Math: working down the page vs across

Tutoring math, you encounter presentation methods. The tutor explains which is best.

At the high school level, math should be worked down the page, rather than across. Example:

2x – 7 = 11
2x = 18
x = 9

not

2x – 7 = 11 → 2x = 18 → x = 9

Reasons for working downward rather than across:

  1. For the student, tracking the progress is much easier.
  2. For the teacher, tracking the steps the student used is much easier.

I bring up that working downward is better, because this morning my wife told my older son, “Your father tells you to work down the page, and he’s absolutely right.”

My wife claiming I’m right is so rare, I think it’s newsworthy.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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