greater care. This post shows how to use the double-slash to combine like terms. And it offers practice problems and their solutions, too.

# How to Decrease Algebraic Mistakes – Part 1

Algebraic expressions are covered with mental “land mines.” Step the wrong way, and an expression will blow up on the page, making it impossible for students to move in the right direction. Fortunately there’s a simple thing students can do to succeed at simplifying algebraic expressions, and that simple something is using what I call […]

# 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