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Philip Keller: Lost in Translation
Philip Keller: Lost in Translation — What SAT Prep Taught Me About Teaching Algebra - A Math Workshop for All Ages and Skills
Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 5:30PM — Labyrinth Books Princeton

We are pleased to welcome the author of Advanced Math for Young Students and The New Math SAT Game Plan, who will be here to help anyone interested in learning how to speak the language of algebra. Please join us!

In this workshop, Phil Keller is going to focus on one particular skill: translating word problems into the language of algebra.  This is often the hardest step for beginners to learn.  With enough drill and practice, students can learn to perform the manipulations that come after the translation, but that first step often stops them in their tracks.  We need a way to get past that initial roadblock.

Phil will introduce a method he calls “Lost in Translation.”  We will do a number of practice problems together.  When you see how it works, it will be easy to recognize the roots of this method in SAT Prep.  In fact, if you stop half way, it looks like an algebra-avoidance method.  But we won’t stop!  Because, carried to its conclusion, this method provides a way for students to construct their own scaffolds that will guide them as they translate word problems and build their fluency in the language of algebra.  

“I have been teaching SAT math for some three decades now, and high school physics for almost as long.  Over the years, I have spent a lot of time helping students to improve their algebra skills when possible and to work around their deficiencies when necessary.  I wrote Advanced Math for Young Students to provide an earlier start and a deeper conceptual understanding of algebra.  Since I come to the project with this unusual perspective, the book takes a unique and (I believe) helpful approach and includes methods such as the one we will be learning at the workshop.” – Philip Keller

Philip Keller is a Physics teacher and SAT tutor in NJ. He has been talking to young students about math and science for nearly thirty years. He holds a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and an MA in Mathematics from Georgian Court University.


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