For some reason there were 6 kids in after school with me…all working on different topics and courses. Yikes. I had to be on my toes that day.
One student in particular was working with polynomial operations. Why do we add the exponents on these… but not these…?
Well. I paused. Why do we? That expert blind spot…I know that’s what we do, but why? We aren’t actually adding exponents but that’s what appears to be happening. Help.
Hmm. Well. Uhm. Flashback to my daughter’s 2nd or 3rd grade math.
Sort of like place value. The math doesn’t work because of the rule. Someone made up the rule as a short cut because that’s what happens when we do the math…
And this is what I began with…
Too often students see polynomial expressions as some obscure thing. Have we failed them by not encouraging them to see them as numbers?
Please share how you address this same question, why do we add exponents here, but not here?
And saying that’s the rule is not acceptable. 😊