BYU

Abstract by Sarah Cox

Personal Infomation


Presenter's Name

Sarah Cox

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Abstract Infomation


Department

Mathematics Education

Faculty Advisor

Blake Peterson
Keith Leatham

Title

How Students Interpret Variables

Abstract

A group of middle school students were asked the question, “Which is larger, x or x+x?” Many students treated x as a positive number and claimed x+x was larger than x. Through a class discussion, negatives and zero as values for x were also used. How do students interpret the variable x in the context of multiple domains? For example, one student believes that all negative numbers have a negative sign in front so, intuitively, a single variable x cannot represent a negative input. I will present student work that taps into the domain reasoning of students.