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Topic: Advice for a new 7th grade Algebra teacher?
Replies: 2   Last Post: Jul 12, 2005 12:10 AM

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Brian Harvey

Posts: 26
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Advice for a new 7th grade Algebra teacher?
Posted: Jul 12, 2005 12:10 AM
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"Jeri Heth" <> writes:
>You can't necessarily make some math interesting or fun.

On the other hand, there are students for whom algebra (right out of the book)
is a blinding burst of joy, including ones who thought they hated math until
then. I was one such. My son, who just met algebra this year (at age 18,
don't ask), is another, to a lesser degree; he isn't going to turn into a
mathematician, but he finally sees that there's a logical structure to math
that makes sense and isn't just memorizing tables.

So, imho, the way to *kill* algebra is to take the approach of "this week we
learn about rate problems" (or distance problems, or age problems, etc.).
Get them to see the generality of algebraic thinking.

Of course you face the problem of the No Child Left Breathing law, which says
that you can't take the time to teach anything in any depth. But try to
ignore that some of the time.

Oh, and probably you know this already, but if not, look into _Mathematics:
A Human Endeavor_ (Jacobs) for some really neat problems kids can struggle

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