Insights For All Teachers
Teachers, experts, parents, and students focused on two big takeaways. First, in math, all of this focus on relationship building and social-emotional learning isnt an extra, teachers say. Its integral to students academic success.
If students dont feel comfortable saying they dont understand, if they arent willing to tackle a challenging problem or share their ideas in a group, then they wont be able to get the practice they need to achieve fluency, or ask the questions that can lead to deep conceptual understanding.
All the time I would to ask a question, but I was afraid of what was going to happen, said Camrynn Smith, a rising 9th grader in Salida, Calif., about remote learning. She was nervous about calling attention to herself by typing into the chat box. And she thinks that it might take her a while to get back in the headspace where she feels comfortable asking questions again.
Be patient, Smith advised teachers. Sometimes its really hard getting back into the groove of things.
But getting back into the groove doesnt have to mean easing off the challenge. Which leads to the second point: Give all students access to grade-level content. Helping students master challenging work with appropriate support keeps them on track, so that theyre prepared for higher level math and can succeed in the courses they need for graduation. And it can also build their confidence.
Algebra Can Be Useful In Life Outside Of The Workplace
I have found algebra helpful in making financial decisions. For example, I use algebra every year to pick a health care plan for my family using two-variable equations to find the break-even point for each option. I have used it in choosing cell phone plans. I even used it when custom-ordering bookshelves for our home. My wife also regularly uses algebra in her crafting.
Online Algebra Courses And Programs
EdX offers both introductory and advanced algebra courses. Get started solving equations and learning algebraic expression basics with the free online course from SchoolYourself. The self-paced algebra course will teach you how to work with integers, decimals fractions, and exponents, how to evaluate powers and roots and how to solve single and multi-variable equations and inequalities with online quizzes and algebra worksheets. Algebra is essential for both high school and college math curriculums and this will serve as a pre-algebra course. Working through these algebra problems will get you well-prepared for further math study.
For a more advanced algebra program, consider the College Algebra and Problem Solving course from ASU. This self-paced course uses the ALEKS learning system which helps to tailor the learning experience to the students personalized needs and pace. Learn how to apply algebra to a wide range of real-world problems and study critical algebraic concepts like functions, domains and ranges. This course can help you prepare for calculus and other math courses.
Explore additional online math courses and tutorials that cover Boolean algebra, algebraic geometry, abstract algebra and other advanced topics. Many courses are self-paced so you can enroll and learn on your own schedule.
Also Check: What Is Po In Chemistry
Get To Know The Calculator
The next way to improve algebra skills is to have your child better understand how to use a calculator. Scientific calculators may seem like just a bulky calculator, but they can do a lot! Understanding the different functions and features will help your child work through challenging problems.
There are a few ways of learning the different calculator features. Reading the manual and playing with the calculator to get a good grasp of what it can do is important. Your child can also ask their peers to share some tricks. Or, utilize online resources to learn what other students are doing to solve their algebra problems.
Using a calculator works best if your child first understands the strategies required to solve the problem. As much as a calculator will help with computing the answer, its important to first know how to set up the equation and understand how it works.
The Fundamental Principle Of Equation
Before we go about solving for the variable k, theres just one simpleprinciple of equations that we need to grasp. Since we know that both sides ofthe equation are the same, whatever we do on one side , if we dothe same to the other side, and the result is still an equation – that means both sides would still be equal. For example, wecan do any of these:
5 + k – 2 = 2 × 4 – 2 5 + k + 4 = 2 × 4 + 4 × 3 = × 3
Solving Our First Equation
Now we are ready to tackle our first algebra equation. What we want to dois to isolate the variable k on one side of the equation. Lets start with theequation: 5 + k = 2 × 4
We can see that on the left side, theres an extra 5 addedto k. So we must get rid of the 5 to isolate k. We can do this be subtracting 5from the left side. Remember that we must do the same thing to the right side to maintain equality:
5 + k – 5 = 2 × 4 – 5
Now we are almost done solving our first algebra equation!
Looking at the left side
5 + k – 5, the two 5s would cancel out, leaving us with:
k = 2 × 4 – 5
So we only need to do the arithmetic on the right side:
k = 2 × 4 – 5
k = 8 – 5
k = 3
Voila! We have solved our first algebra equation! Remember, the goal is to get the variable alone by doing the same thing to each side of the equation.
With this you have a good understanding of basic algebra, and now you should be able to solve other equations like 6 + k = 11 or 11 – m = 7. Otherwise, you may want to re-read this lesson.
How to Solve Basic Equations ?
Avoid Practice Practice Practice Do This Instead
This is probably the most common advice given to students who ask how do I get better at Math?.
We dont need more time to practice. We just need to practice better.
Practicing is certainly vital, but there are two kinds of practice: Unproductive, and Productive Practice.
If you do everything in a long stretch of time, infrequently during the week, and just repeating the same problem for multiple times until you get it before moving on to the next one, then thats Unproductive Practice.
Productive Practice is smart practice.
Heres how to do it. Two easy steps.
- Spread your practice throughout the day, and throughout the week
- When you get the basic idea of a concept, dont answer multiple problems with the same solution answer multiple, unrelated problems that are not arranged by topic.
One easy way to automate this is by using Anki, but youll have to be a bit creative in creating your decks and settings.
Specifically, as I have shared in the better solving course, you can create a main deck and exercises deck/master problem set using specific deck settings based on your level of confidence.
Who says learning Math should be tedious, and time-consuming? It can be efficient, but like I saidit has to be more mentally taxing.
Gather Your References Solution Manuals And Solved Problems Types Of Books
Conventional Math learning requires that you go to school, attend classes, do your homework, and then wait for it to be checked before you complete the feedback loop.
I say thats highly inefficient.
When there are solution manuals or Solved Problems types of books available, its better to actually use them side-by-side to your own problem-solving routine.
For this one, I like the Schaums Outlines series of books.
The problems are rather hard, the discussions are concise and straight to the point, but youll certainly get better at problem-solving EASILY.
Just to be clear, Im not saying that you should look at the solutions each and every time youre solving a problem, but whenever you get stuck, you can easily get out and actually learn the solutions faster.
This tight feedback loop is what will allow us to learn math FAST and at our OWN pace.
What if I dont understand the material?
Its either you dont have the prerequisites mastered , or youre using an overly complicated book.
Lastly, common sense says that this guide is not the end-all-be-all of self-studying Math. You can always consult others when you really get stuck even when you have a solution manual .
Also Check: What Does And Mean In Math
Algebra 1 In High School
Algebra 1 introduces students to the basic tools needed to begin evaluating equations and inequalities. You will build a familiarity with real numbers and their properties such as additive and multiplicative identities, inverse operations and the distributive and commutative properties, just to name a few. In this level, you will also be exposed to polynomials and be expected to carry out already-familiar calculations like area, perimeter and volume with more complex expressions instead of given numbers. Functions will also be investigated in detail and you will be able to find the x- and y-intercepts with and without the use of a graph.
What Algebra Teachers Can Do
Even in a regular year, teachers say, students come into Algebra with varying degrees of readiness. But this year, the range might be even greater, depending on what opportunities and resources they had during remote learning. James has trouble with fractions, while another student might be fine with fractions but struggle with exponents. For that reason, teachers and experts recommend, lessons should start with checks for understanding.
Teachers can figure out what skills and understandings are prerequisites for the new concept theyre starting to introduce, and then give students a couple of questions that would allow them to show their knowledgeor demonstrate that they have unfinished learning. Then, teachers can develop a task or mini-lesson to shore up that prerequisite skill, and make explicit its connection to the new learning. For example, teachers could review the basics of linear functions and how to plot them on a graph right before introducing slope-intercept form.
Experts recommend this kind of targeted, just-in-time support instead of remediation . Remediation can be demotivating, said Amy Getz, the interim director of K12 education strategy, policy, and services at the University of Texas at Austins Charles A. Dana Center. It also can push students who are struggling further behind, by limiting their access to grade-level content, she said.
Recommended Reading: Why Am I So Hard On Myself Psychology
What Types Of Jobs Use Algebra
Algebra is a skill that is applicable in many types of fields and professions in todayâs economy when you solve equations. You may be surprised by the number of jobs and occupations that require a working knowledge of algebra to complete day to day requirements. Below are a few examples of professions that require algebra skills and what could be common tasks.
Business professionals who use algebra on a daily basis would be accountants. As an accountant, you need to be able to balance spreadsheets, forecast costs, and create spending reports for your company and team. Another example of business professionals who need a working knowledge of algebra includes bankers. Bankers need to be able to calculate interest rates, taxes, and more for their customers on a frequent basis. Business owners also use algebra to calculate run rates, revenue, the margin of profitability, and so much more for their shareholders to showcase growth potential and secure financing and investment.
Medical professionals need to know and understand algebra to administer drugs, detect pattern irregularities, fill prescriptions and more for their patients. Converting different drug doses is relatively common in the medical field, so having algebra solving problem skills will regularly come in handy. Especially when the time is at a crunch and equipment is space, you will need to know how to prescribe different medicine by factoring in weight, age, dosage, and more for your patients.
Algebra 1 With Sofatutor
We believe that students truly thrive when they are in charge of shaping their academic futures and developing their full potential. Thats why at sofatutor, we work to empower students with the highest-quality, self-paced learning experience possible.
Our short, yet thorough, Video Lessons explain complex topics in an easy-to-understand way, using immersive storytelling to keep students excited about their studies. Each Video Lesson is accompanied by engaging Interactive Practice Problems and comprehensive printable Worksheets.
Recommended Reading: How To Take Math Tests Faster
Algebra 1 Is A Turning Point Heres How To Help Incoming Students
Throughout the pandemic, data from testing has shown that students are struggling in math, making less progress than they might have in other years.
Teachers, too, have said that routines core to their instruction are much harder to do with virtual learnerslike showing lots of visual representations, working out problems collaboratively, and having structured student discussions about math concepts. Even with screensharing and digital math tools, they say, its not quite possible to recreate the kind of classroom setting where students can work with manipulatives, groups can collaborate on whiteboards, and teachers can evaluate understanding in real time.
Students in all grades may require extra math support next year, but experts say this need is especially urgent in Algebra 1.
The course is often the first math class taken in high school, and its a gatekeeper to higher level mathematics that would prepare students for college study or careers in science, technology, engineering, or math. Its also part of a students freshman grade point average, a signifier of whether they will graduate on time or not. Passing Algebra 1 is a graduation requirement in most states.
S To Studying Math On Your Own
Im going to interrupt you for a bit to make something clear: I created this guide to help people who feel like theyre lagging with their Math skills and want to review it, or people who just want to study Math on their own for some reason.
Each example that Ill give you is just thata mere example to help you get the point Im trying to make. Its still up to you to apply these steps to your own situation.
Algebra Courses On Edx
Some of our courses include critical thinking via equation solving and understanding algebraic expressions. Other courses will lean heavily on elements that include quadratic formulas, systems of equations, polynomial expressions, rational expressions, rational functions, quadratic equations, polynomial functions, algebraic operations, graphing, square roots, complex numbers, linear inequalities, absolute values, negative numbers, distributive law, word problems, trigonometry, partial fractions, linear equations, and more. Some of the courses on edX will have you practice problem solving via order of operations, ad hoc methods, rational functions, and more. Our courses are designed to help you learn algebra via step-by-step instructions from top universities.
Learning To Solve Equations By Canceling
You May Like: What Is Interposition In Psychology
Dont Be Overwhelmed By Variables
Before you began learning algebra, math focuses solely on numbers. When you begin to branch into algebraic equations, letters known as variables start to creep into the equations.
Dont let this intimidate you, as variables are solely there for you to solve, not to confuse you. If a problem has more than one variable, take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself as youre still learning.
As you progress in terms of moving towards more advanced forms of algebra, the number of variables within an equation will grow. Take your time with this and give yourself plenty of time to learn and understand all these different formulas, especially ones with letters and numbers combined.
From Elementary School To Calculus
Elementary school teaches you the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. In middle school, you are introduced to variables, inequalities, and are introduced to the Cartesian coordinate system and the basics of simple graphing. But the real learning starts with Algebra I. The skills you will aquire beginning with Algebra I, and continuing possibly through to Calculus, will give you the ability to describe and understand the world around you in a more profound way than you ever thought was possible.
Also Check: How To Find Tension In Physics