So its that time of Algebra again!
In my years of experience, this topic can be introduced as early as primary.
The Australian syllabus attempts it as patterns in the junior years but I say dive in. The only problem is explaining who on earth x is ?. And what are letters doing in my MATHS book??? Best way to get around it is always a real life scenario.
For example: “I gave your brother $10 and he bought 5 pencils. How much did each pencil cost ? So the ‘unknown’ is x? then go straight into an equation.. 5 times unknown is ten… 5x=10…. but don’t be tempted to solve it! we have to manipulate first!
To start this topic we need to be really good at:
Number (add subtract multiply and divide) Patterns (know the idea of a Pattern and be able to complete basic patterns) Negative Numbers or Integers is a bonus as they may appear!
- Practice practice practice
- Do not be tempted to start equations before basic algebraic manipulation is adequate
- Manipulation of Fraction is somewhat necessary for those interested in higher mathematics in later years.
Good luck !