No matter what math class a student was in all students were required to do this problem. It requires knowledge strictly from your typical Algebra I class, but it requires a thoughtful, reasoned response in order to correctly answer the question. It proved, somewhat unexpectedly, to be a difficult one today.

Here it is for anyone to try. I welcome any questions or comments on this question.

Write an equation for line l.

I like the problem a lot. It requires students to sythesize concepts of the x and y intercept, multiple equation forms and methods of finding slope, and the crucial concept of perpendicular lines having opposite and inverse slopes. Plus, kids need to be able to work with fractions and integers.

ReplyDeleteAs a teacher, here's my question: if this problem is hard for kids, where is the gap in their knowledge? Is it in synthesizing, or are there missing pieces before that point? As an experienced math problem solver, I could see what I needed to do before starting, but where do they get stuck? And how do we, as teachers, help them get unstuck.