What is this student doing? Where is their misunderstanding? @mpershan#mathmustakespic.twitter.com/7YQNGnopwi

— Lisa Bejarano (@lisabej_manitou) January 20, 2014

Let’s help Lisa out in the comments, mmk?

What is this student doing? Where is their misunderstanding? @mpershan#mathmustakespic.twitter.com/7YQNGnopwi

— Lisa Bejarano (@lisabej_manitou) January 20, 2014

Let’s help Lisa out in the comments, mmk?

How would you help this student?

Another thought: would this student have made this mistake at the beginning of the problem? In other words, is this mistake more likely to happen as the problem goes on than at the beginning? If so, then what does that say about problem-solving?

Thanks to Anna for the submission!

These are some “Always, Sometimes, Never” questions. Like, “Is it always, sometimes or never true that a rhombus is a parallelogram.”

What’s the fastest way to help these students?

(Thanks for the submission, Tina C!)

Dip into the archive and check out our other exponent mistakes. What do you notice?

Thanks to Julie for the submission!

Question: Evaluate the expression when , $latex y = -2$, and $latex z = -2$.

These submissions come from Julie, who posted about this stuff on her blog:

What happened? First, I HATE PEMDAS AND ANYONE WHO USES IT. This starts early, and students are already brainwashed by 6th grade when I get them. All of the GEMS in the world can’t seem to fix this. I hate PEMDAS because students see parenthesis and go into “I must do that first” mode, even when there is only ONE number inside the parenthesis. Just because it is in parenthesis, one number, for example (2), does NOT a

groupmake.

Discuss her evaluation of the problem, and her next steps, either in the comments or at her place.