Developing Algebra

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This booklet contains a number of case studies of lessons that emphasise working with what students already know and working from concrete ideas to the abstract. Each case study explains the task, contains examples of students’ work and explains how the lesson was followed up.

[b]The function game[/b] is one way in which algebra can be introduced and made accessible to all students. Interspersed throughout the booklet are different exercises using the function game. These activities are: first use, beginning of the year, finding rules, is algebra an awareness of number?, reflections, the function game and computers and graph work. Other tasks described are:

[b]Flowcharts[/b] are used in the tasks ‘guessing a number’, ‘guessing a birthday’ and ‘attractors’.

[b]Spirals[/b] explores spirals on a number grid, drawing spirals on spotty paper and using LOGO to draw spirals.

[b]Developing existing resources[/b] explores the mystic rose and activities from the number patterns pack

[b]Getting hold of the unknown[/b] concentrates upon activities in which students are presented with situations in which they have to find the unknown. Activities include: cells and algorithms, arithmagons and doing and undoing.

[b]Working with equations[/b] follows on from the previous section exploring different approaches to solving equations and explores the use of an activity called ‘Trice’.

[b]Equivalence of expressions[/b] explores how the same expression can be expressed in different forms by considering the areas of compound shapes.

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