Thursday, April 19, 2012

How Algebra Should Be Taught

How it's taught now:  x(2y)=z

Explanation: If you have an unknown number of oranges (x) and an unknown number of apples (y), but a total number of 30 pieces of fruit (z), how many apples and how many oranges do you have?

How a teenager answers: Why do you have 30 pieces of fruit? Those apples are gonna get mushy. You're stupid for buying so much fresh fruit all at once. I'm not eatin' that crap. Bring me some Doritos.

How it should be taught:

Example 1. x(2y)=z

Explanation: x= how much time your mom says you have to get ready and get out the door
y= how much time you decide to actually take
z= how big of a \$#!tfit she's gonna have when you don't get your lazy adolescent butt out of bed

How a teenager understands it: Oh. That's why she flipped out? Really? How much time I take ticks her off double the amount of time I was supposed to take? Hm. Well, there's a proportion that's good to know.

Example 2.

Normal:  A population of rabbits triples every month. Assume we start out with 100 rabbits.

a. How many rabbits are there after 4 months?

b. How long until there are 50,000 rabbits?

Teenager thinks:
Bow chicka wow wow! Those bunnies are gettin' some tail like cray-cray! Dang! I wonder if I'll get any at prom?

Should be:
If you cave in to the pressure from the guy you like to text him a naked picture of yourself, taking 2 seconds to reach him, and he forwards it to three of his friends five seconds later, and they each forward it to three friends in five seconds, and they each do the same,

a. How many people will think you're a skank a\$\$ ho after two minutes?
b. How long until the entire population of your school has seen your embarrassing sext?
Bonus: Explain why you can go to jail for this. Hint: Child porno.

See? Make it relevant, and kids will understand math with no problem!