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TJ: CA III.3 Related Rates

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posted Jun 13, 2012, 5:47 PM by Mairead Greene

Students often struggle with focusing on what the method is for these questions instead of focusing on applying their understanding of the concepts for each question. As far as method goes, I do encourage them to first assign each changing quantity a variable name, then write down all the relationships and values that they can identify from the narrative given in terms of those variables. Then identify what they are looking for and see how the relationships that they have can help them find this unknown quantity. This however in my mind is as far as you can come to identifying a method for this type of question and this usually falls far short of what students are looking for. I often talk to students about the fact that the skills we have been building in class so far (reading independently, moving between representations, reasoning from concepts) should all help them in these questions that do not have a clear method attached.

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