Algebra – Solving Systems by MatricesFebruary 3, 2010
Because S was concerned that the Algebra students just weren’t getting how to solve systems, we decided to eliminate trying to teach them to solve by substitution and elimination and just focus on solving by graphing and by matrices. Using matrices definitely takes the “drudgery” out of solving systems, and I hadn’t realized that the TI-83s have a built-in key to do the A-1B operation (rref). The biggest problem the students have (and are going to continue to have) is if they lose track of their keystrokes — they don’t have the background knowledge to understand that they did something wrong. On the other hand, it definitely gives them a better chance for success than the other methods.