# Talk

## Maths teachers, what is this called ?

(97 Posts)
Wed 05-Oct-11 21:23:32

I've flicked ahead in son's maths textbook to see whats coming up next to aviod being caught on the hop.(again)

What would you call this in English ? (it's a quick video, cos I don't know how to upload pics)

A literal translation suggests "absolute rational numbers", but when I googled that it didn't look the same at all.

http://freemathdictionary.com/aa/absolute-rational-number/

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:23:58

I've flicked ahead in son's maths textbook to see whats coming up next to aviod being caught on the hop.(again)

What would you call this in English ? (it's a quick video, cos I don't know how to upload pics)

A literal translation suggests "absolute rational numbers", but when I googled that it didn't look the same at all.

freemathdictionary.com/aa/absolute-rational-number/

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:26:44

It 'looks' like rationalising fractions......but I'm not a maths teacher

You know you get all sorts of fractions (with different bottom numbers) & you have to work it all out to find the answer using lowest common denominators and stuff

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:30:22

But when I google that it bangs on about SURDS whatever they are and has square roots in it

So either I got the name wrong (likely) or they changed the name in the 30 odd years since I did it (equally likely)

SORRY

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:32:58

theres a bit here

about adding unlike fractions which might help or alternatively you might jut forget I tried to answer

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:35:35

I've been out of teaching for a while now but am to say I don't really know what that lot is called!!

It's the colons between the fractions that are bothering me

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:37:18

no love I think you might be on to something, it could be rationalizing numbers NOT rational numbers ?

So we have to simplyfy the fractions, then BIDMAS (the brackets, indices, dividion, multiplication, addition, subtraction thing where everything must be resolved in the right order)

and then we end up with...fractions or numbers...oh bugger, it seems to make sense when I start thinking about it but turns into spagetti junction in my mind.

Is there an ipad app for doing this homework for us ?

<hopeful emoticon>

pointydog Wed 05-Oct-11 21:38:14

Doesn't his teacher teach him what to do?

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:41:11

It's the colons between the fractions that are bothering me

Oh bugger, hadn't even noticed them.

Punctuation in maths.

Who have thunk it.

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:42:21

I'm guessing they're for ratios - but ratios was an area my brain never quite got round!

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:43:42

He has class in another language (I think) so we are working in the dark wrt any explanations

LazyDaisy123 Wed 05-Oct-11 21:45:58

Think I'd be tempted to wait until that one's taught!! May be called solving equations with fractions but I have cobwebs in my brain from GSCE maths!

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:46:13

Doesn't his teacher teach him what to do?

There has been a lot of self study so far this year, which caused a problem when we hit a "set theory" road block, cos he didn't understand and I couldn't help until I high speed learned about it myself.

I've flicked through the first book that takes us up to end Nov so I can get ahead of the curve and make sure we don't get stuck for time again trying to learn while the homeowork mounts up.

Most stuff I at least know what it is, but this one has me flummoxed, and without a name in English I can't resources for me in my own language.

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:48:41

What does the Italian (is it Italian?) actually say? Can we get a native speaker on here to translate?

One set of colons I can grasp, eg. 1:3 but in those there are multiple colons x lots

StainlessSteelCat Wed 05-Oct-11 21:53:09

Maths teacher here, and I have no idea what the colon is for! I'd use a colon for ratios, but not like that.

However, yes, it looks like simplifying. Add/subtract everything together, do whatever is needed with the confusing colon, so you end up with one fraction. then simplify - divide top and bottom by same number until you can't any more.

Wed 05-Oct-11 21:54:08

in the original it says

I numeri razionali assoluti

My husband is a native speaker, fat lot of use he's been, hopefully somebody with a grasp of both languages has a better idea.

pointydog Wed 05-Oct-11 21:55:21

But surely he can ask his maths teacher if he's stuck?

cakeandcustard Wed 05-Oct-11 21:55:24

At a very rough guess you're looking at simplifying the fraction using BIDMAS to get the individual brackety bits over a common denominator, the colon usually denotes a ratio, which can also be simplified by multiplying/dividing both sides by the same number.

I've not seen a combination of ratios and fractions like this before, you need to check the notation for the language that the book is in as there might be variations e.g. french students sometimes use a comma for the decimal point.

Sorry - best guess

Wed 05-Oct-11 22:01:45

oh I am daft, I was searching the page for a semi colon not a colon

colon in Italian means divide.

I think

Well it did last year.

So I simplyfy all the fractions and then apply BIDMAS to the top BIDMAS to the bottom and then...end up with ...a fraction?

any idea how long more or less once I have the hang of it a single problem would take to resolve ?

Just a ball park, cos if you lovely people say five minutes and he ends up taking an hour each I'll know that intervention is required.

Wed 05-Oct-11 22:20:15

*But surely he can ask his maths teacher if he's stuck?

It depends on whether they cover it in class or if the topic is one tney set for self study via homework.

I'm hedging my bets in the sense I might be wasting my time if they do cover it as fully "taught" at school, but better a bit of time wasted now at a leisurly pace then have it come home and everybody in the house is all at sea.

I can't relive the Set Theory Crisis of last week.

My hair will go grey

noblegiraffe Wed 05-Oct-11 22:26:40

Oh dear god. What is the actual point of getting someone to wade through all those calculations?! That's what calculators with a fraction button were invented for. It's just designed for them to make a silly mistake in one part and get the whole thing wrong, isn't it?

I'm hoping that his teacher knows some sort of trick for sorting that all out into something straightforward and that he isn't just expected to plod his way though all the calculations in the correct order.

FWIW, I'm just marking a homework I set for my Y9s on fractions - also adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing - except also with mixed numbers. They were all straightforward questions involving two fractions to check that they understand the methods. That looks like some sort of endurance test.

PS: Buy a calculator with a fraction button to check the answers!

noblegiraffe Wed 05-Oct-11 22:42:27

Out of curiosity I've just done one of the questions. It took about 6 minutes and my mental arithmetic is good, I know the methods and I know the tricks for simplifying the calculations. For a Y7 kid who might be a bit unsure about fractions and have to think about simplifying, they're going to take a lot longer.

The individual calculations themselves aren't hard (if you simplify before multiplying) but there are so many of them!

The answer to question 8 is 1, by the way

Thu 06-Oct-11 06:13:29

Oh, I didn't get one as an answer.

I have discovered that on the far side of the page there is a verticalmlist of fractions and numbers, so have concluded those are the answers and he'll have to connect the question tomthe answer.

Which I guess should minimise some of the ability of "one mistake" in the middle of a calculation to screw them thing up ?

<hopeful>

Calculators do fractions ?

Is this a post 1984 invention or did I just forget they did that?

I'll do a couple a day until they are done so at least we do know the correct answers (allegedly, as soon as I start doing one all the various componants seem to dance around and I get lost)

That way when the time comes I can concentrate on having him work through them taking it steady, and as long as he has the hang of it just provide the answers if we run out of time.

Thankfully fractions are one of his stronger maths areas.

Anything that can be related to pizza has instant interest on his part.

Noble, quick question if you have a sec, his maths tutor can start at the end of the month.

Rather than have him deal with the school homework, would it make more sense to have him focus on the topics in the end of year state exams (ie not set theory or Endurance Franctions) which are comprable to the stuff/level in the British year 7 textbook.

I'm thinking both in terms of making sure he does end up with a solid foundation that he can build on, and increasing the chances of a contrasting high mark in the state exams as a sort or arse covering measure in case his marks in them school prodiced exam is not fabby.

Does that make sense or does it reek of a Baldric "cunning plan" ?

noblegiraffe Thu 06-Oct-11 07:17:32

This is the calculator we use at my school. Look what it's doing in the picture - they've come on a bit recently!

End of year state exams??? What would be the consequences of doing rubbish in tests but well in the exam? Does it affect setting or future exams taken or anything like that?

I'd go for covering the sensible stuff that would be assessed externally as this will help if you ever need to swap schools (again).

Thu 06-Oct-11 09:24:58

End of year state exams??? What would be the consequences of doing rubbish in tests but well in the exam? Does it affect setting or future exams taken or anything like that

There is no setting here, not offically anyway, and even then not till high school.

It is possible that this year the gov will introduce a normative so that the state exam (think SATS but yearly, and shorter) form part of the students overall end of year grade in our year seven. It's already been introduced for year nine, and it looks like year seven will be the next to follow suit. Could be as much as 25% of overall score.

Most kids do worse in the state exam than their in class grade suggests they should do, so a reversal of that would give him pause for thought if he has low grades at school but a high score on the exam.

You can't be lazy, stupid and awful at maths if you get a good score in the state exam.

See what I mean, I'm thinking of the state exam like an objective, standadised.... insurance policy.

That way at least I can combat the growing "I will now give up on maths, cos I am thick" attitude that is growing daily. Regardless of the school's grade for maths, if I can show him that an objective, standadised, same for eveybody in the class exam says he has every reason not to see himself that way.

Well, that's the plan. Today.

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