Yes, you are really special if you can remember FOIL several years after your last math course. I would be willing to bet a very large amount of money that less than 20% actually do. For those who don’t take a course past Algebra 2, the percentage would be in the single digits.

My sister-in-law has said on a number of occasions, “You and your brother are so unusual. You remember what you learned in high school.”

]]>I suspect, but can’t be sure, that we’re teaching methods too early and so kids are forgetting everything. Or maybe kids back in the day studied more because fewer of them were taking advanced math.

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http://pj.freefaculty.org/R/Rtips.html#toc-Subsection-5.9

In one case, it was a geometry student, and I can’t grade them on their algebra skills. In the other, the student was just, as you say, forgetting.

And yes, that’s what grades represent. They do forget. However, my tests are always comprehensive to that point. If my students just learned logs, their test of 25 questions might have 5 log questions, and then everything else they’d learned.

That’s one of the reasons I go deep and not terribly broad, so the students might remember more of the essentials.

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