Creating Inequalities from Real-World Experiences
Linear inequalities can be particularly challenging for middle school students to understand, solve, and construct. Students often treat inequalities as equations and expect that only one value will make the inequality true. This “single number answer” tendency is widespread and persists even after instruction (Vaiyavutjamai and Clements 2006). Additionally, when students solve inequalities, they often focus on manipulating symbols and do not think holistically about meaning and the reasonableness of solutions. Writing inequalities (or equations) to represent contextualized scenarios is also challenging; such errors as reversing variables and incorrectly representing relationships between quantities are common.
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Turner, E., Sugimoto, A., Stoehr, K., & Kurz, E. (2016). Creating inequalities from real-world experiences. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 22(4), 236–240.