Background. I am not a math person. The students were on day two of reviewing for their algebra test. They are awesome students. I didn't even do this math in my junior year of high school (algebra 2). And yet most of them were breezing right through the problems. In 8th grade. And these aren't even the highest level math students. Okay, so they are the second highest level. I showed my husband, who is a math whiz. He laughed. He though I copied it wrong. Sigh..... And this was one that once the student explained it to me, I understood. Then, when I went to show off to my hubby, it all looked like gibberish to me.

That is not an unusual algebra problem - working with exponents. I love subbing jr hi school math because I love this stuff!

However, my son is bringing home Algebra 2 homework that I haven't seen before. And since there is no official textbook because of common core, we have to look it up on line sometimes.

I think that stuff was there at the end of my Algebra 2 class. I never understood it.
This kind of work is why I don't sub for math, unless it's a Friday, when they are more likely to have tests. I have no idea how to do these kinds of problems, and never have had any idea. And this is pretty much what I see on all their math work. Even in special ed.

But i don't understand exactly what the problem is. You have written an algebraic expression. Are we trying to simplify the fraction, solve for x, or what?

To be honest I don't remember. I think for this problem, they were just simplifying. When the student explained it to me, it made sense. Then...it didn't. I saw the teacher the next day when I was in for somebody else. He was laughing. He loved my notes, I guess. Glad that we were teammates for nearly 10 years, so he appreciates that I at least TRY to understand the material.