Introduction to Algebra:
Step1: Students are apprehensive of algebra because its abstract math where problems are defined using words rather than constant numbers. Begin the class telling children that today they will use a different form of language or vocabulary to solve questions in class.
Anu has Rs100. Bimla has Rs12 less than her. How much money does Bimla have?
Anu =Rs 100
Bimla= 100-12= Rs88
Rephrase the same example using variable:
Anu has some money.Bimla has Rs 12 less than her. How much money does Bimla have?
Lets say Anu has=Rs n
Therefore Bimla has
You can do few more questions like this to explain them the new language they are learning.
Examples of phrases “twelve subtracted from a number” and “twelve less than a number”. How can write an expression to represent them?
Step2: Once you are certain students have got a grasp of the new language, now is the time to introduce the new vocabulary expression or equation, and then identify coefficients, constants, and variables.
Step 3: Make students copy each example of the above vocabulary in the appropriate column in thier notebooks. Clarify misunderstanding or questions if any.
If none come then ask what is the coefficient of a and y to make sure students understand that in both cases the coefficient is one as in the given example: a-5b+7x+y
Encourage students to visualize what is going on
10 items3 items/bag
bags ≈ 4bags
The figure below illustrates the problem:
The different shapes inside the bags denote different items purchased. The number depicts the item number.
We use simple algebraic formula x/y to calculate the number of bags.
x = Number of items purchased = 10
y = Capacity of 1 bag = 3
= 3.33 bags ≈ 4 bags
So,we need 4 shopping bags to put 10 items.
“Learning algebra isn’t about acquiring a specific tool; it’s about building up a mental muscle that will come in handy elsewhere. You don’t go to the gym because you’re interested in learning how to operate a StairMaster; you go to the gym because operating a StairMaster does something laudable to your body, the benefits of which you enjoy during the many hours of the week when you’re not on a StairMaster.” — Steven Johnson