Hopelessly lost in algebra land
October 5, 2009 6:40 AM Subscribe
I am having the hardest time working with positive and negative integers in elementary algebra. Please hope me.
posted by hollygoheavy to education (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm back in college after 20+ years and have gone back in time to elementary algebra. I didn't get it in high school and I'm still having a hard time getting it now. My specific problem is adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers, as well as accurately reading them in an equation. For example:
5(-2) - 4(-2) + 3
this has my eyes crossed. I want to rewrite it as -10 - 8 + 3 which is I'm pretty sure incorrect. I have to get this straight now because otherwise I'll be making sign errors all through the rest of my class, even if my math and rest of the problem solving is correct.
I have made flash cards with the "rules" for addition and subtraction with signed integers and refer to them but sometimes I still come out with the wrong answer.
Does anyone have any other ideas or tips for how to get over this mental block I have with the whole signed integer thing?