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Q&A #4990


Teaching algebra in middle school

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From: Amba (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Nov 02, 2000 at 17:20:38
Subject: Re: Teaching algebra in middle school

Hi Alice,

It seems a good idea to start algebra as algebra in the middle school level.
However it can be introduced in grades 4th or 5th while they learn
multiplication and division. For example;
If I add 6 marbles to my basket, I have 24 in all. How many did I have
originally? -  can also be introduced as I had x marbles in my bag. When I
added 6 marbles, I had 24 marbles. How many did I have in the beginning? This
can be made into an equationn as  x+ 6 = 24, which leads to subtracting 6
from both sides to get the result.
Or, if 30 oranges have to be given to 6 children, how many does each one get?
This can be  posed as: Let each one get x oranges, then 6 of them will get 6x
oranges, which is equal to 30, and then this can be represented as x = 30/6,
so that they get the idea of multiplication and division as opposite
operations.
While every sum need not be transformed, some of them can be shown as
algebraic expressions.

 -Amba, for the T2T service

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