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.

# Tag Archives: Order of Operations

# 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.

# Common Algebra Mistake: Interpreting Negative Signs in Front of Parentheses

Tricky area of algebra: negative signs in front of parentheses. This explains how we can help students relate the concept to everyday life, and thereby grasp it so they remember it!

# Abbreviating the Order of Operations

The PEMDAS abbreviation for the order of operations misleads students into thinking they should always multiply before dividing, and always add before subtracting.

# Addition and Subtraction: More Bad Behavior by Dear Aunt Sally

Aunt Sally also confuses students about addition and subtraction. Read this post to find out how to overcome the confusion.

# 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

# “Simple” equations? Not always so simple.

Here’s a tip that helps teachers help students solve simple equations, but equations that have a tricky twist that can really trip kids up.

# Algebra mistakes due to Negative Signs? Use COLOR to EXPLAIN.

Help students conquer a major area of mistakes, using color to show the steps in the Order of Operations, with exponent expressions.

# Making Sense of Negative Signs

Solving equations can be extremely difficult for many students. This blog explores a certain kind of equation that gives students the “heeby-jeebies,” and it tells you how to help them find a way out of their confusion.