Date: Sun 1/31/99 8:24 AM

From: Sally Ember

I have two questions about basic mathematical rules:

- why does using reciprocals to divide fractions work? What are we really doing when we do that?, and
- why does moving the decimal point over the number of places in the multiplicands in order to correctly place the product's decimal point work? What are actually doing there?

I teach basic math to adults in a night school, and the concepts are more important to them than the rules. I asked a math teacher of 20 years these questions, and he couldn't answer them except to say: these are the rules....

'THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!! HELP!!!!?????