Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Another Solution - Section 3: Wrap it Up


I sometimes just walk around and listen rather than collecting student work.  In this lesson, I heard a student explaining to his partner:

Student 1: "Imaginary roots happen when an equation factors out to give answers that don't make sense, like when we got imaginary ohms for one problem." 

Student 2: (His partner) "What about answers that aren't imaginary but still don't make sense like getting a negative profit?" 

Student 1: "Some answers are like that, but most imaginary answers are not for real problems, while sometimes you can have just a negative answer, like when you owe money or when something happened back in time." 

Student 2:  "OK, so just because it doesn't work doesn't mean it's imaginary, but then how do we explain imaginary if Mrs. Rampy calls on us?" 

Student 1: "We just say that it's any answer with an i in it!"

This dialogue is valuable to me because I can see that my students actually have some understanding that not all solutions to a problem are viable, but it also shows me that some are still not solid in what an imaginary number might mean in a real-world situation, so I need to continue to build that connection.

  Student Discussion
  Discourse and Questioning: Student Discussion
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Another Solution

Unit 4: Complex Numbers
Lesson 4 of 8

Objective: SWBAT solve quadratic equations with real coefficients and complex solutions from real-world problems.

Big Idea: Imaginary answers to real-world problems! How is that possible? Let your students explore that question for themselves.

  Print Lesson
Math, Algebra, Quadratic Equations, complex numbers, Algebra II, master teacher project, algebraic methods, 11th Grade
  55 minutes
4192576317 b960e47d26 q
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