By Edgar L Edwards; Mathematics Education Trust
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Additional resources for Algebra for everyone
Some possible reasons for lack of success in algebra are (1) a lack of prerequisite knowledge, (2) the failure to study properly, and (3) inadequate instruction. Expectotions ond Prerequisite Knowledge Before beginning a lesson, an algebra teacher should take steps to ensure that the students have the necessary prerequisite knowledge. " We should replace "readers" with "students" and apply this adage to teaching algebra. If the teacher checks to see that the students have the necessary prerequisite knowledge, the students can be provided with the appropriate advance preparation for successful learning during the lesson.
Designing exercises that integrate a number of ideas and require students to appreciate mathematics as a whole Developing Processes As students leam elementary algebra, they need to develop an appreciation for the power of procedures in algebra. A structured algebraic procedure can be used to solve a whole class of problems and, moreover, can become a record of one’s thought and actions in solving the problem. LS 4l a ) Evaluate 3x 2y - 4xy2 for x = 2 and y = —l Solution: 3x 2y — 4xy 2 = 3(2)2(—l) - 4(2)(—l)’ = 3(4)(-1) — 4(2)(l) = -12 —· 8 = -20 b ) Find the value of k such that the line passing through (k, 5) and (10, 8) has a slope of %.
A structured algebraic procedure can be used to solve a whole class of problems and, moreover, can become a record of one’s thought and actions in solving the problem. LS 4l a ) Evaluate 3x 2y - 4xy2 for x = 2 and y = —l Solution: 3x 2y — 4xy 2 = 3(2)2(—l) - 4(2)(—l)’ = 3(4)(-1) — 4(2)(l) = -12 —· 8 = -20 b ) Find the value of k such that the line passing through (k, 5) and (10, 8) has a slope of %. Solution: slope = slope Y2 ‘ yl : 2 x2 — xl 4 8 —— 5 _ 2 10 —— k 4 _2. - 2 10 — k 4 IO — k = 4 6=k Y 8 , •’ ’ 5 .................
Algebra for everyone by Edgar L Edwards; Mathematics Education Trust