[Numeracy 277] Re: Is an absolute value positive?

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Carol King cking at lyon.k12.nv.us
Thu Apr 1 13:30:33 EDT 2010

This leads me back to some of the confusion, while I really liked that
example, you have now introduced the new term of magnitude into our
discussion of absolute values which my text defines as the distance from
0 and it does not mention magnitudes at all. While I personally
understand magnitude and I prefer that as the term for what absolute
value is showing in the problem, if my struggling student was to try to
use another source to help them they might also run into this language
and they feel rather than being helped they are led down another rabbit
hole. Why are there so many ways to express in language what this one
concept is doing rather than a consistent method?

Carol King

Fernley Adult Education Center

cking at lyon.k12.nv.us


From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of mmanly
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:15 AM
To: 'The Math and Numeracy Discussion List'
Subject: [Numeracy 274] Re: Is an absolute value positive?


Regarding your question about a context for the absolute value of -6 and

What is the distance you travel (i.e., miles on your odometer) if you
travel 6 miles in the wrong direction and then turn around and go 10 in
the correct direction?

Absolute values help when you want to consider only the magnitude of a
number, not the direction.



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