Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why is (-3) squared different than -3 squared?

A great kick off question that sparked a rich conversation. I believe I selected it because students had trouble explaining it on a CPM homework assignment. Another explanation that also explains why a negative multiplied by a positive is negative. For example, -3(6) is equal to 0-3(6) because you can add zero to anything and not change it's value (Identity Property of Addition). Which results in an order of operation problem. 0-3(6). Multiply 3(6) first to get 18. 0 minus 18 is -18.

This problem below demonstrates a students curiosity at the beginning of class and reflecting in the last 5 minutes. (

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