Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Tuesday teaching report 

Despite my best efforts, I was a bit late this morning courtesy of bad weather and worse traffic. I noticed today that the questions asked by the 8a section are almost completely orthogonal to those asked by the 9a section. Today was largely working with radicals. There was one problem (cube root of 4 times the 4th root of 3) that I didn't have an immediate solution for, but I think that this was a good thing, in that it helped the students see how to think about the problem rather than just putting the problem into a box that says, this questions belongs in category A, so we use algorithim A to find the answer.

During my tutoring hour, I had a student come by with a questions that I could not answer (nor could I see from the chapter how it would be solved): The problem was to find the remainder when x10+x8 is divided by x-1, without using synthetic or long division. From the chapter, it would seem that it is somehow related to the fact that the polynomial has zeroes of 0, i and -i, but I was baffled at how to solve it. I sent her off to find a precalc TA. I think that I might stop by the bookstore and spend $50 on my own copy of the book. The way that precalc is taught is so different now, it would behoove me to re-learn it myself.

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