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Show my work? - November 7th 2013, 01:22 AM

I have always had good grades, but now I'm getting pretty bad grades in math (mostly C's) I asked my teacher why and he said that I don't show my work, but the questions are things like 1+(-1), so I just know that it's 0!! Thus, I have no work to show! Help!
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Re: Show my work? - November 7th 2013, 02:12 AM

Maybe you can ask your teacher what he wants you to do in cases like that?
I know that even when I get questions with that, I sort of write out HOW I know, like, I'll rewrite the question then I'll get rid of the plus so it's just the negative and make it 1-1=0. Or you can explain how you got it on the paper rather than just writing down the answer (ie it's plus a negative, which means minus).
But, you can always ask him, just to be on the safe side.

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Re: Show my work? - November 7th 2013, 02:36 AM

Honestly there's no reason to show work for that.
I think you should talk to your teacher about losing grades over silly things like this.
Or you can just start showing work for literally everything.

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Re: Show my work? - November 7th 2013, 11:34 AM

I was always the person in my math classes in high school (I have yet to do my last math class in high school next semester) that was not able to show my work no matter what or I'd get confused on the problem. My brain somehow works everything out in my head and wants to write down the answer. If I write down anything other than that, I get confused (unless it's a long question, then it's fine) but even then, I usually only write down specific numbers and not the problem. So usually my paper would look like a paper filled with random numbers and one of the numbers being circled which is the obvious answer.


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Re: Show my work? - November 7th 2013, 08:44 PM

Dez is right. Even if it's simple for you, you know it's 0 without any hesitation, some teachers like that you show your work step by step.

Like, rewrite the problem (as Dez said)
Cancel out the + and - to make a minus.
Then subtract the one from the other one and specifically put " = 0"

I know, it seems silly, but the teacher wants to see your work. To see that you've actually put an effort towards solving the problem and didn't just use a calculator. Though, in more complex problems, where calculators are necessary, you still need to put the two numbers together and solve for what's being asked.
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Re: Show my work? - November 7th 2013, 11:08 PM

From my experience, the teachers simply don't want you to be cheating. They assume that if you show work that you did it yourself, which I guess has some validity. That being said, I find it unfair when teachers make every student follow specific methods. I remember that I would have to do math in a certain way of thinking, even though I had another way to do it. It sucks and if you can explain to your teacher you don't work like that, that it's better for you as a learner to do it in your head he may understand. I know it can slow me down if I had to do that for every question on a test. But eventually I learned to include the seemingly obvious steps.
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Re: Show my work? - November 8th 2013, 03:01 AM

My standard for judging this is can I give it to a random, non-maths person, and have them follow the work.

Often one of the criteria you are being assessed on is communication (under various names). For a question like that, there's not much you can do, but as they become more complex you do need to show step by step what you are doing and how you are thinking about things.

Connor - In my classes, I try to show multiple methods of solving a problem and communicating, and I'll accept any method that works.

The other reason for communication, particularly in longer questions, is that you can make a mistake and still be awarded nearly full grades. If I can see a student knows what they're doing and has just written down a wrong number, or got two numbers mixed up - I'll award full marks, because they know what they're doing.

Erika - have you got any different examples? Also, talking to your teacher and asking them to show you what it should look like would be a good idea (another example - when I write an answer scheme I do it showing full working).

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