Bringing Math Home: A Parent's Guide to Elementary School Math : Games + Activities + Projects

By Suzanne L. Churchman | Go to book overview

2

Algebra

Yikes! That dreaded word: algebra. In today's schools, the basis for the algebra that you remember from high school is introduced at the elementary level. Maybe if we had all had this early exposure to pre-algebra when we were elementary-aged kids, high school algebra class would not have been the horrendous experience that many of us recall.

Students at the elementary level are basically involved in looking around their world and discovering that patterns exist in everyday experiences. Often, children view it as a game to locate the pattern in colors, shapes, and numbers. This is the basis for algebra—filling in the unknown and finding categorical and sequential groupings. The educator's job is to relate these patterns to math. Research studies have been done evaluating high school students' performance on standardized tests. Those students who have a pattern approach to mathematics scored considerably higher than those with a more traditional approach.

Today's schools also introduce students to symbolic form at the elementary level. In the early grades, unknowns in equations are represented by a box—for example, 9 + □ = 14. In the middle grades, a letter is substituted for the box—for example, 9 + n = 14. Students learn to write their own equations to fit the math problem they are trying to solve.


Skills and Activities for
Grades Pre-Kindergarten to 2

In pre-kindergarten through grade 2, today's schools introduce and develop algebraic concepts. Children explore these concepts through work with classification, patterns, relations, operations (for example, +, −) with whole numbers, and step-by step

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Bringing Math Home: A Parent's Guide to Elementary School Math : Games + Activities + Projects
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Acknowledgments iii
  • Contents iv
  • Introduction v
  • How to Use This Book vii
  • Content Standards 1
  • 1: Numbers and Operations 3
  • 2: Algebra 35
  • 3: Geometry 57
  • 4: Measurement 97
  • 5: Data Analysis and Probability 129
  • Process Standards 155
  • 6: Problem Solving 157
  • 7: Reasoning and Proof 173
  • 8: Communication 181
  • 9: Connections 189
  • 10: Representation 195
  • Summing It Up 201
  • Appendix 203
  • Glossary 223
  • Bibliography 229
  • Index 230
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