Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Inside Four Walls: Where's the radical button?

So yesterday my students were taking a test and I will loan out a calculator if a student forgot theirs. So during the test a student came up and asked, "Where's the radical button on this calculator?" I thought it was pretty obvious...just sitting there next to the x^2 button. So I pointed it out to the student to which they responded, "that's the square root button, I need the radical button." I must have gave a pretty funny expression because my TA started to laugh a little. I told the student, "you do realize a radical is a square root?" To which the student said "oh yeah...I forgot."

Funny, but at the same time a bit sad. This is a Geometry student. I have had a lot of "really?" type questions and this one is now one of my favorites. It's up there with the student who put in 0 * (-4) because the student wanted to make sure it was 0 and not -0. Good times.

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