In at least 250 words, please respond to the following:
Why do you think it is important to demonstrate the relevance and use of Algebra in real-life situations?
Create your own real-life linear situation and give the linear equation that models this relationship – be sure to identify the independent/dependent variable and the letters you use to represent them in your equation.
Peer Response 1
It is important to demonstrate the relevance and use of algebra in real life situations in order to promote student engagement. Students should be provided with examples that they can relate to so they will be more interested in learning the concept at hand. When provided with boring, out of date, or out of their reality type examples they tend to not be as eager to solve the problem. Many times, they ignore the words entirely and just pull out the numbers. Then theyâ€ll just plug them into the formula or concept being taught because they understand the procedure. This does not allow students to actually build understanding and be able to conceptualize the problem or task. It is important for students to have procedural understanding but without conceptual understanding it can be hard to apply to real life situations. We use algebra daily in our lives, usually at a very basic level, but many times we logically formulate equations without even knowing it. For example, in finances, cooking, sports, etc.
Example of a real-life linear situation:
Jane is playing Fruit Slash on her phone. She bought coins to use to play each level. At level 5 she had 90 coins left and at level 8 she had 60 coins left. How many coins will Jane have left at level 10?
IV- Level (x) DV- Coins (y)
m=-10 b=140 y=-10x+140
Peer Response 2
To be honest, I do not think it is of crucial importance to focus on â€œreal lifeâ€ applications of algebra. If you want mathematics that is â€œreal lifeâ€, that is almost always going to be statistics, not algebra. I prefer an alternative approach to the â€œreal lifeâ€ focus, which originated from a blog post I read from mathematics teacher and Desmos contributor Dan Meyer. The way he sets the table as a lesson planner is to consider the question, â€œif this mathematical method is the aspirin, then how do I create a headache?â€ He further elaborates, â€œMath shouldnâ€t feel pointless. Math isnâ€t pointless. It may not have a point in job [y] or [z] but math has a point in math. We invented new math to resolve the limitations of old math. My challenge to all of us here is, before you offer students the new, more powerful math, put them in a place to experience the limitations of the older, less powerful math.â€
As to the second part of the prompt, I would point out that most â€œreal-life linear situationsâ€ are not as clean and simple as we might want them to be, because many â€œreal-life linear situationsâ€ are correlations. In other words, they are situations that have linear tendencies but do not fall on a perfect straight line. For example, we might say that if h is a personâ€s height and w is their wingspan, then h = w. But, itâ€s not the case that everyoneâ€s height equals their wingspan exactly; this statement just expresses an overall linear trend in data.
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